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'Cocaine king' mafia chief Rocco Morabito arrested in Uruguay after 23 years on the run

One of Italy's most infamous mafia bosses, known as the "cocaine king of Milan", has been arrested after 23 years on the run.

Rocco Morabito was apprehended in Uruguay after fleeing from convictions for mafia association, drug trafficking and other serious crimes, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.

Morabito, 50, was described as the most wanted member of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, the most powerful organised crime group in Italy.

The group is also Europe's biggest importer of cocaine from South America.

Morabito was detained in the seaside town of Punta del Este, about 50 kilometres east of Montevideo.

The arrest followed co-operation between Uruguayan police and Italian authorities who worked to discover his real identity.

Authorities had been searching for Morabito since 1994, according to newspaper Corriere della Sera, after he was rumbled paying 13 billion lire ($8 million) to import almost a tonne of cocaine.

Morabito was issued an international arrest warrant in 1995, with the aim of extraditing him to Italy, where he would await a sentence of 30 years behind bars.

The Italian Interior Ministry has a list of five of the country's most-wanted organised criminals, including Sicilian chief Matteo Messina Denaro, and the arrest of Morabito brings that number down to four.

[Source: By Rachael Revesz, The Independent, London, 04Sep17]

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Corruption and Organized Crime
small logoThis document has been published on 19Sep17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.