Mobster, on the run since 1994, nabbed in Uruguay

2017-09-04 19:32
A man identified by Italian Police as long time fugitive Rocco Morabito,  looks down after being arrested in Uruguay. (Italian Police via AP)

A man identified by Italian Police as long time fugitive Rocco Morabito, looks down after being arrested in Uruguay. (Italian Police via AP)

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Rome - A top crime syndicate boss on the run from Italy since 1994 has been arrested in Uruguay, where he was living under an alias and using a false Brazilian passport, authorities said Monday.

Reggio Calabria Chief Prosecutor Federico Cafiero de Raho said Rocco Morabito played a big role in cocaine trafficking between South America and Milan, a distribution point for the drug to be sold elsewhere. Morabito was described as a key figure in the Calabria-based 'ndrangheta mob, one of the world's biggest cocaine traffickers.

Interior Minister Marco Minniti said Morabito has been convicted of mafia association and drug trafficking.

Morabito must serve 30 years in Italian prison. Italian state radio said Morabito, 51, was arrested on Sunday in a Montevideo hotel, but had been living in a villa in Punta del Este, a resort town.

Media reports said that until a few months ago, investigators had concentrated their manhunt in Brazil. But one of his children was recently registered for school in Uruguay with Morabito's real name instead of an alias, shifting the focus of the hunt for him to that country, Italian news reports said.

Prosecutors have said the 'ndrangheta tries to ensure its cocaine deals live up to their agreements with drug cartels by having top bosses live in South American so they can be closer to the drug's producers.

Italian news reports said Morabito was married to a Uruguayan woman.

Read more on:    uruguay  |  narcotics

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