Monday 20 August 2018

'King of Cocaine' caught after 23 years on run

Rocco Morabito was held in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: AP
Rocco Morabito was held in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: AP

Nick Squires in Rome

An alleged mafia boss nicknamed "the King of Cocaine" has been captured after 23 years on the run.

Rocco Morabito, who was wanted by Italian police for allegedly masterminding the trafficking of cocaine from Latin America to Europe, was arrested in a hotel in Uruguay. He is considered to be one of Italy's five most dangerous fugitives.

During a search of his home in Uruguay, police found 13 mobile phones, which investigators said were used for drug deals, a 9mm pistol, ammunition, a hunting knife and 150 passport photos of himself in different guises.

Mr Morabito, an alleged kingpin in the 'Ndrangheta mafia, is believed to have been living in Uruguay for a decade under the alias Francisco Capeletto Souza.

His arrest was the result of a months-long joint operation between police in South America and investigators in Calabria, the home of the much-feared 'Ndrangheta.

He was arrested in a hotel in Punta del Este, a tourist resort about 144km from the capital, Montevideo.

His false identity was known to Interpol and when he checked into the hotel, an alert was generated.

Irish Independent

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