You can run, but not forever. After spending 23 years as a most wanted fugitive Rocco Morabito was arrested at a hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Sunday. The 50-year-old Calabrian Mafia boss had been living in a luxurious mansion in Punta del Este with his Angolan wife. He faces a 30-year sentence on cocaine trafficking charges in Italy, which is seeking his extradition.
Uruguayan police discovered Morabito was staying in the country under a false identity. During a search of his villa, officers found a gun, a knife, thirteen cell phones, twelve credit cards, cars, and a stunning 150 passport photos and several disguises.
Born on October 13, 1966, in Africo, Reggio Calabria, Morabito quickly became one of Italy’s most prolific drug traffickers. The charges he faces back in Italy stem from the days when he was nicknamed the “Cocaine King of Milan,” from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s.
Authorities claim he was involved in two separate shipments of cocaine – one load of 592 kilograms, the other 630 kilograms. The coke originated from Brazil and was destined for Italy.
The Calabrian Mafia, known as the ‘Ndrangheta, is considered Italy’s premier crime organization, surpassing Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Neapolitan Camorra thanks to its extensive connections to South American drug cartels.
Italy’s Interior Minister Marco Minniti called Morabito’s arrest “another important result” in the continued battle against organized crime.
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