Brazilian authorities announced the arrest of Italian drug boss Rocco Morabito on Monday evening, almost two years after he escaped from a Uruguayan prison while waiting to be extradited to Italy over drug trafficking charges.
Italy has sought to imprison Rocco Morabito, dubbed the ‘king of cocaine’, over charges of illicit association and drug trafficking since 1995, having eventually sentenced him in absentia to 28 years behind bars in 2015, later raised to 30 years.
When he was first captured by Uruguayan police in September 2017 after spending 13 years living under a fake identity in the country, Morabito was one of Italy’s most wanted men.
In June 2019, while awaiting extradition from Uruguay to Italy to serve his sentence, Morabito and three other inmates escaped the prison in Montevideo through a hole in the roof.
On Monday Morabito, the son of ’Ndrangheta crime boss Giuseppe Morabito, was caught by Brazilian police in the city of Joao Pessoa, along with another fugitive, following a joint investigation between Brasilia, Rome, and Washington, DC.
Among the charges Morabito has faced in Italy, he is accused of transporting drugs into the country, ensuring their sale, and importing thousands of pounds of cocaine from Brazil.
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With Morabito now in Brazilian custody, Italian officials will seek to resume extradition proceedings to bring the Italian drug boss to the country to serve his sentence.
The ’Ndrangheta crime family is accused by authorities of being behind a large portion of the European cocaine trade from Calabria, as well as arms trafficking, extortion, and prostitution.
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