The “cocaine king of Milan,” Morabito, was apprehended by Brazilian and Italian law enforcement in May of last year during a joint operation. For selling drugs, the 55yearold will serve 30 years in prison. The mafia boss spent decades underground in South America using a phony name.
In Joo Pessoa, a port city in northeastern Brazil, where he was arrested alongside Vincenzo Pasquino, another Ndrangheta mafia member, the authorities eventually found him last year. Since then, Pasquino has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for trafficking in illegal drugs. Newcomer artist Rocco Morabito has reached Rome after years of searching.
Rocco Morabito: Fugitive Mobster Handed Over To Italy
Rocco Morabito, a well-known member of the ‘N drangheta, a sizable criminal organization that controls a large portion of the cocaine trade in Italy and around the world, was raised in the Calabrian village of Africo and is related to mafia boss Giuseppe Morabito. As a young guy, Morabito built crucial cocaine smuggling lines from South America into Milan and rapidly earned a reputation as the city’s most active drug dealer.
He frequently mixed with the city’s jet set and was well dressed in double-breasted suits. He was quickly identified by Italian police, who then put him under observation. He was witnessed attempting to set up plans to import more than a tonne of cocaine from South America, but he suddenly disappeared.
Police think he travelled to Brazil and lived there while posing as Francisco Capeletto to avoid being apprehended. From there, he relocated to the neighbouring nation of Uruguay, where he lived in the resort town of Punta del Este for at least 13 years. His neighbours claimed he drove a modest car, despite the fact that he rented a luxurious home and furnished it with works of art.
They first became aware of his wealth when he threw an extravagant party for his daughter’s birthday. But after Morabito registered his daughter for school under her real name, the authorities just started keeping an eye on him. After a fight with his wife, Morabito was apprehended by police as he checked into a hotel in Montevideo, the country’s capital, in September 2017.
Among his possessions were a weapon, 13 cell phones, and 150 passport sized photographs of Morabito in various disguises. However, he still had some time left to continue hiding. Awaiting extradition to Italy, he was detained for two years in 2019 when he and three other inmates managed to escape via a hole in the ceiling.
As part of a global police operation led by Interpol with the aim of stopping the ‘Ndrangheta, he was eventually discovered in a hotel in the city of Joo Pessoa in 2021. The top federal court of Brazil approved last week that he be extradited to Italy.
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