World: Italian mafia boss and 'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito is on the run again after fleeing through roof of a Montevideo prison - PressFrom - US
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WorldItalian mafia boss and 'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito is on the run again after fleeing through roof of a Montevideo prison

22:30  24 june  2019
22:30  24 june  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Italian mafia boss and 'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito is on the run again after fleeing through roof of a Montevideo prison
Italian mafia boss and 'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito is on the run again after fleeing through roof of a Montevideo prison
Italian mafia boss and 'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito is on the run again after fleeing through roof of a Montevideo prison

Italian mafia boss Rocco Morabito has escaped through the roof of a prison in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, where he was awaiting extradition to Italy.

The nation's interior ministry announced his escape on Monday afternoon - a day after he's believed to made a prison break.

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In a statement, the ministry said Morabito and three other inmates robbed the occupants of a nearby farmhouse after escaping from prison late on Sunday evening.

Morabito - a top 'Ndrangheta figure arrested in Uruguay in 2017 after decades on the run - was awaiting extradition for international drug trafficking.

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini reacted angrily to the 'disconcerting and serious' news.

'I make two commitments, first to shed full light on how he escaped, asking for an immediate explanation from the Montevideo government. Then we will continue the hunt for Morabito, wherever he is.'

Morabito was one of the most wanted fugitive member of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, Italy's most powerful organised crime group and one of Europe's biggest importers of South American cocaine.

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Dubbed the 'cocaine king of Milan,' he had been wanted since 1994 after he was caught paying 13 billion lire ($8 million) to import almost a tonne of the drug, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Morabito first carved out a reputation for himself as the King of Cocaine after arriving in trendy Milan from his hometown of Africo in Italy's poor southern region of Calabria at the age of 23.

The young Morabito became a charismatic figure in Milan who frequented bars and parties, according to Italian press reports.

He quickly came to the attention of Italian anti-Mafia investigators and they regularly tracked him delivering suitcases filled with millions of lira to Colombian drug traffickers in a Milan piazza.

Police finally moved in on his birthday as he made what would be his last delivery, in October 1994, but the capo managed to escape.

The following year he was sentenced in absentia to 28 years' imprisonment for mafia association and drug trafficking.

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Later the sentence was extended to 30 years.

An international arrest warrant was issued in 1995 with the aim of tracking down Morabito and extraditing him to Italy to serve his sentence.

In 2017 he was arrested after living in Uruguay under a false name for 13 years and jailed while Italy's request for extradition was processed.

Officials said at the time that he had acquired Uruguayan residence after entering the country with a false Brazilian passport in the name of Francisco Capeletto.

He was originally arrested in 2017 on charges of falsifying identity papers, but has been awaiting extradition on more serious charges of 'international drug trafficking'.

The Uruguayan interior ministry said, in a statement at the time of his arrest, that he had been living in a luxury villa in Punta del Este, a resort town, with his Uruguayan wife since 2004, having first arrived in the South American nation in 2001.

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