Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Fugitive Italian Latest Foreign Crime Boss Captured in Uruguay

One of Italy's most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Uruguay after 23 years on the run from convictions for mafia association and drug trafficking.

Rocco Morabito

(Insightcrime) An Italian crime boss and one of Italy’s most wanted criminals has been arrested in Uruguay after decades on the run, highlighting another case in which an international criminal has sought refuge in the country.

On September 3, authorities arrested Rocco Morabito — the so-called “cocaine king” of the ‘Ndrangheta crime organization based in the Calabria region of southwest Italy — at a hotel in the capital city of Montevideo in southern Uruguay, according to an Interior Ministry press release.

Interpol issued a red notice for Morabito in 1994, after he fled the country following his conviction of criminal association, drug trafficking and other serious crimes between 1988 and 1994, according to an Italian Interior Ministry press release.

- paying the bills -

Rocco Morabito had been on the run since 1994

After six months of intelligence gathering, authorities in Uruguay discovered that Morabito had obtained an Uruguayan identification card using a Brazilian passport with a false name. They used this to track his movements and locate him.

In two raids at Morabito’s home in Punta del Este — just east of Montevideo and where he had allegedly been living for the past 10 years — and a storage unit, authorities seized $54,251 in cash, 2,540 Uruguayan pesos (around $88), 150 photos of Morabito with different “clothes and skin tones,” as well as a Glock 9 mm pistol, among other things.

Morabito was allegedly responsible for organizing logistics for the transport of drug shipments within Italy and distribution in Milan for the ‘Ndrangheta — a violent criminal organization with links to Mexico’s Zetas and Gulf Cartel, the “Tony Montana” of Peru and several other criminal groups in Latin America, El Pais reported.

- paying the bills -

Specifically, Morabito is accused of attempting to transport 592 kilograms of cocaine from Brazil into Italy in 1992, as well as organize the transport of two cocaine shipments into Italy in 1993, the first of 32 kilograms and the other of 630 kilograms, according to authorities in Uruguay.

Rocco Morabito is just the latest case of the region’s criminals settling in this Southern Cone nation to elude prosecution or unsuspectingly conduct illicit activities outside of their primary country of operation. In 2016, authorities in Uruguay arrested several suspects linked to Mexico’s little-known Los Cuinis crime group, thought to have links to the powerful Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (Cartel de Jalisco – Nueva Generación). One of the group’s members — who also reportedly lived in Punta del Este — was thought to have been laundering money for the group through real estate investments in Uruguay.

Uruguay’s allure comes from the country long being thought of as one of Latin America’s safest and least homicidal nations, in addition to being a “major money laundering” hub, according to the US State Department’s 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).

 

 

Q Costa Rica
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

Murders on the rise in Costa Rica: 60 homicides in the last 28 days

QCOSTARICA - In the last 28 days, there have been 60...

Leader for protest movement asks for forgiveness and calls to put down protests in the streets

QCOSTARICA - Former legislators and former presidential candidate José Miguel Corrales,...

MOST READ

Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid vaccine trial after participant’s ‘adverse reaction’

US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson has paused all trials of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine after one of the participants developed an “adverse reaction”. It was...

San Jose protest march turned violent; 11 police injured in clashes

QCOSTARICA - The National Rescue movement had developed peacefully during the morning of this Monday in the capital city. Until, at Casa Presidencial, in...

Dialogue

The government continue moving at a sloth pace with the dialogue

Panama awaits a “prompt” solution to the Costa Rican blockade in Paso Canoas

QCOSTARICA - After almost 2 weeks of blockades at the Paso Canoas border crossing, on the border with Panama, the neighboring government reported that...

The U.S. votes on Tuesdays to comply with God and Caesar

QREPORTS - Why is election day in the United States on a Tuesday in November? For the answer, let's go back to 1845. That year,...

Legislators approve elimination of annuities for the next two years

QCOSTARICA - The Legislative Assembly approved this Monday, in a second and final debate, a bill that will eliminate annuities for the next two...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.