Sunday 26 September 2021

Italy asks to release Jacó hotel owner who was linked to Calabrian mafia

75-year-old Italian citizen has been under house arrest in Costa Rica since July last year before an extradition request

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QCOSTARICA – The Quepos Criminal Court ordered Friday afternoon the immediate release and lifting of the house arrest with electronic monitoring of the Italian citizen Franco D’Agapiti, 75, who is detained in Costa Rica for supposedly being a member of a powerful criminal organization.

Franco D’Agapiti, 75, owner of the Amapola hotel and casino in Jacó, was detained in July 2020. Photo courtesy of the OIJ.

The decision was made by Judge Mariana Ramón Fernández after the Court of Reggio Calabria, in Italy, asked the Costa Rican Judiciary to revoke all the precautionary measures against the Italian citizen.

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The request, which is signed by Judge Vicenzo Quaranta, was sent to Costa Rica’s General Secretary of the Supreme Court of Justice, through diplomatic channels, to be sent to the Quepos Criminal Court, in the province of Puntarenas.

“Through a note dated July 22, 2021, from the Court of Reggio Calabria, it is made known that the precautionary measure applied to Franco D ‘Agapiti is revoked (document 5398/2016 RGNRDDA of the Court of Reggio Calabria, Investigation Judges Section Preliminaries), this authority reaches the conclusion that in the specific case the immediate release of the extraditable Franco D’Agapiti must be ordered and therefore lift the precautionary measure imposed,” the judicial resolution indicates.

Likewise, Judge Ramón prevents the Government of Italy from informing whether it still has an interest in maintaining the extradition proceedings of this citizen and that said communication is made through diplomatic channels.

Franco D’Agapiti, who has lived in Costa Rica since the late 1980s, setting in Jacó, in the canton of Garabito, Puntarenas, and is the owner of the Amapola casino hotel, was arrested on July 22, 2020, by agents of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) after an arrest warrant issued by Interpol was issued.

The police action was developed because D ‘Agapiti, allegedly, is the representative in Costa Rica of the Belloco clan, a subgroup of the’ Ndrangheta, which is a criminal organization in Calabria, Italy, according to an Interpol press release, issued in Lyon, France.

Supposedly, his role in Costa Rica was “to facilitate the shipment of cocaine to Italy, using his network and hotel to provide logistical support to the clan’s visitors.”

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The Italian government immediately presented the extradition request that is still pending in the Quepos Criminal Court.

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