One of Italy’s most wanted criminals, Rocco Morabito, has been extradited to Italy, from Brazil, where he will serve 30 years for international drug trafficking. Morabito was a senior figure in the Ndrangheta criminal organisation, one of the most powerful mafia-style groups in the world.
Italy’s head of the parliament’s anti-mafia commission, Nicola Morra, described Morabito as the “King of Cocaine” who was a “major architect in the internationalisation of the (crime) gangs and became the king of cocaine brokers”.
It is said that Morra was sent to South America to negotiate cocaine trafficking deals with South American groups. The Ndrangheta clan is one of the largest cocaine trafficking groups in the world, and supplies much of the world’s largest cocaine market – Europe.
During his 28 years on the run from the Italian state he spent his time in South America. He initially stayed in Brazil after conducting the deals with regional crime groups before moving to Uruguay.
Morabito stayed relatively undercover for years in Uruguay, living under fake names, before registering his daughter under her real name for school. Authorities then began monitoring him and arrested him in a hotel room in 2017. Morabito was found with 150 passport photos with him in different disguises.
While he was awaiting extradition in 2019, Morbito escaped Uruguayan prison, along with three other inmates through a hole in the roof. Morabito then spent another two years on the run until he was caught again in Brazil in May last year.
Morabito is charged with a number of crimes, one particular case is his role in smuggling 592kg of cocaine from Brazil into Milan where it was then distributed in 1992.