Extradited drug lord lands in Italy to serve 30-year sentence

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MILAN, July 6 (Reuters) – Rocco Morabito, a fugitive drug lord with ties to the powerful ‘Ndrangheta criminal gang, landed in Italy on Wednesday after being extradited from Brazil to serve a 30-year prison sentence, the interior ministry said.

Morabito was arrested in Brazil in May last year after more than two decades on the run.

The ministry said Morabito, considered one of the top brokers of international drug trafficking, had been included in the list of the most dangerous fugitives under its “special search programme”.

In recent years, Brazil has become a key player in the transatlantic drug trade, with its gangs tying up with Italian, Dutch and Balkan players to move record loads of cocaine to Europe, lured by high prices and growing demand.

The ‘Ndrangheta is based in the southern region of Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, and has surpassed Cosa Nostra to become the most powerful mafia group in the country – and one of the largest crime gangs in the world.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Edmund Blair

Photo: The Italian mobster Rocco Morabito (C) is transferred to the Federal Police hangar in Brasilia, Brazil. EPA-EFE/Joedson Alves

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