One of Italy’s most wanted drug traffickers arrested in Dubai

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One of Italy’s most wanted drug traffickers, 32-year-old Camorra boss Raffaele Mauriello, was arrested in Dubai on August 14, police said.

He faced three arrest warrants for murder, mafia association and drug trafficking, police said.
A fugitive since September 2018, he is wanted for the double murder of Andrea Castello and Antonio Ruggiero at Casandrino near Naples in 2014 and that of Fabio Cafasso at the drugs-ridden Naples district of Scampia in 2011 – all in the so-called “third Scampia vendetta”.

Maurellio has been importing huge quantities of cocaine for the Amato-Pagano clan, police said.
He was reportedly close to the notorious Camorra narco trafficker Raffaele Imperiale, arrested in similar circumstances a few weeks ago, police said.

The extradition process has been initiated, the interior ministry said.
Imperiale, 46, was arrested in Dubai on August 4, sources said Thursday.

He had been on the run since 2016 and reportedly been living a lavish life in the UAE capital.
Imperiale had an older brother who died in 1996 and left him a coffeeshop in Amsterdam from where he began his criminal career.

In his coffeeshop Imperiale sold soft drugs and was reportedly involved in large-scale cocaine trafficking with the Dutch drug trader Rick van de Bunt.
In the 1990s he was introduced by Antonio Orefice, a member of the Neapolitan mafia’s Moccia clan, to Elio Amato, brother of Raffaele Amato, at the time one of the top drug traffickers of the Di Lauro clan.

Imperiale began to earn millions of euros, becoming the pointman of the Di Lauro organization that dealt directly with the drug trafficking cartels in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
According to Italian authorities, Imperiale was living high on the hog in Dubai and spending €400,000 a month to maintain his lavish lifestyle.

In 2016, two Van Gogh paintings stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002 were recovered in a villa in Castellammare di Stabia, his hometown near Naples, owned by him.
DEA documents sent to Dutch police exposed an alleged super drug cartel headed by Imperiale, Ridouan Taghi (former Dutch most wanted criminal, now in jail), Daniel Kinahan (Irish reputed gang boss) and Edin Gačanin (Bosnian drug trafficker).

The group was observed by the DEA having meetings in the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the base of the alleged cartel in 2017.
The DEA regards this as one of the world’s fifty largest drug cartels, with a virtually monopoly on Peruvian cocaine.