One of Italy’s Top Narcotics Traffickers Arrested in São Paulo State, Brazil

July 08: After five years on the run, one of Italy’s top cocaine traffickers has been arrested in São Paulo along with his son.

Nicola Assisi, 61, a member of the Calabrian organised crime group ’Ndrangheta was arrested on Monday by Brazilian federal police, with his son Patrick, 36, who is also accused of drug trafficking.

They were detained at a luxury seaside apartment in São Paulo state and are being held in an undisclosed location awaiting extradition to Italy, the federal police said in a statement.

A search of his properties uncovered two guns, 1kg of cocaine and millions of euros in cash. Authorities have not being able yet to count the money, but said that the stack of bills weighed over 20kg.

Assisi has another son, Pasquale, 30, who was arrested by Italian authorities in 2017 after prosecutors charged him with international drug trafficking.

Nicola Assisi had already been sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2007. In 2014, he was again arrested in Portugal but managed to leave the country before being extradited to Italy.

The arrests come two weeks after another ’Ndrangheta boss escaped from a prison in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, through a hole in the roof of a prison where he was awaiting extradition to Italy.

Rocco Morabito, 53, who had been on the run for 23 years, was arrested in September 2017 at a luxury hotel in Montevideo, along with his wife, reportedly an Angolan national.

Morabito had spent nearly two and a half years in jail awaiting the formal extradition request by Italy. He had tried in various ways to evade extradition to Italy and had often insulted the judge at a recent hearing to try to get the proceedings suspended, Ansa reported.

A study by the Demoskopika research institute in 2013 claimed the ’Ndrangheta made more money than Deutsche Bank and McDonald’s put together, with a turnover of €53bn (£44bn).

Source: The Guardian

Narcotics trafficking has been a constant problem at the port of Santos in São Paulo state.

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