Mafia Importer Of Cocaine From Peru, Colombia Busted
By Dialogo July 21, 2010
Italian police busted a Sicilian Mafia drug ring operating in Peru and Colombia, making 13 arrests and seizing 20 kilogrammes (44 pounds) of high-quality cocaine overnight, a statement said.
Among those arrested was the suspected kingpin, Paolo Messina, accused of operating in rare collaboration with the Naples-area crime syndicate the Camorra, the statement said.
Camorra clan leader Tommaso Iacomino, a fugitive in South America, allegedly negotiated with the head of Peruvian and Colombian drug cartels over the prices to be paid by Messina and his cohorts for the cocaine.
Italy is seeking the extradition of Iacomino, who has also allegedly sent large quantities of very pure cocaine to Sicily and northern Italy on his own account.
Police wiretaps determined that the drugs transited Spain, The Netherlands and other European countries through front import-export companies before reaching Italy.
Italy is among the top five European consumers of cocaine, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, which reported a surge of 15 percent among young adults aged 15 to 34 in its annual report last year.