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Mafia boss captured in Brazil will be extradited to Italy: Uruguay

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Italian drug lord Rocco Morabito is escorted by federal police, in the hangar of the Federal Police in Brasilia, Brazil, May 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Italian mob boss Rocco Morabito, who was arrested this week in northeast Brazil, will be extradited to Italy, said prosecutors Tuesday in Uruguay, where the Mafia capo, or captain, had escaped from prison in 2019.

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“Rocco Morabito is going to be extradited to Italy,” Uruguayan prosecutor Jorge Diaz told a press conference, where he set out the legal grounds for the decision.

Diaz said that Uruguay’s plan had originally been that if arrested in Brazil, Morabito would be expelled by the Brazilian authorities to Uruguay. From there, he would have been extradited from Uruguay to Italy, since the extradition process was already before the Supreme Court and was expected to be quick.

“But the minute there’s a new international arrest warrant from Italy, which was approved by the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil, the Brazilian federal police can no longer order the expulsion and the extradition must be carried out,” he explained.

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Therefore, “Uruguay is not going to request an extradition in order not to obstruct the extradition process to Italy, which is where he has committed the most serious crimes,” he said.

Morabito, 54, considered a “capo” or captain of the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia group, was captured in the city of Joao Pessoa along with another Italian “outlaw” as a result of a joint investigation with Italy, Brazil’s federal police said in a statement.

Morabito is wanted in Italy on charges of drug trafficking. He had lived under a fake identity in Uruguay for 13 years before his arrest in a Montevideo hotel in 2017.

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