The Uruguayan Interior Ministry in a statement confirms that Rocco Morabito described by authorities as a prominent member of the Ndrangheta, or Calabrian Mafia, a convicted drug kingpin in the Italian mafia has been arrested after being on the run for over 20 years.
He’s been wanted since 1994. He was convicted in absentia for drug trafficking and organized-crime activities in Italy, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Italian authorities said that Morabito had been responsible for shipping drugs into Italy and arranging distribution in Milan.
Morabito was arrested on Friday in a hotel in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. Italian police said the arrest followed ‘months of international cooperation and intelligence activity’.
Uruguayan authorities said some months ago Morabito tried to enroll his daughter in a local school using his real name, and his fingerprints were confirmed by Italian authorities. Interpol issued a red notice for Morabito
For the last decade he lived in a comfortable rural villa near the town of Maldonado, adjacent to the resort city of Punta del Este. When he was arrested, Morabito had 13 cell phones, an automatic pistol, 12 credit and debit cards, a large quantity of Uruguayan money and US $50,000 in cash, plus currency certificates worth US $100,000
In a search of Morabito’s home in the town of Maldonado, authorities seized a 2015 Mercedes and a Portuguese passport in his false Brazilian name. His wife an Angolan national with a Portuguese passport was also arrested.