One of the Neapolitan mafia bosses has been arrested in Dubai and is awaiting an extradition request before being taken to Italy. Raffaele Imperiale, 46, was arrested in a joint Interpol and Europol operation after six years on the run from justice, during which time he was placed on the list of most dangerous fugitives from the European country.
According to a statement from the Italian police released on Thursday (19), Imperiale was captured on the 4th by the Emirati authorities. For the agents, the criminal, considered “a leading figure in international drug trafficking and money laundering”, fled to the Middle Eastern country in 2016.
The same year, two paintings by Van Gogh (1853-1890), stolen from the Dutch painter’s museum in Amsterdam 14 years earlier, were found in one of the drug trafficker’s properties in Naples.
The works “Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” and “View of the sea in Scheveningen” have an estimated value of 50 million euros each (316 million BRL), according to the investigators who recovered them.
Imperiale, in addition to being involved in international drug trafficking and money laundering, maintains close ties with the Camorra, an Italian criminal organization allied to the Sicilian Mafia. “An excellent result which once again demonstrates the capacity of our police forces to fight crime,” said Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, 67, of the arrest of the criminal.
The criminal, who belongs to the Amato-Pagana clan, began his career in the 1990s in Amsterdam, initially running a shop selling and consuming marijuana. There he formed alliances with Dutch traffickers, according to the newspaper La Repubblica. Then, for years, he devoted himself to building “an impressive network of traffickers, especially cocaine”.
With information from AFP and Reuters agencies