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 Monday.
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.
July 19 2010
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.