Colombian security forces have arrested the suspected boss of Ndrangheta, Italy ' s Calabrian mafia, near the capital city of Bogota, authorities say.
The Colombian Defense Ministry said in a statement that Roberto Pannunzi, known as Europe's most wanted drugs trafficker, was captured on Friday with the help of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. When arrested, Pannunzi identified himself with a fake Venezuelan identification card bearing the name Silvano Martino, the statement further said. Italian prosecutors accuse Pannunzi of setting up the transatlantic cocaine trade between Colombia and Italy. Pannunzi is suspected of contributing to the imports of up to two tones of cocaine into Europe per month. He was first caught in Colombia in 1994 and extradited to Italy but was freed when his detention order expired. In 2004, he was re-arrested and later convicted, but he fled from a clinic in the Italian capital Rome, where he was being treated as a prisoner. Ndrangheta is considered by Italian authorities as the country's most dangerous and wealthiest crime syndicate, which has overtaken the Sicilian mafia and become one of the world's largest criminal organizations. In April, Colombia arrested another alleged top Italian mafia member, Domenico Trimboli, suspected to be a lynchpin between the Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel and the Ndrangheta, based in the Calabria region in southern Italy.