Saturday, 20 September 2008

Mario Santafede member of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia detained in the car park of a luxury apartment in the northeastern city of Barcelona

17:48 |

mafia suspect on the list of 100 most wanted fugitives in Italy has been arrested in Barcelona, Italian police said today.Mario Santafede, 55, a member of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia, was picked up in a joint raid carried out by Italian and Spanish police on a flat in a residential area of the city.Santafede, who is the object of an international arrest warrant, was sentenced to 14 years in prison in his absence for criminal association in connection with drug trafficking. He has been on the run since 2004.Spanish police working in cooperation with their Italian counterparts have arrested a suspected leader of Italy's Camorra crime syndicate, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.Members of Spain's elite special operations police moved in to detain Mario Santafede in the car park of a luxury apartment in the northeastern city of Barcelona on Friday evening, the ministry said in a statement.Santafede, 55, is wanted by Italian authorities for suspected cocaine smuggling from Colombia and Ecuador to the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy, the ministry said.
The suspect, who is thought by investigators to have close links with other Naples-based criminals, is also wanted in connection with at least three murders, the ministry said.Santafede, who was in possession of false Italian and British identity papers when arrested, had changed his appearance through exercise, the ministry said.
The suspect was expected to appear before a judge at the National Court in Madrid later Saturday prior to possible extradition to Italy, the ministry said.
Santafede is one several suspected Camorra leaders arrested in or near Barcelona in recent years.Police arrested Patrizio Bosti, who was on Italy's list of 30 most-wanted criminals, while having dinner in Girona last month. Bosti, 49, had been on the run since 2005.In February 2006, Raffaele Petrazzuolo was picked up in Barcelona and deported to Italy on suspicion of criminal activity and complicity with mob leaders.Also in 2006 a man identified only as Carmine R., 38, was detained in the seaside resort of Sitges, just outside Barcelona.

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