“Cocaine king of Milan” nabbed in Uruguay

Milan judges request extradition

One of Italy’s most wanted fugitives, on the run since 1995, has been arrested in Uruguay and is awaiting extradition to Italy.

Rocco Morabito, 51, capo of a ‘ndrangheta organised crime family known as the “cocaine king of Milan”, was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in jail for drug trafficking.

Always elegantly dressed, Morabito mingled with Milan’s jet set in the 1990s as a sidekick to his uncle, an important gang leader. He was last seen and photographed by police while surrounded by bodyguards and carrying suitcases full of cash. Surveillance in October 1994 caught him paying the equivalent of $8 million for a shipment of almost a ton of cocaine to Italy. 

He stood apart from the more violent mobsters through his financial acumen and banking expertise, preferring investment to shooting.

Fleeing trial, Morabito (pictured before fleeing, after arrest) is believed to have lived in Brazil before settling with a fake Brazilian identity in the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este. He was given away when he enrolled his 13-year-old daughter in school under his and her own real surname.

His lawyer is contesting the extradition on the grounds that the bilateral treaty with Italy does not cover sentences handed down in absentia.