One of Italy’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Uruguay after 23 years on the run from convictions for mafia association and drug trafficking.
Rocco Morabito of the ‘Ndrangheta organised crime gang was detained in the resort of Punta del Este.
Uruguayan police said he had been living there for more than 10 years under a false identity.
He was nicknamed “cocaine king of Milan” for his involvement in shipping the drug from South America to Italy.
The ‘Ndrangheta controls much of the world’s cocaine trade and police say Morabito was behind the smuggling of hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Brazil to Italy.
South American hideaway
Morabito is believed to have arrived in Uruguay in 2002.
Police arrested Morabito in a hotel in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. But officials said he had settled in the resort of Punta del Este with false Brazilian identity papers in the name of Francisco Capeletto.
Read Full – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41146886
By Amanda Chicago Lewis
RICO laws were written to combat organized crime kingpins – but now they’re being used against state-legal marijuana businesses
Most people have strong feelings about marijuana’s distinctive dank odor. Suspicious landlords sniff for it. High-school hot-boxers roll down all the windows of their cars and drive around for hours trying to get rid of it. Mainstream candle and soap companies seek to recreate it for high-end, non-psychoactive mood settings. And now, it’s quietly becoming clear that the powerful smell of legal cannabis could become its ultimate undoing – the thing that causes the entire legalization experiment to disappear in a poof of smoke.
Earlier this summer, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado decided that the “noxious odors” from a pot farm could be lowering nearby property values and creating a nuisance. The decision came out of a civil suit by the farm’s neighbors under federal racketeering law, and could set a landmark precedent. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and this decision makes clear that private citizens can now circumvent state law and do what Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants but has yet to do: challenge the legitimacy of states and businesses participating in legalization. Next year, the suit will go back to district court, and unless other appeals courts issue contradictory rulings and the Supreme Court decides to take up the case, the 10th Circuit decision will stand – providing a road map for people who hate marijuana to initiate the collapse of legal weed in America.
Everything about this case is important, from its far-reaching implications to the mysterious, well-funded organization behind it. But before we get into the details, the key thing to realize here is this neighborly dispute is a microcosm for what’s wrong with America’s tangled marijuana policy: The commercialization of cannabis has had real consequences for people and places that want no involvement with the drug. Attempting, as we have, to cordon off the states and businesses and entrepreneurs and government agencies that interact with pot is delusional.
Legal weed cannot be neatly contained. Markets and odors don’t work that way. Neighbors know this. Interstate pot traffickers know this. Attorney General Jeff Sessions knows this. The question is: when will we change federal law to reflect reality?
Full Read – http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-anti-mafia-laws-could-bring-down-legal-pot-w499585
Mafia members in Sicily are teaming up with a Nigerian gang that uses machetes on its enemies and only accepts degree-qualified members, to run sex rings on the Italian island.
Police sources told The Times that members of the Vikings—a gang that sprung out of Nigerian universities in the 1980s and demands that members have no criminal record—have collaborated with the local Cosa Nostra, or the Sicilian Mafia in Ballaro, a town in Sicily, and were threatening to expand into the capital Palermo.
The groups have worked together on vice rings involving Nigerian women who have been trafficked to Italy as sex workers. Nigerian women began traveling to Italy in the 1980s to work as fruit pickers but soon turned to sex work, and an estimated 30,000 have since been trafficked from the West African country to work as prostitutes in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, The Guardian reported.
Read Full – http://www.newsweek.com/mafia-nigeria-migration-sex-work-trafficking-629627
Sicilian authorities have refused to pay Italy’s “baby bonus” to the youngest daughter of jailed Mafia boss Toto Riina, 36-year-old Lucia.
A painter, Lucia lives in Corleone and gave birth earlier this month.
Salvatore “Toto” Riina, former boss of the notorious Cosa Nostra, was jailed in 1993 and now has terminal cancer.
Italy’s top court ruled this month that he had a right to “die with dignity” under house arrest but there were protests and he may not be let out.
A parole board will have to decide in the northern city of Bologna, where 86-year-old Riina is in jail for his role in dozens of Cosa Nostra murders.
Two anti-Mafia judges – Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino – were killed in 1992, in Riina’s “war against the state”.
Read Full – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40326094
For decades, mafia movies and television shows, from The Godfather to The Sopranos, have extensively detailed not only rampant sin but also devout Catholicism. For real-life Tony Sopranos, though, that connection could soon be a thing of the past, leaving them with a straight choice between organized crime and organized religion.
Pope Francis’ campaign against corruption took a step forward Saturday when the Vatican released a statement announcing its intention to set up a legal doctrine targeting those guilty of corruption and mafia association. The statement came following the Vatican’s hosting of the first ever “International Debate on Corruption,” featuring around 50 people, including anti-mafia magistrates, victims and officials from the United Nations and multiple countries.
“We conceived of this meeting to face a phenomenon that leads to the trampling of the dignity of people,” Cardinal Peter Turkson said. “Therefore it is up to us, and this Dicastery, to be able to protect and promote respect for the dignity of the person. And for this reason we seek to attract attention to this matter.”
On the same day as the conference, Turkson’s book on corruption called Corrosion was published. The foreword was written by the Pope, who in 2014 in a mass in Calabria told mobsters they were excommunicated.
“We must all work together, Christians, non-Christians, people of all faiths and non-believers, to combat this form of blasphemy, this cancer that weighs our lives,” Francis wrote in the foreword.
Read Full – http://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-mafia-corruption-soprano-626976