Reggio Calabria

'Ndrangheta trafficker fixed 2-3,000 kg cocaine shipments

Fixed 2,000-3,000-kilo cocaine shipments

'Ndrangheta trafficker fixed 2-3,000 kg cocaine shipments

(Updates previous) Reggio Calabria, April 26 - Suspected Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia drug-trafficker, Domenico Trimboli, caught on Friday in Medellin, Colombia after three years on the run, arranged cocaine shipments of two to three thousand kilos at a time to Italy and Europe, Italian investigators believe. ''Domenico Trimboli is without a doubt one of the best-known brokers dedicated to cocaine trafficking to Europe,'' anti-mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri told a press conference in the police headquarters of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria on Friday. Anti-mafia investigators say Trimboli enjoyed great prestige among Colombian criminals for never skipping a payment to the local cartels who produced and supplied narcotics. Trimboli was picked up in Laureles quarter of Medellin, where he has lived for at least a decade with a Colombian woman with whom he fathered two children. ''He moved around as if he was at home,'' Gatteri said. ''We got to him thanks to the decisive contribution of the Colombian police and the (US Drug Enforcement Agency)...but due to the lack of specific bilateral accords with (Colombia) on extradition, we'll have to wait about a year before having him in Italy,'' Gratteri continued. When he is extradited, the Italian authorities said, he faces a 12-year sentence for drug crimes in Italy and abroad. 'Ndrangheta is Italy's richest mafia because of its control of the European cocaine trade. It has spread from its base in Calabria to invest its drug money in the rich northern Italian economy and has big offshoots in northern Europe, Canada and Australia. During operations leading to the capture of Trimboli, one o his an alleged associates, Luigi Barbara, was arrested in Miami. Barbara, from the town of Gerace in Calabria, is accused of trying to ferry 700 kilos of cocaine into the US on a sailboat. ''They stopped him as soon as he entered US territorial waters,'' said Gatteri. ''When I had a chance to see him to interrogate him in prison, he recognized me as a childhood playmate from Gerace. Destiny, or life choices, took us on different, now conflicting, paths''.

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