21:05 GMT12 June 2021
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    Morabito has been on the run since 1994, when police conducted an operation after he was revealed to be importing cocaine into Milan from South America.

    Italian mafia boss Rocco Morabito, known as "the king of cocaine," was arrested on Monday in Joao Pessoa in northeast Brazil.

    The arrest comes two years after Morabito escaped from a prison in Uruguay, where he was awaiting extradition to Italy.

    Morabito was a leader of Italy's 'Ndrangheta Mafia; he and another fugitive were arrested after a joint investigation by Italy and Brazilian federal police.

    According to the Italian news agency ANSA, Italian and United States authorities were also involved in the mafia captain's arrest.

    "There are records of Rocco Morabito's involvement in [...] drug trafficking between Brazil and Europe since the 1990s," the Brazilian police said.

    Morabito is accused of transporting drugs into Italy and selling them in Milan and attempting to import 592 kg (1,300 pounds) of cocaine from Brazil in 1992, and 630 kg in 1993.

    Morabito, who is wanted in Italy on charges of drug trafficking and had been sentenced to 30 years in prison in Italy in absentia, was last arrested in September 2017 after living under a fake identity for 13 years in Uruguay.

    In January 2019, however, the mob leader and three other inmates managed to escape through a hole in the roof of the prison. The escape at the time prompted the resignation of Uruguay's police chief.

    Tags:
    mafia, Italy, cocaine, Brazil
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