'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito on the run again after prison break

Italian mafia boss and 'Cocaine

'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito on the run again after prison break

Italian mafia boss and 'Cocaine King' Rocco Morabito is on the run again after fleeing through roof of a Montevideo prison

  • The Italian mafia boss escaped the Uruguayan prison on Sunday June 23 
  • Together with three other inmates he robbed a nearby farmhouse 
  • The top 'Ndrangheta figure was arrested in Uruguay in 2017
Italian Police released this handout photo of Rocco Morabito in September 2017

Italian Police released this handout photo of Rocco Morabito in September 2017

Italian mafia boss Rocco Morabito has escaped through the roof of a prison in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, where he was awaiting extradition to Italy

The nation's interior ministry announced his escape on Monday afternoon - a day after he's believed to made a prison break. 

In a statement, the ministry said Morabito and three other inmates robbed the occupants of a nearby farmhouse after escaping from prison late on Sunday evening. 

The statement said Morabito - a top 'Ndrangheta figure arrested in Uruguay in 2017 after decades on the run - was awaiting extradition for 'international drug trafficking'.   

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini reacted angrily to the 'disconcerting and serious' news.

'I make two commitments, first to shed full light on how he escaped, asking for an immediate explanation from the Montevideo government. Then we will continue the hunt for Morabito, wherever he is.'

 Morabito was one of the most wanted fugitive member of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, Italy's most powerful organised crime group and one of Europe's biggest importers of South American cocaine.

Dubbed the 'cocaine king of Milan,' he had been wanted since 1994 after he was caught paying 13 billion lire ($8 million) to import almost a tonne of the drug, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. 

An international arrest warrant was issued in 1995 with the aim of tracking down Morabito and extraditing him to Italy, where he has been sentenced to 30 years in jail. 

In 2017 he was arrested after living in Uruguay under a false name for 13 years and jailed while Italy's request for extradition was processed.

The Uruguayan interior ministry said, in a statement at the time of his arrest, that he had been living in a luxury villa in Punta del Este, a resort town, with his Uruguayan wife since 2004, having first arrived in the South American nation in 2001.  

Officials said at the time that he had acquired Uruguayan residence after entering the country with a false Brazilian passport in the name of Francisco Capeletto. 

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