An Italian mafia capo alleged to be the biggest cocaine trafficker in the world will be deported to Italy on Saturday, a day after being arrested in a Colombian shopping mall, prosecutors said.
Roberto Pannunzi was detained in Bogota with a fake Venezuelan identity card in a joint operation by Colombian police together with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“He is the biggest cocaine importer in the world,” said Nicola Gratteri, deputy chief prosecutor in Reggio Calabria in southern Italy.
“He is the only one who can organise purchases and sales of cocaine shipments of 3,000 kilos (6,600 pounds) and up,” he said.
“Pannunzi is the only one who can sell both to the ‘Ndrangheta and to Cosa Nostra. He is definitely the most powerful drug broker in the world,” he said.
The ‘Ndrangheta is based in Calabria and is a major player in international drug trafficking. The Sicilian mafia is known as Cosa Nostra.
Gratteri said Pannunzi was being deported since “an extradition order would have taken several months”.
He is expected to land at Rome’s Fiumicino airport later on Saturday.