ROME – A fugitive Italian mobster, who allegedly arranged major shipments of South American cocaine to Europe each month and was one of the world’s most powerful drug brokers, has been captured in a Colombian shopping mall, authorities said Saturday.
Roberto Pannunzi “at the moment is the most important broker for cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe,” Gen. Andrea De Gennaro, an Italian anti-drug customs police official, was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.
De Gennaro described Pannunzi as being able to “move thousands of kilos of cocaine – out of every 10 shipments, eight passed through” Pannunzi’s hands, De Gennaro said, as Italian law enforcement officials and prosecutors rejoiced over his capture.
Italian news reports said the fugitive, who fled while under arrest in a private Rome clinic in 2010, was captured Thursday. Colombian police said Pannunzi had a false Venezuelan ID when nabbed.