Mafia member arrested near Swiss capital

On the run since November 2017, the man had been making and serving pizzas in a Swiss city. Keystone / Cesare Abbate

Police in Biel, Switzerland, have arrested an Italian mafia fugitive. It is the first arrest made as part of the new Interpol Cooperation Against ’Ndrangheta project (I CAN).

This content was published on June 27, 2020 - 12:21

Wanted for almost three years for various crimes committed in Italy, the 41-year-old man was working at a pizzeria in Biel in canton Bern, where he was arrested on Saturday morning.

Italian press agency Ansa reports that the operation was carried out under a European arrest warrant issued by the Palmi public prosecutor’s office.

Before fleeing the country, the man from Gioia Tauro had been sentenced to eight years and seven months of jail time for the manufacture, trafficking and possession of drugs as well as threats and various other crimes committed in three Italian towns between 2007 and 2015.

The man had been living with his wife in Biel and was still in touch with his family. He is now awaiting extradition to Italy. He was identified thanks to improved cooperation through I CAN, a global attack strategy on the ’Ndrangheta. Switzerland’s federal offices of justice and police coordinated the operation with help from Bern’s cantonal police.

Launched on June 24, I CAN strengthens the police cooperation between Italy and ten other countries on four continents. The countries besides Switzerland are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, the United States and Uruguay.

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