The 35-year-old fugitive from ‘Ndrangheta Giuseppe Romeo returned from Spain yesterday, escorted by staff from the International Police Cooperation Service (SCIP) of the Central Directorate of the Criminal Police of the Department of Public Security. The dangerous criminal of San Luca (Rc) was arrested in Barcelona on 11 March last, on the basis of a European arrest warrant, by the Operational Team of the Spanish Civil Guard, as part of a police operation made possible by the cooperation provided by the Mobile Squad of the Reggio Calabria Police Headquarters and by the Central Operational Service of the Central Anti-Crime Directorate of the State Police, under the guidance of the Reggio Calabria Anti-Mafia District Directorate, directed by the Attorney Giovanni Bombardieri. The capture and return to Italy of the fugitive represents an important result of the I-Can (Interpol Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta) project against the’ Ndrangheta, promoted by Italy together with Interpol, which involves the State Police, Arma dei Carabinieri, Guardia di Finance and police forces of 10 other countries around the world (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA). Romeo, known by the nicknames “u pacciu”, “maluferru” or “u nanu”, son of Antonio called “centocapelli”, had the role of promoter, organizer and financier of cocaine trafficking in Europe and, having established his home in Germany, shuttled between Calabria, Lombardy and north-western Europe to make agreements with suppliers and with some intermediaries in Belgium, Holland and Germany. Affected by two precautionary custody orders in prison, Romeo is the recipient of a preventive seizure decree as part of the “European ‘Ndrangheta Connection” investigation and in November 2020 he was sentenced by the Reggio Calabria gup to 20 years of imprisonment for the participation, with an important role, in a criminal association aimed at international drug trafficking, possession of drugs, fraudulent transfer of values and self-laundering. He was also convicted in the first instance for having fictitiously registered his shares in the “Cafè La Piazza” bar-ice cream parlor in Bruggen in Germany, seized during the same “European ‘Ndrangheta Connection” operation, to other subjects accused in the same investigation , and for self-laundering and reuse of illicit proceeds in the aforementioned German business. Romeo’s return to Italy is the result of an intense collaboration between the Italian and Spanish police forces, favored by the international cooperation activity of the I Can Project. The investigators of the Reggio Calabria and SCO Mobile Squad, coordinated by the Deputy Prosecutor Giuseppe Lombardo and the Deputy Prosecutors Simona Ferraiuolo and Alessandro Moffa, provided the Spanish colleagues with important information on his presence in the Iberian Peninsula, after he had managed to escape the execution of the aforementioned international operation “European ‘Ndrangheta Connection” carried out on December 5, 2018 by an Investigation Team composed of several Italian Police Forces – State Police and Financial Police and European (German Bka, Dutch Fiod and Belgian Police), with the coordination of the District Anti-Mafia Directorate of the Reggio Calabria Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Duisburg Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Dutch Judicial Authority, Eurojust and Europol.
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