Story By: Pol F, Sub-Editor: Joe Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment that a notorious Italian mafia leader is detained in Barcelona.
The detained man, identified as Vittorio Raso, is a high ranking member of the notorious criminal organization ´Ndrangheta, an Italian Mafia crime syndicate and criminal empire based in the southern Italian region of Calabria, dating back to the 19th century.
According to a Spanish police report, authorities have been investigating Raso for two years after intel that the criminal had escaped Italy to hide in Spain.
A European arrest warrant was issued by Italian authorities for the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, extortion and drug trafficking.
This investigation began in October 2018 when police learned that the wanted criminal was hiding out in Southern Spain, after which he fled to Barcelona.
Last July, the Spanish and Italian police found evidence that the fugitive had plans to leave by boat from Barcelona to Brazil and decided to intensify their efforts.
They also reportedly found out that Raso was expecting a truck to bring him false documentation and a large amount of cash.
Surveillance was activated in different neighbourhoods of the city and authorities were able to establish a meeting point and two addresses linked to the fugitive.
The police officers confirmed that Raso was being looked after by ´Ndrangheta even from afar, as he had been a prominent figure within the organisation.
The gang member was finally caught and detained in the city of Barcelona, in the eastern Spanish community of Catalonia at the beginning of October.
According to the police report, the quick location of the fugitive was thanks to the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST) and the rapid communication between the Italian authorities and the Spanish police officers participating in the investigation.
In the footage, Raso can be seen taken into the police station in handcuffs by two officers.
At the time of his arrest, he was carrying a false Italian identity card and will also be charged for document falsification.
The reasons for his arrest warrant date back to 2016, when the detainee was charged with extorting people who had borrowed money from the organisation through threats and violence to pay an ‘interest’ of 10% per month.
The investigation to find more members of the organisation in Italy as well as the Spanish territory is still ongoing according to the report.
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