Local April 30, 2014 | 11:13 am

Italian mobster nabbed in Dominican Republic sought new drug route: El Pais

Santo Domingo.- Italian mobster Nicola Pignatelli, one of hiscountry’s 100 most wanted and leader of Calabria’s “Ndrangheta" underworldcame to the Dominican Republic to open a new drug trafficking route, Spanishnewspaper El Pais reports Wednesday.

Italy police wanted Pignatelli, arrested Sundayat a bar in the resort town Juan Dolio, on drug trafficking charges since 2011.

The Spanish daily at the time of his arrest,"Pignatelli wore white shirt, blue shorts, sunglasses and sandals, and hadgained weight and lost hair since the last time he was photographed in Italy. Hewas identified by Italian police officers," and didn’t resist arrest.

He was sentenced in Italy to 13 years in prisonfor crimes as head of the clan Mazzaferro Ursino Aquino, an offshoot of theCalabrian Mafia, linked to international drug trafficking, gun-running andextortion.

Interpol agents captured Pignatelli after a jointinvestigation by Reggio Calabria and Dominican police that lasted over a month.He’s being held in a Santo Domingo police precinct awaiting deportation.

"Investigators say Pignatelli was located inDominican Republic with the intention of opening a new route for trafficking ofcocaine from Central and South America to Europe. Investigators determined thatthe fugitive maintains contact with Roberto Pannunzi, one of the the world’s majordrug traffickers, arrested in Bogotá, Colombia (July 2013), " said theDominican Interpol Office in a statement.

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