14 Oct, 2020 @ 10:00
1 min read

Two year hunt for one of Europe’s most wanted drug kingpins ends in Barcelona as police swoop in to make major arrest

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Vittorio Raso is detained by police in Barcelona

A notorious cocaine-trafficking mafia boss has been caught by police in Barcelona, in Spain’s second major gang boss capture in just over a month.

One of the world’s most wanted men, Vittorio Raso, 41, known as Esaurito or Mr Big,  was arrested last week by Spanish police in an operation carried out after two years of intelligence work. 

The end-game began when officers swooped into the neighborhood of Diagonal Mar to arrest Raso as he was preparing to flee on a ship bound for Brazil.

Raso is accused of being the head of one of Europe’s biggest drug and gun-running gang, the ‘Ndrangheta mafia.

Originally from the southern Calabria region, the ‘Ndrangheta mafia controls much of Europe’s cocaine trade.

At the same time, the Turin Mobile Brigade in Italy detained Raso collaborators and seized with weapons, €360,000 euros in cash and 13 kilos of various drugs. 

The arrest of Raso marks a coup for the authorities, who long suspected the mafia kingpin had been hiding out in Malaga. 

His capture comes after the leader of the Castaña drugs cartel, Antonio Tejón was detained in September. 

Antonio and brother Francisco ‘Isco’ are alleged to be the masterminds behind the Castaña gang who have made more than €60 million trafficking cannabis from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar to southern Spain.

Kirsty Mckenzie

Kirsty is a journalist who has reported on news, entertainment, food and drink, travel and features since 2015. She lives in the south of Spain.
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