Uruguay: Italian crime boss escapes from Montevideo prison

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Rocco Morabito, the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta leader known as the “cocaine king of Milan,” escaped on Monday from Uruguay’s Central Prison in Montevideo, where he was waiting to be extradited to Italy since being arrested in 2017.

Footage shows the prison building in central Montevideo, as well as the adjacent building that the escapees reportedly broke into while making their getaway.

Morabito and three other prisoners, Leonardo Abel Sinopoli Azcoaga, Matias Sebastian Acosta Gonzalez and Bruno Ezequiel Diaz, who were awaiting extradition to Brazil and Argentina, reportedly accessed the prison’s roof by creating a hole in the ceiling of their cell, before breaking into an adjacent building in order to escape.

While less well known internationally than the Sicilian Mafia or the Neapolitan Camorra, the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate remains a dominant force in southern Italy with some reports indicating that the organisation has an annual revenue of around €50 ($56) billion, representing roughly 3.5 percent of Italian GDP, or a little under the GDP of Uruguay.

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