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Italian drug trafficker, a fugitive since 2018, captured in Turkey

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Luciano Camporesi, a major international drug trafficker who has been on the run since 2018, was captured in Turkey’s southern Antalya province last week, local media reported on Tuesday, citing a news report by online Italian newspaper Gazzetta del Sud.

According to Turkish media reports, the 47-year-old Camporesi, originally from Rimini, was detained on Nov. 11 in an apartment where he was staying illegally and said to be in possession of false identity documents.

The detention took place after he was identified by the Turkish police based on information provided by the Anti-Mafia Investigation Department of Palermo, the Central Operational Service (SCO) and the Reggio Calabria mobile police unit.

Camporesi had evaded the execution of a preventive detention order issued by the investigative team led by Reggio Calabria District Attorney Giovanni Bombardieri as part of a trial of 70 people, as a result of which he was found guilty of international drug trafficking and sentenced to 22 years, eight months in prison.

The fugitive was accused of being a key member of an international network of drug traffickers operating between South America, Italy and northwest Europe and being in close contact with international drug traffickers Domenico Pelle and Giovanni Gentile, with both of whom he allegedly met in April 2017 to plan a massive shipment of cocaine and hashish to Italy using commercial vessels and a boat that he owns and is officially used for oil exploration.

As part of an investigation jointly carried out by the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the Italian Central Directorate of Anti-Drug Services (DCSA), the Italian police seized over 20 tons of hashish in August 2018 on the Panamanian-flagged Remus, which belonged to Camporesi, and arrested the entire crew of the ship, comprising 11 Montenegrins, the reports further said.

Turkish authorities haven’t yet made a statement on Camporesi, and it’s not known how his extradition will proceed.

The development comes days after Montenegrin mob boss Zeljko Bojanic, implicated in drug trafficking, was detained by Turkish police at his villa in İstanbul’s Sarıyer district on suspicion of killing Serbian national Risto Mijanovic, who went missing in 2020.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in particular Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, of involvement in facilitating money laundering and drug trafficking in the country in late October.

The CHP leader claimed in a seven-minute video released on Twitter that the government was using the “black money” that was coming into Turkey from drug trafficking to close the country’s current account deficit.

Mob boss Sedat Peker had also talked about the alleged involvement of the AKP in international drug trafficking in a video in 2021. Peker, who lives in exile in UAE and makes scandalous revelations about the dirty relations between the Turkish government and mafia and crime groups, claimed that Erkan Yıldırım, son of former vice president Binali Yıldırım, who is currently deputy chairman of the AKP, was part of a major drug trafficking ring involving Venezuela and Turkey.

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