Guyana linked to Italian Mafia-like cocaine syndicate

Guyana linked to Italian Mafia-like cocaine syndicate

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:50 – Caribbean News Desk (CND)

Mafia drug bust 
Reggio Calabria head of Police Guido Longo, left, gives the thumbs up next to FBI special agent Leo Taddeo following a joint Italian-U.S. authorities’ press conference in Rome about an anti-Mafia blitz that led to the arrest of 24 suspects on Feb. 11, 2014
In New York, the FBI arrested 7 people, including high-ranking members of the Gambino family. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Italian cops detained 17 suspects in various cities across the south of Italy. The suspects were all part of a complex operation to smuggle cocaine and heroin across the globe. The arrests were the culmination of an operation dubbed “New Bridge,” according to authorities.The ‘Ndrangheta’s efforts to gain a foothold in New York have been dealt a lasting blow,” said Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a press release. “The ‘Ndrangheta is an exceptionally dangerous, sophisticated and insidious criminal organization, with tentacles stretching from Italy to countries around the world.”These arrests linked the Mafia families in New York with the ‘Ndragheta, an organized crime syndicate originating from the Italian southern region of Calabria that is considered one of the most powerful in the world.The main goal of this conspiracy was to facilitate drug shipments from Guyana to Italy. Franco Lupoi, one of the arrested in New York, allegedly planned to transport 500 kilograms of cocaine in shipments of frozen fish and pineapple, according to the prosecutors.Previously, a shipment from Guyana en route to Italy was seized in Malaysia, containing $7 million dollars’ worth of cocaine, hidden in cans labelled to contain pineapples and coconut milk.The seven arrested in New York are: Franco Lupoi, 44; Dominic Ali, 55; Charles Centaro (a.k.a. “Charlie Pepsi”), 50; Alexander Chan, 46; Christos Fasarakis, 42; Raffaele Valente (a.k.a. “Lello”), 42; and Jose Alfredo Garcia (a.k.a. “Freddy”), 47. They are facing various drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms charges. Lupoi, Chan, and Garcia each face a maximum sentence of life in prison; Ali, Centaro, and Fasarakis face 20 years, while Valente faces 10 years.

Here is the Kaieteur News Reports:

Guyana linked to major coke-smuggling Mafia ring

FEBRUARY 12, 2014 | BY  | – Two dozen suspects arrested

Guyana asking US for info on local connections to Italy-New York drug mafia  

Also read:  

Guyanese captain of cement vessel on drug charges in Barbados

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