Most-wanted Italian drug trafficker caught in Syria

Bruno Carbone was arrested in Rome after he was sentenced in his absence to 20 years in prison

A crossing point between areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and pro-government forces in north-east Syria. AFP
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One of Europe’s most-wanted drug traffickers has been captured in Syria and sent back to Italy, leading to his arrest in Rome on Tuesday, according to security officials.

Bruno Carbone, 45, known to be one of the main drug suppliers to Naples’ Camorra mafia, was sentenced in his absence to 20 years in prison for international drug trafficking.

He was arrested at Rome’s Ciampino airport on Tuesday morning immediately after getting off of the plane, Naples police said.

He had been detained by Syrian militant group the Hayat Tahrir Al Sham while “passing through liberated areas” in March.

Mohammad Sankari, a Hayat Tahrir Al Sham official, said that Carbone aimed to “reach areas of the country that are under the control” of President Bashar Al Assad.

Carboni was “handed over to his country according to the rules in force”, Mr Sankari, said on the Telegram channel.

After fleeing Italy following his prison sentence Carbone moved to Europe and then to Turkey before relocating to regime-held areas in Syria.

Syria for Carbone was “considered the best haven from the law,” HTS security service spokesman Dhia Al Umar said, according to Site, an intelligence group that monitors terrorist websites.

He passed himself off as a Mexican who fled his country for selling fake luxury watches, Site said, quoting Mr Al Umar.

The region is known to be a major source, transit point and consumer of illicit drugs.

The production, trafficking and consumption of drugs, especially Captagon, in the region have all soared in the past decade, with the small, off-white pills rising to become the region’s most popular drug.

The synthetic amphetamine has long been associated with fighters on all sides in the Syrian civil war.

Updated: November 16, 2022, 8:24 AM