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Kinahan ally Raffaele Imperiale rocks Italian underworld with bid to become State witness

He has promised to tell the Neapolitan Anti-Mafia magistrates everything he knows from over twenty years as part of the Neapolitan Camorra.

Eamon DillonSunday World

A KINAHAN Cartel drugs partner has rocked the Italian underworld with news he has agreed to become a State witness in the war against the Mafia.

Raffaele Imperiale, a high-ranking member of the infamous Camorra was at Daniel Kinahan’s 2017 wedding in Dubai from where he was extradited last year to face charges in Italy.

Yesterday, Italian media reported he had requested to become a ‘pentito’ and co-operate with the justice system in their battle against organised crime.

Imperiale and another accused gangster arrested in Dubai, Bruno Carbone, made the offer to switch sides, it emerged at the Naples Court of Review, according to Stylo24.

He has promised to tell the Neapolitan Anti-Mafia magistrates everything he knows from over twenty years as part of the Neapolitan Camorra.

His decision to ‘repent’ could have huge implications for Christy Kinahan sr and his two sons Daniel and Christopher jr adding to their mounting troubles in keeping ahead of international law enforcement.

Originally from Castellammare di Stabia, Imperiale is reported to have played a huge role in the Camorra, helping one side in a lethal feud to emerge as victors.

Like other members of the Super Cartel he made his international drugs dealing connections while based in The Netherlands.

Daniel Kinahan, head of the Kinahan cartel. Photo: File photo

One Italian news outlet reported that Imperiale had written in his presentation to the judges he was tired of the life on the run and wanted to change his life.

It previously emerged in court papers how Imperiale spent a €7 million as a fugitive in just three months, with half described as "personal expenses" in encrypted messages.

Another half a million went to his ex-wife, while hundreds of thousands of euros were spent on houses and horses, and €200,000 on air travel in just one three-month period.

Seen as the King of Cocaine in Italy his decision is regarded as a fatal blow to the Amato-Pagano clan which came out of the Scampia feud.

Ranked number two on Italy’s most wanted fugitive list, Imperiale was arrested last August as he lounged with his family by a swimming pool at his luxury villa.

Imperiale later tried to claim his extradition from Dubai to Italy was a “kidnapping” and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

His lawyers had filed an appeal to request the cancellation of his detention, issued by the investigation judge.

His decision to co-operate is reported to have been taken last October when he was also arrested in his prison cell as part of a massive anti-mafia operation.

The drug kingpin was just one of 36 arrested after 300 police officers carried out coordinated raids as part of a Europol operation.

Imperiale previously hit the headlines when two paintings, including a Van Gogh stolen in 2002 in Amsterdam were found hidden in a wall in one of his villas in Naples,

The Italian’s arrest is the latest blow to the Kinahans’ attempts to evade justice and comes just a week after news emerged of the arrested another Super Cartel member Edin ‘Tito’ Gacanin.

The dual Dutch-Bosnian citizen was arrested in Dubai at the request of the Dutch authorities who want to put him on trial for his role in the murderous drug-dealing cartel.

Operation Desert Light also targeted the Kinahans’ money-laundering operation in Spain with an alleged key member Ryans James Hale also nabbed in Dubai on behalf of the Spanish.

It leaves the Kinahans as the only senior members still free after they were first identified by the US Drug Enforcement administration in 2017.

The super cartel is suspected of shipping a third of all cocaine into Europe in recent years, worth €30 billion, according to some estimates.

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