Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Mafia fugitive’s cooking videos land him in the soup

Italian police caught up with him in the Caribbean after he posted a cooking video on YouTube which displayed his tattoos.

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A fugitive Italian gangster’s urge to show off his cooking skills has landed him in jail after seven years on the run.

Italian police tracked down Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, through cooking videos he uploaded to YouTube.

In the videos, he carefully hid his face, but forgot to cover his arm and hand tattoos as he sliced and diced.

The alleged member of the ‘Ndrangheta crime gang was arrested in the Caribbean last Wednesday and has now been extradited back to Italy.

Biart had reportedly been leading a quiet life in the town of Boca Chica, in the Dominican Republic, police said in a statement.

He had been on the run since 2014, when he was wanted by police for allegedly trafficking cocaine into the Netherlands on behalf of the Cacciola clan of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia.

The ‘Ndrangheta is considered one of the world’s most powerful organised crime groups because it controls most of the cocaine entering Europe. It is based in Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy’s “boot”.

The alleged clan boss, Luigi Mancuso, 66, is known as “The Uncle”. Other members go by nicknames such as “The Wolf”, “Fatty” and “Blondie”.

They are all now facing justice in the biggest mafia trial Italy has seen in decades. There are 355 alleged mobsters and corrupt officials who have been charged after a long investigation into the ‘Ndrangheta group.

During a pre-trial hearing it took more than three hours to read the names of the defendants, Reuters news agency reported at the time. The charge sheet includes murder, drug trafficking, extortion, and money laundering.

More than 900 witnesses are expected to give evidence at the trial, which opened in January and will last two years.

A high security 3,000 square metre courtroom, with cages for defendants, has been built for the occasion in Calabria.

‘Ndrangheta is said to be the world’s richest criminal organisation due to its international drug trade.

The investigation targeted the Mancuso family, which forms a powerful section of the sprawling mafia. The son of one of the mob bosses is set to testify for the prosecution.

“I think it’s the first time that the son of a boss has decided to turn against his father in ‘Ndrangheta and he’s the pivotal testimony for this trial,” said University of Oxford professor Federico Varese.

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