Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
BANGKOK

Thailand to extradite Mafia money-launderer to Italy

English
© ANSA

Bangkok, December 20 - A court in Bangkok Thursday
ordered the extradition to Italy of Vito Roberto Palazzolo, an
Italian financier convicted of being a money-launderer for the
Mafia, the Italian Embassy told ANSA.
The court ordered the extradition of the financier, who was
arrested on March 31 at Bangkok's airport as he was preparing to
leave the country, after nine months of diplomatic negotiations.
Palazzolo, 65, was convicted in 2006 to nine years in
prison for mafia association after laundering money for infamous
mobsters including former Cosa Nostra chiefs Salvatore 'Toto'
Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who are in now prison.
The conviction followed the so-called Pizza Connection
investigation, which exposed a heroin and cocaine smuggling
operation worth around 1.5 billion euros that used New York
pizzerias as fronts from 1975 to 1984.
Palazzolo's lawyer, Baldassare Lauria, on Thursday said his
client would probably not appeal against the decision and was
likely to return Italy ''voluntarily''.
He has 30 days to make an appeal.
Referring to a period in which Palazzolo lived and worked
in Switzerland, Lauria said: ''It's clear that he could shed
light on many mysteries and on his relationship with
institutions and members of various Italian organizations''.
Since he left Italy, the mafia financier had also lived in
South Africa, where he set up a financial business and acquired
citizenship.
The Italian authorities had issued an international arrest
warrant for Palazzolo, who was not arrested because of the
Italian warrant but because he violated Thai immigration laws.
The Italian government filed its extradition request with
Thai authorities on April 20.

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