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Locked up Arrest of Kinahan associate Raffaele Imperiale 'turning point' in war on international crime

"He had found refuge among the luxurious skyscrapers of Dubai, where he could meet the Dutch, Bosnian and Irish drug lords over a drink"

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Raffaele Imperiale (L) and Daniel Kinahan (R)

Raffaele Imperiale (L) and Daniel Kinahan (R)

Raffaele Imperiale (L) and Daniel Kinahan (R)

The arrest of Daniel Kinahan associate Raffaele Imperiale and other fugitives is a turning point in the war against international money laundering and terrorism, the head of a new law agency in Dubai has declared. 

Hamid Saif Al Zaabi of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing, said his office will co-ordinate the UAE’s efforts to tackle money laundering and crack down on the “financiers of terror."

As the chief of the Emirate body in the fight against money laundering and terrorism, he said: “We are increasing the level of international cooperation."

He was speaking following the arrest of Imperiale, until the beginning of August, considered the "manager of the Camorra", and “one of the greatest of the European drug traffickers”, as described by local media.

“He had found refuge among the luxurious skyscrapers of Dubai, where he could meet the Dutch, Bosnian and Irish drug lords over a drink,” it was reported.

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Raffaele Imperiale

Raffaele Imperiale

Raffaele Imperiale

"We are committed to acting immediately,” Al Zaabi said, “and we have come to Rome for some institutional meetings at the Ministry of Economy.”

In March, Dubai Financial Services and the Bank of Italy signed an agreement to facilitate cooperation “as the scale and complexity of financial crime have increased."

“But so has the awareness and understanding on the part of the Emirates,” Al Zaabi stated. “We are determined to act now.”

The police in Dubai were praised recently after they arrested Imperiale, the alleged kingpin of the organised crime syndicate known as the Camorra that is involved in drugs and weapons trafficking crimes across international borders.

Interpol’s general secretary, Jurgen Stock, congratulated the “great work” of the Dubai police “in arresting two dangerous fugitives.”

“No matter how much wealth or power fugitives accumulate, or how far they travel, police work does not stop," he said, referring to Imperiale and his right-hand man.

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“Cases like this underline the power of international police cooperation via Interpol’s global network.”

Imperiale is one of number of people involved in international crime who had been guests at Daniel Kinahan’s 2017 wedding.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) documents sent to Dutch police identified Imperiale, Dutch mobster Ridouan Taghi, Bosnian criminal Edin Gačanin, Richard 'El Rico' Vega and Kinahan as the heads of a so-called ‘super drug cartel.’

El Rico is now serving 11 years in prison while Taghi is on trial for gangland activities in the Netherlands.

In relation to Imperiale and Taghi who is suspected of being the instigator of the murder of journalist De Vries in Amsterdam, Hamid Saif Al Zaabi said, “We are moving forward in this direction and I am sure that cooperation will be ever closer, more effective and faster.”

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