| 16.1°C Dublin

court revelations Kinahan associate Raffaele Imperiale involved in horror Ferrari crash that killed one man

'He did not show disappointment that the prestigious cars had been destroyed, as he had a lot of money'

Close

Daniel Kinahan mafia associate Raffaele Imperiale (inset)

Daniel Kinahan mafia associate Raffaele Imperiale (inset)

Daniel Kinahan mafia associate Raffaele Imperiale (inset)

Daniel Kinahan’s Italian mafia associate Raffaele Imperiale was the “protagonist” of a serious road accident while driving a Ferrari in which one man died, Italian investigators have claimed. 

The claim was made in new documents filed by Italian prosecutors as part of their case against drug trafficker Imperiale.

The 46-year-old boss of the Naples-based Camorra organisation is currently facing extradition to Italy from Dubai where he was arrested in August.

According to prosecutors, one of Imperiale's associates, who was behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, was also involved in the fatal crash in Spain.

But according to one informer who is co-operating with Italian authorities, Imperiale abandoned his car Ferrari following the crash - despite the fact it was worth a six-figure sum.

"He did not show disappointment that the prestigious cars had been destroyed, as he had a lot of money,” the informer has claimed.

The details are included in statements given to Italy’s Direzione Investigativa Antimafia ('Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate'), also known as DIA, from numerous “collaborators of justice”.

These include Carmine Cerrato, the former right-hand man of Imperiale’s fellow mafia boss Lelluccio Amato.

Imperiale had been wanted by Italian authorities since 2016 to serve an eight year sentence for drug trafficking before his arrest in Dubai.

The Mafia Don was secretly arrested in his luxury Dubai villa while he was in the pool with his wife and four children.

Imperiale is a known associate of Daniel Kinahan and was a guest at his 2017 wedding in Dubai.

The Naples review court has now ordered that Imperiale must remain in prison in Dubai after rejecting a request by his lawyers that he freed pending his extradition.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

The court made the decision after hearing Imperiale is not a "simple drug supplier" but "one of the pillars on which the whole Camorra organization of the Di Lauro clan splinters rests".

Prosecutors also claim Imperiale has ties with the leaders of Holland's notorious 'Mocro Maffia', lead by Ridouan Taghi.

Imperiale is believed to be one of the leaders of a 'super-cartel' which controls a major portion of Europe's lucrative cocaine trade.

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

According to the DEA, Imperiale, Taghi and Edin Gačanin also attended Kinahan’s wedding at the plush Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in 2017.

The DEA documents described the ‘super drugs cartel’ as one of the world’s fifty largest drug cartels, with a virtual monopoly of the Peruvian cocaine trade.

The documents said the ‘super drugs cartel’ controlled around a third of the cocaine trade into Europe – with the main point of access through Dutch ports.

Born in Italy, Imperiale’s criminal career began in earnest in 1996 when an older brother who died bequeathed him the Rockland coffee shop in Amsterdam.

From here Imperiale is alleged to have embarked on his criminal career by selling ‘soft’ drugs before expanding into cocaine trafficking with Dutch drug trader Rick van de Bunt.

Imperiale was later introduced by Antonio Orefice, a member of the Moccia clan, to Elio Amato, brother of Raffaele Amato, who was at that time one of the top drug traffickers of the Di Lauro clan.

During those years Imperiale earned millions of euros, becoming the point of contact for the Di Lauro’s organization in dealing with drug trafficking cartels in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Imperiale is also known to be a fanatical collector of art works.

In 2016, two Van Gogh paintings, stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002, were recovered in a villa in Castellammare di Stabia, owned by him.

According to authorities, Imperiale was spending a fortune maintaining a lavish lifestyle in Dubai.

In March of this year further evidence emerged of the links between the Kinahan cartel and Imperiale at the trial of Richard ‘El Rico’ Riquelme in Amsterdam.

Judges heard briefly from the prosecution how Kinahan, was a “regular contact” of Riquelme’s and was in a video on a phone seized from him following his arrest and extradition to Holland from Chile in 2017.

In June, Riquelme was sentenced to 11 years in prison after being found guilty of operating an assassination ring and laundering drug money.

His trial heard he had exchanged phone messages organising gangland murders with jailed drug boss Taghi.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy