Police seize huge weapons arsenal from villa owned by Kinahan ally Raffaele Imperiale

The huge haul included three Kalashnikov rifles, a grenade, and 5,067 rounds of ammunition of various calibres.

Raffaele Imperiale

Níall FeiritearSunday World

Super-cartel boss and Kinahan associate, Raffaele Imperiale, had a massive stash of secret weaponry seized from his house in Naples, Italian police have announced.

The Naples prosecutor's office declared on Thursday that police found more than 80 weapons hidden beneath the garage of Imperiale's pad.

The huge haul included three Kalashnikov rifles, a grenade, and 5,067 rounds of ammunition of various calibres.

Also included in the arsenal were bulletproof vests with inscriptions such as “Polizia” and “Guardia die Finanza,” who are the Italian financial police.

Gangs around the world often impersonate authorities whilst carrying out nefarious activities.

Imperiale is believed to be a key figure in international drug trafficking and is thought to have a close relationship with the Camorra mafia centred around Naples.

The Camorra is one of the oldest criminal organizations in the world, dating back to the seventeenth century.

Raffaele Imperiale

Imperiale is currently in an Italian prison after being extradited from Dubai and it’s been reported he has signed a deal with the authorities to “sing like a canary.”

Imperiale is regarded as a key figure in Europe’s super-cartel – a drug trafficking organisation responsible for a large portion of the continent’s drugs trade.

The flash 48-year-old Italian attended Daniel Kinahan’s wedding in 2017 at the luxury Burj al Arab in Dubai, a five-star hotel where nuptials cost on average €28,000 - €75,000, with rooms ranging in price from roughly €1,000 - €23,000 for the most expensive suite.

Imperiale was known as a playboy when he lived in Dubai, prior to his arrest in August 2021.

He was said to order 30 bottles of Cristal at a time in the Four Seasons’ Provocateur club, while surrounded by bodyguards.

Details emerged of how the ‘tall and elegant’ Imperiale wore “tailored suits, made to measure from Naples”, and enjoyed the glamorous lifestyle in the desert kingdom.

His motto “no Graff, no love" ("without Graff there is no love") referred to the fact he was the best customer of the Graff shop, home to the most fabulous jewels in the world, in the Dubai Mall.

Italian paper La Repubblica reported that the gangster was known “for having many girls fall in love” and that his “friends were part of an international jet set, many of them very powerful.”

“But then he loved quiet and simple things and went with his children to eat hamburgers and chips.

“There was no place in Dubai that was inaccessible to Imperiale: everywhere there was always a table ready for him and his friends…hotels, clubs, restaurants, parties…the waiters rejoiced when he arrived, because they would earn the best tip of the season,” the Italian paper said.

Daniel Kinahan is believed to be a member of the 'super cartel'

The drug lord had been hiding out in the desert after fleeing Italian cops who wanted to serve him an 8-year sentence for drug trafficking.

For years, Imperiale ran drug lines between the Netherlands and Italy, distributing shipments of 100 to 150 kilos at a time.

According to Italian officials, he did business with the eldest son of Ridouan Taghi, another alleged member of the super-cartel who is awaiting trial in the Netherlands.

Taghi, a Moroccan-Dutch national who also attended the Kinahan wedding, was Holland’s most wanted man prior to being nabbed in Dubai. He is currently on trial for murder alongside sixteen co-defendants in the so-called Marengo Trial in Amsterdam.

In addition to Ridouan Taghi and Kinahan, Imperiale also had ties to Richard "El Rico" Riquelme Vega, a Chilean drug boss, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). El Rico is currently serving an 11-year sentence in Holland.

It’s not the first-time authorities have confiscated items from Imperiale’s property. In 2016, police recovered two Van Gogh paintings, again from his home near Naples.

Each was worth an estimated 50 million euros and had been stolen from a museum in Amsterdam in 2002.

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