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luxury bolt-hole Super-cartel boss and Kinahan pal Imperiale lived like 'sheikh' in Dubai before his secret arrest

Raffaele Imperiale, it states, frequented only the best restaurants and footed the bill for everyone


Raffaele Imperiale (L) and Daniel Kinahan (R)

Raffaele Imperiale (L) and Daniel Kinahan (R)

Raffaele Imperiale (L) and Daniel Kinahan (R)

Super-cartel boss Raffaele Imperiale lived like a “sheikh” in his luxurious Dubai bolt-hole, surrounded by luxury cars, women and exclusive clubs, before he was secretly nabbed two weeks ago, it has emerged. 

The 46-year-old boss of the Naples-based Camorra organisation, who attended cartel boss Daniel Kinahan’s wedding in Dubai, was lifted by police on August 4 in a luxury villa which he shared with his wife and kids.

The Italian had been hiding out in Dubai since 2016 after fleeing Europe where he had been wanted by Italian authorities to serve an eight year sentence for drug trafficking.

This week Sunday World revealed how Imperiale was arrested two weeks ago, on August 4, in Dubai.

However, the high-profile arrest was not made public by either Italian or local law officials who wanted to keep it under-the-radar and out of the media.

But they were forced to go public after the news leaked out in the Dutch media.

Since then new details have emerged of how the “tall, very elegant Imperiale” in his “tailored suits, all made to measure and made in Naples”, enjoyed life as part of the gilded set 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 Dubai Mall, itself one of the largest shopping centres ever constructed.

“Imperiale is known in Dubai for having made many girls fall in love,” a new profile in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reveals.

“His friends were part of an international jet set, many of them very powerful.”

Imperiale, it states, who had set up one of the most powerful criminal networks in Europe, Asia and South America, frequented only the best restaurants and footed the bill for everyone.

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

“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.

“In the Provocateur club of the Four Seasons in Jumeirah (now closed) he used to order 30 bottles of Magnum Cristal.”

He went around with three bodyguards, even though Dubai is one of the safest cities and to anyone who asked him why, he replied: "They are used to protect others from me, if they make me angry. They have the task of blocking me".

According to the paper, “when a fight broke out, someone always came to warn him: ‘You have to go now!’ and he had a chauffeured group of supercars waiting for him to return to “the base”, the magnificent penthouse at Le Reve in Dubai Marina.

Described as an “armoured tower”, the entrance “looks like the hall of a large hotel and the elevators are activated only with the encrypted code,” the paper reveals.

According to La Repubblica, Imperiale also showed his “philanthropic face in Dubai”, as he donated clothes and toys to the orphans of a foster home while “keeping single mothers and their children in South America”.

“He drove ultra-customized cars of which he owned one of the few existing models in the world. His plates were two numbers, maximum three, like those of the sheikhs.”

According to reports in Italy, it will take at least a month before the Italian Mafioso is extradited from the United Arab Emirates.

His extradition will hearing now hear evidence from the Naples Public Prosecutor's Office and Dubai magistrates.

“The chief prosecutor of the DDA of Naples, Giovanni Melillo and his pool of magistrates have been working since 4 August (the day of his capture) on all the paperwork in concert with the Ministry of Grace and Justice,” according to Italian media.

“The bilateral agreement with Italy on extraditions dates back to two years ago..it is clear to everyone that his lawyers will oppose it. The legal battle is just beginning and certainly promises twists and turns.”

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