Suspected 'Ndrangheta crime boss arrested in Canada
Carmelo Bruzzese alleged key player in crime boss meetings04 September, 18:45
Bruzzese was handcuffed for violating Canadian immigration laws, but Italian authorities believe Bruzzese is an important leader in the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta mafia. The 'Ndrangheta is considered Italy's most powerful mafia due to its hold on the European cocaine trade.
Investigators identified Bruzzese in the course of the ''Crimine'' (Crime) investigation based in Reggio Calabria as prominent enough to take part in important crime boss meetings that led to the appointment of Domenico Oppedisano as chief of 'crime' with two close deputies, Giuseppe Commisso and Rocco Aquino.
Aquino was identified by investigators as chief of the 'locale' Marina di Gioiosa Jonica, near Reggio Calabria, who fled law enforcement in July 2010, but was arrested on July 12, 2012.
Bruzzese is also believed to have played a central role in the organized crime group's branches in Lombardy and Piedmont, and in Calabria as the chief of the 'Grotteria' locale.
Investigators said Bruzzese was ''involved in the major decisions'' regarding the northern Italian branches ''as well as for new affiliations''.
Bruzzese's location was pinpointed through the investigative efforts of Italy's ROS anti-mafia unit of the paramilitary Carabinieri police. Procedures for Bruzzese's extradition from Canada are expected to be initiated within the next few days.
The 'Ndrangheta each year shaves off some 3.5% of local gross domestic product, equivalent to 1.2 billion euros, according to a new book called 'L'Impero della 'Ndrangheta' (Empire of the 'Ndrangheta), written by MP Dorina Bianchi and economist Raffaele Rio.