Italian mob boss accidentally released after two-year search
Vittorio Raso, an italian mob boss who has been evading Spanish police for two years, has vanished following his accidental release by a court. Believed to be a high-ranking figure in the ‘Ndrangheta family in Calabria, the 41-year-old was arrested in Barcelona where he was hiding at an ocean-front property. Raso was released on false information that he was only wanted for extortion charges. It was two hours after his release that court officials realized he was actually a mafia boss. The judge has issued a new arrest warrant.
Police sources stated that the court received an extensive police report explaining who Raso was, along with a European arrest warrant from Italy that only mentioned extortion allegations. They were later sent additional information detailing his ties to organized crime, but Raso was already set free in Barcelona. The homes where he was known to stay have been searched, but there has been no trace of the mafia boss.
“Everyone is looking for him…,” stated a police source.
The search first began back in October 2018 as a joint case between Italian and Spanish officials. Raso was originally located in Málaga, on Spain’s Costa del Sol, but then traced to Barcelona. He was reportedly carrying a fake ID at the time of his arrest.
He is wanted on two counts of extortion, one being in June 2016. His victims took out large loans in the 40,000-50,000 euro range with a 10% monthly interest rate. Payments were enforced using violence. Raso has also been accused of drug trafficking, most notably hashish, between Spain and Italy. After his Barcelona arrest, Italian officials raided the homes of his associates where they found 360,000 euros, over 13 kilograms of drugs, and various weapons.
The ‘Ndrangheta remains to be the most powerful mafia family in Italy, with business practices all over the world.