Alleged drug trafficker arrested in Mexico over disappearance of three Italians

Police in Mexico have arrested an alleged drug trafficker in connection with the disappearance of three Italians in January, the attorney general's office said on Monday.

Alleged drug trafficker arrested in Mexico over disappearance of three Italians
A view over Guadalajara, where the suspect was found. Photo: cameralentaDepositphotos

Jose Guadalupe N was caught in Guadalajara in the country's west, said Omar Hamid Garcia, director of the criminal investigation agency at the attorney general's office.

Garcia said the suspect was “probably involved” in the disappearance of 60-year-old Rafaelle Russo, his 25-year-old son Antonio and his nephew Vicenzo Cimmino, 29, on January 31st in Jalisco state. The three Italians went missing after they were arrested by local police at a gas station.

Four police officers were arrested in February and accused of handing over the three Italians to a criminal group. Garcia said the suspect, whose surname was given only as N for legal reasons, “was possibly responsible” for buying the trio from the police.

READ ALSO: Facebook search traps Italian mobster in Mexico

The three Italians entered the country as tourists but authorities say they were involved in the sale of electric generator equipment.

Local media said N was from the Jalisco New Generation cartel, widely believed to be the main rivals to the Sinaloa group of captured drug kingpin Joaquim “El Chapo” Guzman.

Jalisco has one of the highest numbers of disappearances in Mexico, with 2,917 missing since 2017.

Mexico had a record 25,000 murders last year. Since the federal government launched a multifront anti-drug operation in 2006, more than 200,000 people have been killed but official figures do not specify how many are linked to organized crime such as drug cartels.

READ ALSO: Mexican ex-governor arrested in Italy over drug money laundering


 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.