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CRIME

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

ROME

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.

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