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Super Cartel Turncoat Raffaele Imperiale Gives Up $80 Million Dubai Island for Reduced Sentence

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“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

Raffaele Imperiale has handed over an island he owns off the coast of Dubai to the Italian authorities. The Camorra-linked drug trafficker Imperiale, who was a guest at Daniel Kinahan’s 2017 wedding, gave up the property, it was heard in court. 

A trial in Naples involving 20 defendants, including the international drug trafficker turned state witness, is continuing. Co-defendants include business partner Bruno Carbone, accountant Corrado Genovese, logistician Daniele Ursini, and a number of collaborators and employees. Imperiale decided to cooperate with authorities after he was arrested in Dubai in August 2021 after five years on the run and extradited to Italy the following March after a visit from a senior Italian government figure.

The Italian gangster had been wanted since 2016 and was living luxuriously in Dubai and spending €400,000 a month to maintain his lavish lifestyle. The island he owned was one of the many man-made islands in the UAE, nothing had been built on the island yet.

According to investigators, Imperiale bought the island, named Taiwan, during his time in hiding. Its value is estimated at €60m-€80 million and is part of an artificial archipelago off the coast of the United Arab Emirates called “The World” and shaped as a map of the globe.
Imperiale, who faces a sentence of 14 years and 10 months in prison, is attempting to demonstrate his willingness to cooperate with the authorities in the hope of receiving a reduced sentence.

Imperiale, who began his criminal career from a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, is believed to have been at the top of the super drug cartel along with Dutch criminal Ridouan Taghi, Daniel Kinahan, and Bosnian drug trafficker Edin Gacanin, who was released from custody in Dubai earlier this year.

The group was observed having meetings in the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, the base of the alleged cartel in 2017, and attended Kinahan’s wedding there. The Super Cartel was considered to be one of the biggest in the world, primarily regarding the European Union, with almost complete control over the sale of Peruvian cocaine.
Daniel Kinahan, his father Christopher, and brother Christopher jr are still at large despite a $5 million US bounty on their heads. Close associate Sean McGovern who is the subject of an arrest warrant for murder from the Irish authorities is also still believed to living in Dubai.

McGovern is wanted in Ireland on charges of murder and organized crime-related offenses in connection with the 2016 fatal shooting of Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan.

Last month three senior Dubai police officers visited Dublin to discuss how they can help tackle the Kinahan cartel. They met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris following his visit to the Gulf state in September

Speaking at the meeting, Drew Harris said: “Dubai Police has already provided us with great assistance with our ongoing investigations into transnational organized crime.” “This is another demonstration of the value of the expansion of the Garda international network of liaison officers and visits made by myself and other senior officers to the US, Colombia, Dubai, Asia, and across Europe.

“These organized crime gangs cause misery not only in the countries they originate from but across the globe. It is only through international cooperation among law enforcement they will be dismantled.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee also held a phone conference last month with her Dubai counterpart to discuss a plan to get the Kinahan leaders extradited to Ireland.

The talk with Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi is aimed at solving the problem caused by a lack of extradition agreements between Dubai and the EU. Gardaí believe there is enough evidence to have the Kinahans charged with directing a crime gang – an offense that could demand a life sentence.

Officers recently sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions asking for those charges to be laid. The DPP has already ordered McGovern, from Crumlin, South Dublin, to be charged with one of the 18 murders in the deadly Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Sources ANSA, Sunday World, The Guardian


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