Italian-Australian fugitive linked to mafia deported from Bali

Denpasar: Indonesian police have said they will escort back to Italy an Italian-Australian fugitive who was arrested on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali after seven years on the run in connection with drug trafficking and organised crime.

Antonio Strangio, 32, appeared on Interpol’s “red notice” list when he was stopped and detained in Bali on February 3 after arriving from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Immigration officers escorted Australian fugitive Antonio Strangio, center, to a press conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, February 19.Credit:AP

Bali police spokesperson Satake Bayu Setianto cited safety reasons in refusing to say when Strangio will be deported to Italy, where he’s wanted on charges of trafficking 160 kilograms of marijuana. The suspect was shown to reporters at an airport news conference given on Sunday by the police and was then escorted to the departure hall.

Strangio is allegedly connected to the ’ndrangheta mafia, considered by Italian prosecutors to be the most important criminal organisation in the Western world.

“After co-ordinating with National Central Bureau in Rome, he must be sent to Italy immediately. He will be delivered from here to Italy, and there he will be called to account on his case until there is a ruling,” Anggaito said.

“For the ’ndrangheta itself, there are special operations between European countries, and all of its members are red notice subjects who must be held accountable for trials in their respective countries,” Anggaito Hadi Prabowo, an official from the Indonesian national police international relations division, told reporters.

Strangio, who claimed to have a property business in Australia, maintained his innocence, local media reported citing police.

The authorities said three Indonesian police officials will take Strangio to Italy, but they declined to provide further details on his flight plan due to safety reasons and so as not to inconvenience other passengers.

Strangio was arrested on February 3 in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali which he was transiting on his way home to Australia.

AP, with Reuters

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