Rocco Morabito, the ‘Cocoain King of Milan’ has managed to flee a Uruguay prison, where he was awaiting extradition to Italy.

He escaped through a hole in the roof of the building on Sunday. Morabito, with his wife an Angolan national, was arrested in September of 2017 in Montevideo from a luxury hotel on the southern coast of Uruguay. He had been on the run for 23 years. Suprisingly, in the Punta del Este neighborhood, Morabito was regarded as a ‘model citizen’ who was ‘involved in soybean business’.

The 52-year-old leader of Italy’s most feared Ndrangheta mafia managed to escape with three other prisoners who were to be extradited to Brazil and Argentina respectively.

In 2018, CNN said the Ndrangheta has been the target of raids and even US Treasury sanctions for over a decade. It's believed that the Europe’s most powerful mafia, the Ndrangheta has a turnover of $60 billion a year.

Italy’s interior ministry, according to the Guardian, said the four men used a rope to get down and into a neighboring house where they robbed the owner. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said it is disconcerting and serious that a criminal like Rocco Morabito managed to escape from a prison in Uruguay.

Crack cocaine
In this photo, an agent of the National Forensic Science Institute (INACIF) tests seized drugs before burning them in the backyard of the INACIF headquarters, in Pedro Brand, Dominican Republic, on May 11, 2017. Getty Images/ERIKA SANTELICES

Authorities allege that the cocaine king of Milan was smuggling hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Brazil to Italy. Reports say Morabito was being extradited for links to organized crime and drug trafficking, which was issued in absentia. He is also the subject of a red Interpol notice for being a member of a criminal organization which trafficks drugs internationally.