Raffaele Mauriello (left) and Raffaele Imperiale. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Police have arrested one of Italy’s most wanted criminals, Raffaele Imperiale — an alleged kingpin of the organised crime syndicate ‘Camorra’, involved in drug and weapons trafficking across globe.

Dubai Police also arrested Imperiale’s right-hand man Raffaele Mauriello, responsible for plotting and executing murders and assassinations using unlicensed firearms. Both Imperiale and Mauriello are wanted by Italian authorities and Interpol had issued Red Corner Notices against them.

Dubai Police apprehended Imperiale after they discovered his true identity, in spite of the fact that he was impersonating Antonio Rocco using a fake identity under the latter’s name.

Imperiale used different cars to keep his true identity and his daily movements under wraps and also chose to live in an isolated home with an overhead spot to monitor those approaching the building. He avoided registering any precise address under his name so that he could live in the shadows.

Imperiale was born and raised in the Italian city of Naples. He had been a member of the ‘Camorra’ crime syndicate since his early childhood and later on emerged one of the most infamous druglords of Italy. Imperiale is considered as one of Italy’s most dangerous and wanted fugitives by the Anti-Narcotics Directorate in Stabia, Naples.

Constant efforts paid off

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police, said the arrest of Raffaele Imperiale and Raffaele Mauriello was yet another achievement of Dubai Police and international law-enforcement agencies and the arrests were in keeping with the directives of Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, who has always directed the UAE’s security forces to maintain strong and active communication with police agencies around the world and with the Interpol to help tackle transnational organised crime.

Close surveillance

Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri

Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said the arrest of Imperiale and his right-hand man came after they had been placed under close surveillance by a team of elite investigators from the General Department of Criminal Investigation, aided by the latest artificial intelligence technologies available at the Dubai Police Criminal Data Analysis Centre and the ‘Oyoon’ surveillance programme.

True identity

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Dubai Police, praised the exceptional efforts of the investigation teams who were able to unearth the true identity of Raffaele Imperiale and foil his deceptive moves.

“He was using a fake identity under the name of ‘Antonio Rocco’ and used multiple cars to hide his daily movements. Imperiale chose to live in an isolated home with an overlooking spot to monitor those who approached him. He had intentionally avoided registering any precise address to mislead the authorities”, Brig. Al Jallaf added.

The raid

Al Jallaf said Dubai Police had placed Imperiale under round-the-clock surveillance for an entire week. “Backed by the latest AI technologies, our officers kept track of Imperiale’s movements and his attempts at evading detection. At ‘Zero Hour’, a specialised team raided the house and arrested Imperiale, displaying very high levels of professionalism. The team also seized large sums of cash, luxury watches and some valuable possessions, including paintings”, Al Jallaf added.

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Al Jallaf further revealed that Dubai Police had referred Imperiale and Mauriello to Public Prosecution who would determine the mechanism for their extradition, according to existing international agreements.