Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Page 3 Profile: Roberto Pannunzi, drug baron

I don’t recognise him.

Nor should you. Pannunzi was Europe’s most wanted drug trafficker, the linchpin of the transatlantic cocaine trade, a blood relation of the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta  clan and a go-between for them, the Cosa Nostra family of Sicily and the Colombian drug cartels – and the only man to go to if you’re looking for a delivery of upwards of 3,000kg of the stuff, apparently.

How much does that set you back?

Your guess is as good as ours, but one thing is for certain – he made an awful lot from it. Always travelling with a suitcase of cash and wearing a string of diamonds around his neck, Pannunzi once asked the head of a special police unit who had burst in on him: “Do you want a million dollars? In cash? Right now?”

So crime does pay?

No! The man known as Bebè (baby) is out of luck. He was captured on Friday in Bogota in a joint operation by the Colombian police and US drugs officers. He’s now languishing in prison in his  native Italy.

And he’s there for good?

Hard to say. He’s been captured twice before – and walked away scot free both times. In 1994, the Colombian officer turned down that cash offer, but Pannunzi was released after five years of having no successful trial brought against him. Recaptured in 2004, he was sentenced to 16 years by an Italian court but was transferred to a private clinic six years later on health ground – and vanished.

Anything to say in his defence?

He looks the part. He ran a men’s boutique in Rome as a cover for many years, and was always immaculately turned out. And unlike infamous drug lord Pablo  , he is said to have never killed anyone. If a freshly-pressed sports jacket and blood-free hands are all you ask, then Pannunzi is as innocent as his nickname suggests.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing