HomeNewsBriefItaly Mobster Linked to Peru's 'Tony Montana'
BRIEF

Italy Mobster Linked to Peru's 'Tony Montana'

EUROPE CRIME / 16 JUN 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Authorities in Italy said phone messages received by a suspected drug trafficker in Peru contain the voice of an Italian criminal, a case further demonstrating the growth of ties between European and Latin American organized crime.

Italian police said the voice heard in recorded messages on a phone used by Gerald Oropeza Lopez, alias “Tony Montana,” is that of Italian drug trafficker Salvatore Zazo, alias “Zaza,” a member of the Camorra criminal organization currently incarcerated in the Secondigliano prison in Napoles, reported La Republica.

Oropeza -- who is currently facing drug trafficking charges in Peru -- is suspected of supplying cocaine to Zaza. Peruvian authorities obtained the recordings of Zaza directing and coordinating these shipments through Peru’s Callao port after seizing the cell phone of Oropeza’s right-hand man, Carlos Sulca Cruz.

In one of the messages, Zaza is heard saying, “Gerald, the boats for the 26 and the 4th of April are ready. Tell me if you want to work or not; if not, tell me now please, because I don’t like problems.”

According to La Republica, Zaza was arrested in Barcelona, Spain in January 2009, and extradited to Italy to serve a prison term on drug trafficking charges. Despite his imprisonment, Italian authorities acknowledged Zaza has been able to continue coordinating international drug shipments.

InSight Crime Analysis

The case of Oropeza is demonstrative of growing connections Latin American organized crime has with criminal syndicates around the world, especially in Europe.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of European Organized Crime

Indeed, the large European drug market has been of growing importance for Latin American drug traffickers who have been establishing drug routes and creating alliances with groups such as Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta mafia in order to traffic cocaine into the continent.

More evidence of these ties came this week when Colombian police -- in conjunction with Interpol -- arrested 22 people linked to drug trafficking that face extradition warrants in countries such as Spain, Italy, Brazil, Malta, and the United States. One of those arrested, Larry Yepes, is wanted for the trafficking of over 30 tons of cocaine into Spain, while another, Helmer Gonzalo Chavez Rusinque, has links to Italy’s Camorra.

Peru’s port of Callao has become an important jumping off point for South American cocaine headed to Europe and other international destinations, something that has led to increased violence as criminal groups compete for control of the port.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

PERU / 4 MAR 2013

The European Union (EU) has announced an aid package worth $41 million to help Peru fight drug trafficking, underlining…

PERU / 14 JUL 2014

Alleged drug traffickers have killed a major in Peru's anti-drugs police after ambushing his patrol in the Amazon tri-border region,…

BRAZIL / 22 APR 2020

Thefts of tests, ventilators and personal protective equipment have shot up across Latin America amid the coronavirus pandemic, threatening lives…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…