Notorious Mafia don on the run finally caught in routine traffic stop

A brutal mafia boss is back behind bars after a routine police traffic stop ended his time on the run.

Notorious gangster Mobster Vittorio Raso was released from custody by mistake two years ago after being arrested in Spain on a warrant from Italian police, who wanted him for organised crime, extortion and drug trafficking.

The high-ranking member of southern Italy's ruthless 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate had been missing soon after his 2020 arrest when the National Court of Spain released him over a warrant mix-up.

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Yet 43-year-old Raso's freedom lasted only until Tuesday June 21 when his car was stopped in Castelldefels during a routine documents check by Spanish police.

Raso's forged papers were soon revealed as fakes, and he was arrested and fingerprinted to confirm his true identity.

Pictures of the arrest show Raso smiling broadly at his police captors.

He was handed to the Mossos d'Esquadra – the police force of Spain's Catalonia region – and remains in custody at the police station in nearby Gava.

Raso – nicknamed 'Exhausted' – is expected to appear in court today (Thursday).

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Engaged in racketeering, drug trafficking, loan-sharking, weapons trafficking, money laundering, fraud, extortion, murder, robbery and kidnapping, the 'Ndrangheta is considered to be among the most powerful organised crime groups in the world.

Consisting of a sprawling network of ‘ndrina, or clans, based in 'the toe of Italy's boot', Calabria, the 'Ndrangheta is believed to rake in almost £50million annually.

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Members of the 'Ndrangheta mafia are under investigation by the Australian Federal Police which used a secret app known as AN0M to launch one of the biggest and most significant crackdowns on organised crime in history.

Last year's Operation Ironside provided the AFP with an extensive file on more than 5,000 mafia members living in Australia to conduct their organised crime.

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