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Italian mafia kingpin captured in Argentina - police

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's federal police arrested a top Italian mobster on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the security agency said in a statement Monday, bringing a years-long manhunt to an end.

Carmine Alfonso Maiorano, a 68-year-old leader of the Italian 'Ndrangheta mafia, was captured last Wednesday in the town of Guernica in the province of Buenos Aires, the statement said.

The Italian-born Maiorano has been accused by international authorities of carrying out drug trafficking and arms trafficking operations between Latin America and Europe.

The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol, considers 'Ndrangheta "one of the most extensive and powerful criminal organizations in the world."

An international arrest warrant was issued for Maiorano in 2015, and Interpol launched an effort in 2020 to coordinate international efforts to take down the criminal group.

The 'Ndrangheta mafia established itself in Argentina several years ago, the police statement said, operating in tandem with Albanian counterparts in Europe.

The detainee was placed at the disposal of Argentina's Federal Criminal and Correctional Court.

(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin and Juan Bustamante; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Lincoln Feast)