31 people arrested for drug trafficking, laundering of works of art – English

(ANSA) – ROME, MAY 12 – Italian police on Thursday arrested 31 people in connection with an alleged international drug trafficking network that laundered its earnings with works of art.

The gang allegedly had close ties to South American drug traffickers, fugitives from justice and leading members of organized crime groups, police said.

The police operation was carried out in different Italian regions as well as in the Netherlands, Spain and Lithuania.

A modern art gallery in Amsterdam has been seized.

Police said the gang used it to launder drug profits by buying artwork.

The co-owner of the art gallery is an art dealer specializing in works by cult British street artist Banksy, Andrea Deiana, police said.

Deiana is also “an extremely large international narcotics broker, capable of arranging supplies for hundreds of pounds”, police said.

A Milanese web entrepreneur and start-up founder who is on trial for drugging, raping and filming two Italian models, Alberto Genovese, was among those indicted for drug trafficking.

Genovese allegedly purchased 100 grams of ketamine, a cocaine in November 2019 that was “for sale or distribution”, police said. (ANSA).

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Christopher S. Washington