One of Europe’s Most Wanted Narcos ‘Captured By Syrian Rebels’

Rebels said they picked up Italian Bruno Carbone, a major international cocaine trafficker, while he was trying to reach territory held by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Bruno Carbone syria idlib cocaine

A notorious drug trafficker from Naples who was on Europol’s most-wanted list has been arrested in Syria, rebel authorities in Idlib have claimed. 

Bruno Carbone, a major international cocaine trafficker who also helped the rise of the Cappello-Carateddi mafia, was first spotted by border guards in Idlib, a rebel-held city in northwest Syria led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist group.  

Carbone had been on the run since 2003 and faces 20 years of prison for international drug trafficking from Spain to Catania via Naples. 


The authorities in Idlib put out a statement on Telegram, claiming the 45-year-old Italian man had pretended to be a Mexican fugitive on the run after being caught selling “fake Rolex” watches.

Mohammed Abdulrahman, the interior minister of the “Syrian Salvation Government” that controls Idlib, released a video statement on Wednesday morning claiming credit for Carbone’s capture.  

Abdulrahman said that Carbone was first detained by guards on the border with Turkey earlier this year in March. He added that following an “investigation” by the local authorities, they determined that Carbone was an internationally wanted drug trafficker heading to areas held by the regime of Bashar al-Assad after crossing from Turkey.

“After gathering additional information on him that concluded he was a leader of an armed gang in Italy, we started the process of handing the suspect back to the government of his country,” added Abdulrahman in today’s statement.

However, the Italian authorities said Carbone was extradited from the United Arab Emirates and arrived in Rome from Dubai airport without any mention of the involvement of the Syrian rebel group in Idlib. 

The Italian police reported that the Naples’ Camorra mafia member was arrested at Rome’s Ciampino airport after being extradited from the United Arab Emirates. The media reports citing the Italian security officials said Carbone had arrived from Dubai on Tuesday after he was arrested, without any mention of the Syrian rebels in his capture.

In late 2019, Domenico Alfano, an Italian businessman, was arrested in Dubai after being mistaken for Carbone by Emirati authorities. He was only released after 32 days in prison.