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Vol 40 No 3

Published 5th February 1999


South Africa

Men of honour

For seven years Italian and American police have been trying to extradite Vito Palazzolo and now they may be too late

The net is finally closing around convicted money launderer and Cape Town bon viveur, Vito Roberto Palazzolo. He is wanted by the Italian police on charges (which he emphatically denies) of membership of the Sicilian mafia, drug trafficking and money laundering. Indeed an investigating judge in Sicily alleges that Palazzolo manages the investment portfolio of Salvatore 'Toto' Riina, the gaoled head of the notorious Corleone clan and still the 'boss of bosses'. Over the past seven years Italian attempts to extradite him from South Africa, backed by the United States, have failed, although new South African legislation makes membership of criminal gangs, including the mafia, an extraditable offence. The Palazzolo affair is now opening up mysterious facets of South Africa's police and security services, with implications for some political figures too.

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