Uruguay prison chief quits after Italian crime boss escapes

Montevideo (AFP) –


Uruguay's prisons chief resigned Tuesday in the wake of a sensational jailbreak by Italian mob boss Rocco Morabito that angered Rome, which was awaiting his extradition.

The interior ministry said it had accepted the resignation of Alberto Gadea, adding that it was initiating disciplinary measures against staff at the downtown Montevideo jail where Morabito had been held.

A top figure in the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta organized crime group arrested in Uruguay in 2017 after decades on the run, 52-year-old Morabito was awaiting extradition for "international drug trafficking."

The government has given no public explanation for how Morabito, once one of the world's most wanted criminals, could so easily escape through a hole in the roof with three other inmates.

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a statement the escape was "disconcerting" and demanded an explanation from the government of President Tabare Vazquez.