Italian mafia fugitive Antonio Strangio arrested in Bali after seven years on the run in Adelaide


‘Italian mafia fugitive’ who thought he would never get caught while hiding out in Australia is arrested in Bali after dodging Interpol for 7 years over an alleged 160kg drug sale

  • Australian citizen Antonio Strangio, 32, arrested in Bali
  • Strangio lived in SA but was on the run for seven years.
  • Italian police accuse him of links to the mafia and drug sales

An Australian citizen who has been on the run from Italian police for seven years for alleged mafia-related drug trafficking has been arrested in Bali.

Antonio Strangio, 32, was arrested at Bali’s international airport last week after getting off a flight from Bangkok to travel to Australia, where he has lived in Adelaide since 2016.

His presence at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport triggered a global ‘red notice’ arrest warrant from Interpol for the alleged intentional sale of 160kg of marijuana in Italy in 2014 as an associate of the notorious ‘Ndrangheta’ mafia clan.

Australian citizen Antonio Strangio (pictured right) has been arrested in Bali for mafia-related drug smuggling in Italy.

An arrest warrant was issued for Strangio in 2015 as part of a broader anti-mafia operation.

Strangio is being held by Indonesian authorities and faces extradition to Rome, where he could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

According to a report in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, police in southern Italy knew of Strangio’s whereabouts and had even warned him that he was being watched.

However, Strangio reportedly felt safe due to his Australian citizenship.

Although he was born in the Calabria region of southern Italy, Strangio is an Australian citizen by descent.

Strangio (pictured centre right) has been on the run from the Italian police for seven years, spent living in Adelaide.

Strangio (pictured centre right) has been on the run from the Italian police for seven years, spent living in Adelaide.

He applied for and was granted citizenship in 2011 and was traveling on an Australian passport when he was caught, Indonesian police said Wednesday.

Strangio has been working as a construction contractor and his address was listed as Norton Summit in the Adelaide Hills.

It is believed that he has family in Adelaide.

Police said Strangio had been ‘cooperative’ and had admitted that he was the person for whom Italian police had issued the warrant, but denied any involvement in drug trafficking.

Australian consular officers have been in contact with Indonesian police over the arrest.

An Australian Federal Police spokesman said Strangio’s ‘arrest’ was ‘a matter for the Italian and Indonesian authorities’.

Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni (pictured) welcomed Strangio's arrest as part of a crackdown on the notorious 'Ndrangheta mafia

Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni (pictured) welcomed Strangio’s arrest as part of a crackdown on the notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia

Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said Strangio’s arrest was the third arrest in a few days of prominent ‘Ndrangheta members and congratulated Italian police.

In June 2022, Australian police were reported to have identified more than 5,000 Italian mafia members operating in Australia using AN0M, a Trojan horse app that they tricked the underworld into using.

The resulting Operation Ironside led police to investigate 51 Italian organized crime clans in Australia, including 14 from Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta.

‘Ndrangheta is believed to be responsible for trafficking 70 per cent of the world’s cocaine and has also been linked in Australia to trafficking cannabis and methamphetamine.

Who are the notorious ‘Ndrangheta Mafia of Italy?

The ‘Ndrangheta is an underground organized crime syndicate hailing from the southern region of the Calabrian peninsula, which is the toe of Italy’s ‘boot’ on maps.

Members of the ‘Ndrangheta join autonomous clans, which number at least 100 and have strong blood ties. Worldwide membership is estimated at 10,000.

Police consider the ‘Ndrangheta to be one of the richest and most powerful criminal organizations in the world.

Their associations with South American drug cartels give them control of about 70 percent of the world’s cocaine trade, with estimated annual revenues of about $80 billion.

In addition to drug trafficking, ‘Ndrangheta members are involved in extortion and money laundering.

They pride themselves on being inconspicuous and displays of wealth are frowned upon as they draw the attention of the authorities.