Sicilian mafiosi jailed in London for huge drug deals

The London Daily News, March 11 1987

A Mafia godfather and his three lieutenants were jailed for a total of 97 years at the Old Bailey today after being convicted of running the biggest drug-smuggling ring ever found in Britain.

The four Sicilian drug traffickers were convicted of importing 60 kilos of heroin, worth $150 million at its destination in North America and enough to make 125 million doses for addicts.

“One only has to state those mind-boggling facts to realise the gravity of this case,” said Judge Hassan, sentencing them. “In some countries of the world, the death penalty would be imposed for such an importation.”

Francesco “Dino” Di Carlo, aged 46, who was jailed for 25 years and fined £250,000, is one of the most senior Mafia gansters in Sicily. He is a former head of his own criminal family and a trusted aide of the most powerful family of all, the Corleones.

Di Carlo is now wanted by Italian police for drug trafficking and murder, including the assassination of some of Sicily’s most senior policemen. One killing is being linked to the London trial.

Customs investigators who broke the mafia operation found that Di Carlo had been running a massive criminal operation from a mansion near Woking, Surrey. Two other senior mafia leaders who escaped arrest worked with him from palatial homes nearby. More mafia leaders are believed to be still active in London.

The trial, which has been running at the Old Bailey for four and a half months, marks the first evidence that the capital has fallen prey to the mafia. Customs regard it as “the most important drugs arrest ever made in this country.”

The three Surrey godfathers, who are all wanted by Italian police for mafia crimes, were smuggling drugs from the Far East through London to Norther America and laundering millions of dollars of mafia money through a global network of secret bank accounts.