Australian-Italian Antonio Strangio, linked to Calabria’s Ndrangheta, has been arrested in Bali

“The operation revealed an important distribution channel for marijuana in the region, but also the infiltration of the clan/family into all economic and commercial activities…an infiltration made possible only through ties to local politics and administration,” the newspaper said.

His arrest followed the arrest of Edgardo Greco, known as the “boss of the ‘ndrangheta’, who was wanted for two murders, in St. Etienne in France, Italian media reported.


Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said Strangio’s arrest was the third arrest of ‘ndrangheta members in a few days, after Greco, who was in hiding for 17 years, and Matteo Messina Denaro. She congratulated the police, law enforcement and intelligence agencies on their “extraordinary results”.

Born in Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, Strangio is a dual citizen who has lived in Australia since 2015 and was traveling on an Australian passport when he was arrested, Indonesian police said on Wednesday.

Italian police had accused him of being involved in the purchase and intent to sell the marijuana in San Ferdinando, a coastal town in the Calabria region, in June 2014.

On June 23, 2015, a judge in Reggio Calabria issued an arrest warrant against him for a drug association.


“He has been cooperative since his incarceration. He admitted it was his photo and identity [in the red notice] but he denied his involvement in the sale of 160 kg of marijuana,” said Ni Luh Kompiang Srinadi, a chief of the Bali Police General Criminal Unit.

“He doesn’t understand why there’s a red display for him. He denied committing a crime in Italy when questioned by Bali police.”

Police said Strangio worked in construction in Adelaide and his address was listed at Norton Summit in the Adelaide Hills.

“He was vacationing in Bangkok [and] When he came back, he traveled through Malaysia and Bali,” Srinadi said. “He was due to return to Australia when the 24/7 Interpol system picked him up and he was arrested at immigration before entering Indonesia.”

Strangio had landed in Bali on a Batik Air plane from Kuala Lumpur.

He was not taken by police as usual at a press conference in Denpasar on Wednesday because he is not accused of any crimes in Indonesia, but was taken to an interrogation room when officials told reporters of his arrest.

Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto, a spokesman for the Balinese police, said Strangio had been detained by the Balinese police for an initial 20 days after his arrest on February 2.

“We have contacted Interpol in Jakarta and are awaiting further instructions, extradition or collection by Italian police,” he said.

Strangio has no way of appealing his arrest in Indonesia.

“There is no legal avenue for Antonio in Indonesia to fight his Interpol arrest,” said Gede Nusantara, the lawyer representing him in Bali. “He cannot challenge his arrest in an Indonesian court.”

Officials from the Australian Consulate General in Denpasar arrived at Bali Police Headquarters on Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police said the arrest of Strangio was “a matter for the authorities in Italy and Indonesia”. Australian-Italian Antonio Strangio, linked to Calabria’s Ndrangheta, has been arrested in Bali

Callan Tansill

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