Thailand to extradite fugitive Palazzolo

Bangkok -

A Thai court has ordered the extradition of a fugitive Italian banker who allegedly laundered money for some of Italy's top mobsters as part of the so-called “Pizza Connection”.

Italian suspect Vito Roberto Palazzolo, 65, gestures as he walks in a prison cell at the criminal court in Bangkok on December 20, 2012. Credit: REUTERS

The Criminal Court ruled on Thursday that Vito Roberto Palazzolo will be sent back to Italy, where he was convicted and sentenced to a nine-year prison term for links to the Mafia.

Palazzolo was detained at Bangkok's airport in March as he prepared to board a flight to South Africa, his adopted homeland.

Thai police were tipped off by Italian authorities who had been monitoring Facebook and other social media postings by Palazzolo and his family.

Palazzolo, 65, was implicated in the “Pizza Connection” drug and money laundering trial. He denies the charges and says he was made a scapegoat. - Sapa-AP