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Thailand Court Extradites Convicted Banker to Italy

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s Criminal Court ordered the extradition of an Italian banker convicted of laundering drug money through New York pizzerias who was arrested earlier this year at a Bangkok airport.

An Italian court in 2009 sentenced Vito Roberto Palazzolo, 65, to nine years in prison for his role in laundering money from proceeds of drug trafficking and cigarette smuggling conducted by the Cosa Nostra Sicilian mafia, according to Interpol. He was also accused of closely associating with the organization’s leaders.

Palazzolo maintains a website through which he denies wrongdoing, and says he unknowingly invested funds for the mafia in Switzerland in 1982. The transaction was part of a scheme dubbed “The Pizza Connection,” in which the mafia sold heroin through New York pizza parlors and laundered the money in Switzerland, according to his website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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