The boss of the “art lover” mafia who paid $ 100 million for two paintings has been arrested in Dubai!

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Raffaele Imperiale, who is on Italy’s “six most dangerous fugitives” list for being one of the biggest names in the Camorra Mafia, has been arrested in Dubai. Accused of international drug trafficking, Imperiale is also linked to stolen works of art. Two Van Gogh paintings stolen from an Amsterdam museum were found years later on the Imperial Farm.

Raffaele Imperiale, 46, was arrested in Dubai on August 4, according to the Italian police statement. Imperiale, sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison in Italy and numerous additional charges, should be extradited to his country.

Born in Castellammare di Stabia near Naples, Imperiale moved to the Netherlands in 1996 and opened a café. Imperiale has been living in Dubai since 2010 and was engaged in real estate business according to official documents.

According to the Italian press, Imperiale served as a link between the South American cartels, the Dutch mafia and the Italian mafia, and managed a vast international network of drug trafficking.

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Security forces suspect Imperiale of also being linked to Irish and Bosnian drug traffickers, specifically handling Peruvian cocaine trafficking.


Van Gogh’s paintings “Seascape at Scheveningen” (1882) and “Community Out of the Reformed Church in Nuenen” (1884/85), stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002, were found at the Imperial Palace in 2016.

This heist in 2002 was on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) list of the 10 most important art thefts.

Imperial is estimated to have paid $ 100 million on the black market for paintings found on his farm in his hometown, Castellammare di Stabia.

In an interview with the Neapolitan newspaper Il Mattino last January, Imperiale claimed that it had nothing to do with the theft of Van Gogh paintings and that he bought the paintings because of his “passion for art. “.

Because of this affair, Imperiale is also referred to as the “Van Gogh’s father” of the mafia in the Italian press.

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