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Alleged mafia figure sought by Italy arrested at resort in Dominican Republic

Police in the Dominican Republic have arrested an alleged high-ranking member of an Italian mafia group who was apparently hiding out in a resort town to avoid a prison sentence for drug offenses.

Nicola Pignatelli was arrested in the southern town of Juan Dolio on an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol. He fled Italy in 2011 before he was to start serving a sentence of more than 13 years in prison.

The 43-year-old Pignatelli is believed to be a high-ranking member of the 'ndrangheta mafia based in Calabria. Police spokesman Jacobo Mateo said it's not known how long he was in the Dominican Republic before his arrest Sunday. Authorities believe he was involved in drug trafficking and prostitution while in the country.

He is expected to be extradited Monday.

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