Former Dominica ambassador Corallo extradited to Italy to face charges

Former Dominica ambassador Corallo extradited to Italy to face charges

By TDN Wire Staff

August 17, 2017 6:23 A.M

francesco corallo
A shackled Corallo off to face charges in Italy.
Phillipsburg, St Maarten (TDN) Francesco Corallo the Italian Casino Kingpin and a man who was appointed by Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit to be the country’s ambassador to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was yesterday extradited to Italy to face charges of money laundering, tax fraud, bribery, and membership in a criminal organization.

Corallo was shackled as he boarded an Air France flight from St Maarten surrounded by Italian Interpol Police. His extradition follows a long legal battle in St Maarten lasting eight months where he attempted to thwart attempts through the courts to be extradited.

However, his requests were denied by a local judge on June 20 with the order signed by the Governor of St Maarten on August 4, 2017, resulting in his extradition on Wednesday August 16, 2017.

The owner of the Atlantis casino brand hotels with extensive business interests in Italy and St Maarten attempted to seek the protection of a Dominican diplomatic passport in 2011. He was issued a passport by Skerrit on June 21, 2011 for an as yet undisclosed sum of money just months before his attempted arrest in Italy.

When Italy’s financial police the Guardia di Finanza burst into his home on November 10, 2011 he told them that he could not be arrested because he was “the Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of Dominica at the FAO”, and that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

This allowed him a temporary respite from arrest until it was learnt that the Italian authorities had not yet agreed to Dominica’s Letter of Agreement, which governs diplomatic appointments. (See related)

He was eventually arrested in St Maarten in 2016 following an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol on behalf of the Italian authorities. On December 30, 2016 just days after his arrest, Italian authorities made an official request for his extradition.

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