Gennaro Panzuto, 45, revealed how he was picked up at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool in a Rolls Royce after he had fled Naples in 2006
A mafia don who ran his empire from a caravan park in Lancashire after fleeing Italy has revealed how he mistreated debtors in pub parking garages, threw his Naples mistress overboard and kept his neighbors sweet with designer shoes.
From a prison high in the Italian Alps, Gennaro Panzuto, 45, told the BBC how he worked his way up to the Camorra, a frightening criminal syndicate that made a roaring trade in extortion and drug trafficking.
That was his relentless success, Panzuto became disgraceful after a bloody inter-clan war tore through Naples in the winter of 2005-06. So the crook swapped the Neapolitan spring sun to the dewy climates of Six Arches Caravan Park in Lancashire.
In the course of his racketeering, Panzuto had met an English “businessman” who was often in Naples. When he stated that he needed somewhere to hide, the Brit was honored to host the mafioso and arrange a Rolls Royce to pick him up from Liverpool John Lennon Airport – and bring him to the pub.
“You don’t know how much I smiled,” he told the BBC. “These English guys – and they were trying to meet me – sent me this driver. And then we went to the pub. “
The Six Arches Caravan Park in Lancashire, where Panzuto would charm the locals, despite its limited lanes of 5 km / h in its Porsche
He described earlier how he had not been a drinker before arriving in the UK.
“I never drank beer.” He said. “But I started in England because if you are invited to drink, people will be offended if you are in doubt.”
Above all, Panzuto – who had been directly associated with the murder of a gangster named Graziano Borelli during the winter war – had to be low.
And his English friend assured him that this would be arranged.
Panzuto rented one of the units in the caravan park and his wife and children soon visited him from Italy.
Despite his preference for breaking the speed limit of 5 km / h in his Porsche, the locals found him talkative, exuberant and nobody questioned the Panzutos.
One of those neighbors was Mick Bury, who furiously knocked on Panzuto’s door after cutting his car.
The Italian could not understand what the Lancastrian was shouting, but apologized as well as he could and gave Mr. Bury a number to call.
About 20 minutes later a suitable and started local man arrived and after assessing the situation £ 200 slid from a stack of banknotes.
“No questions asked – he just wanted to sort it.” Mr. Bury told the BBC. And then he and Panzuto became friends, looking memorable at Italy, which won the Berlin World Cup Final that summer.
“The joke – when I went out with my friends – was:” Hey, you have to watch out, he might be a Mafia man. ” Mr. Bury said.
And later, Panzuto gave Mr Bury a pair of black Tuscan leather dance shoes that he still wears today when he goes to Northern Soul nights.
He was indeed known for his generosity, handing out turkeys at Christmas and Panzuto seemed to have an endless supply of shoes.
But it was not all strange to live for Panzuto – his English host soon asked him to make favors and the Italian willingly made his bids, hoping to learn about the man’s white collar work.
The Englishman had a debtor on which he had to exert some pressure. Panzuto told him he could sort it in the Camorra way.
The crook exchanged Neapolitan spring sun into the dewy climates of Six Arches Caravan Park in Lancashire
That was his relentless success, Panzuto was in the middle of a massacre after a brutal inter-clan war that was torn in Naples by the winter of 2005-06
A dinner was organized, Panzuto found the target stubborn and threatening despite the large amounts he owed. The mafioso invited him to the parking lot, grabbed him, threw him down, and threw him down.
The victim was shaken. “Remember what I did.” Panzuto told him. “Tell everyone that this is how the wind is blowing now.”
And quite impressed by his efforts, his English host Panzuto showed the lucrative world of carousel fraud.
The Italian described his astonishment at how easy it was to evade the tax man in England compared to Italy, how easy it was to set up fake businesses and hide the profits from crime.
And he was able to use his contacts in Italy to create cross-border trade, moving shoes, plumbing and cars.
Panzuto had since moved to a semi-detached house on Cock Robin Lane, a leafy village north of Preston.
While he led his 1,500 criminal lieutenants 1,500 miles away, his neighbors often offered to look after his two young sons.
He regularly flew into his wife, then his mistress when she was gone, and he held conferences in his pebble home with dozens of his old country capos.
But he was still one of the most wanted men in Naples, and he believes he and his servants were lulled into a false sense of security.
On May 16, 2007, two British officers knocked on Panzuto’s door. They asked if he had weapons, and when he said they weren’t there, he surrendered politely.
In the last period of his time in England, Panzuto moved to a semi-detached house on Cock Robin Lane, a leafy village north of Preston
Back in the caravan park, his old neighbors were stunned.
He was dragged back to Italy with life imprisonment for murder, but he was offered a plea.
“Do I have to spend my life in prison now – and if so, for whom do I do this?” He said he asked himself. “I chose my family.”
This allowed him to be free as early as 2021. Panzuto told the BBC about his crimes: “I’m so embarrassed as a dog. Killing people costs nothing – it only requires cowardice. That’s all.’
As for his old English friend, the broadcaster could not publish his name for legal reasons, but he still has the freedom to suck the taxpayer out of thousands.