Simanaitis Says

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THERE’S DUI (DRIVING under the influence), OWI (operating while intoxicated), and DWI (driving while intoxicated). But what about CWT (cooking while tattooed)? 

It sure got an alleged mafioso in a whole lot of trouble.

 A Quiet Life in the Caribbean. According to The Guardian, March 29, 2021, Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, led a quiet life in Boca Chica, the Dominican Republic, with the local Italian expat community considering this Italian-Dutch a ‘foreigner.’ ”

The Dominican Republic is the eastern portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, west of Puerto Rico. Hispaniola’s western part is Haiti. Image by Orlando Barria/EPA from The Guardian, March 29, 2021.

Biart liked to cook, Italian especially, and uploaded several cooking videos to YouTube. Unlike most cooking shows, though, these went out of their way to avoid displaying the cook’s face. 

Image from, March 30, 2021.

The anonymity was for good reason. Noted The Guardian, “Biart had been on the run since 2014, when Italian prosecutors ordered his arrest for trafficking in cocaine in the Netherlands on behalf of the Cacciola clan of the ’Ndrangheta mafia.” 

By the way, ‘Ndrangheta is pronounced just as it’s spelled: “ ‘ndràn-ghe-ta.” Cacciola is “ca-chiola.”

The Guardian observes, “Based in Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy’s ‘boot,’ the ’Ndrangheta is considered to be one of the world’s most powerful crime syndicates because of its control of most of the cocaine entering Europe…. It has extended its reach across all parts of the world, and it has long surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as Italy’s biggest mafia organisation.”

Faceless, But…. Though Biart’s face was nowhere to be seen in the videos, distinctive tattoos elsewhere on his body were sufficient to alert Interpol.

The alleged perp is escorted by Interpol authorities. Reuters image from BBC News, March 28, 2021.

Biart has now been extradited to Italy. As noted by BBC News, March 28, 2021, he is one of “355 alleged mobsters and corrupt officials who have been charged after a long investigation into the ‘Ndrangheta group.”

Other defendants include those known as “The Uncle,” “The Wolf,” “Fatty,” and “Blondie.” Note: Do not confuse this last Italian with Blondie the Romanian of “A Mission Impossible Book Heist,” recently here at SimanaitisSays.

BBC News reports, “More than 900 witnesses are expected to give evidence at the trial, which opened in January and will last two years.”

A Sweeping Trial. As described by The Guardian, January 13, 2021, “A high-security 1,000-capacity courtroom with cages to hold the defendants has been built by Italian authorities in the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme. Despite its symbolic importance, the opening day was largely procedural, with Judge Tiziana Macri reading out the names of the defendants. None attended in person but about 50 participated via video link.” 

BBC News says, “During a pre-trial hearing it took more than three hours to read the names of the defendants, AFP news agency reported at the time. The charge sheet includes murder, drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering.”

And, I might add, CWT. Cooking while tattooed. 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021 

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