Feb 13 2009
The macho image of the Italian mafia has been shaken by the arrest of a transsexual mobster who dresses as a woman, wears lipstick and insists on being called Kitty.
The cross-dressing criminal, whose real name is Ugo Gabriele, was arrested by armed police during a raid in the southern port city of Naples, home to the Camorra, one of Italy’s four mafia groups.
Gabriele, 27, hardly conforms to the image of a gangster’s moll – his police mugshot shows him to be heavy set, with broad shoulders and a double chin.
But there is also an incongruous feminine touch – carefully sculpted eyebrows, blonde highlights in his hair and a light dab of lipstick.
Police said Gabriele was a mafia ‘capo’ or godfather who masterminded a drug dealing and prostitution racket in Naples for the Scissionisti clan of the Camorra.
Investigators said it was the first time they had arrested a transsexual mafia gangster.
Despite his chunky physique and masculine appearance he insisted on being addressed as Kitty, they said.
Gabriele was arrested with another 27 members of the Camorra, a powerful criminal organisation which was investigated by the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano in his best-selling book, Gomorrah, later made into a film.
“It’s a sign that the Camorra has changed not only its code of honour, which once forbade the killing of women and children; it has also changed its internal rules,” said the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
The mafia has traditionally shown no tolerance for homosexuality. Last year a convicted mobster who was suspected of being gay because he wrote poetry in his cell was subjected to a horrific gang-rape by fellow prisoners.
Italian police arrest first known transsexual mafia mobster – By Nick Squires in Perugia – Last Updated: 2:22PM GMT 13 Feb 2009 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/4612516/Italian-police-arrest-first-known-transsexual-mafia-mobster.html