“The Penniless Pensioner: Misaligned, Maligned but Marvellous”: Chapter 32: Scampia, Naples: Down and Dirty in the Cocaine and Heroin Factory and Costco Distribution Centre

Don Lupara and I left the family compound after a hearty breakfast of fruit, smoked ham and Napoli croissants loaded with his wife’s stupendous orange marmalade from oranges from the family orchards in Ischia. With food like this perhaps the “Fat” in “Fat Fox” might have referred to the effects of all the tremendous Neapolitan food!

Once again our car a huge fat Russian Zil with its armour and bullet proof glass was flanked by a car in front and to our rear. I saw pistols bulging from the backs of the tattooed and odd looking “colleagues” of Don Lupara. Don Lupara said the Zil once belonged to Nikita Khrushchev.

Don Lupara explained to me that I was going to see his business that of course Ginevra was going to assume upon his death which he said in this business and in Naples is always just around the corner. Again the threat, although said in a more friendly tone than it had been a few days ago that what I was about to see must never be repeated outside “the family”.

Our first stop was the cocaine and heroin “factory”. The narcotics were smuggled via Bulgaria from El Salvador concealed in sex toy dolls wrapped tightly in two kilo bricks. Having such good import connections the narcotics were pure. A team sat on a huge-long table opening the wrapping on the bricks. The powder was then cut to half strength and packaged in various sizes for “retail distribution” fine tuned like some COSTCO warehouse! Heavily armed men guarded the outside with machine guns.

The retail network consisted of over 75 men and women. Most narcotics were distributed like candy from various locations often near schools and playgrounds with tall buildings nearby where sentinels could watch oncoming movements. A fleet of motor scooters zipped about delivering narcotics to the “distribution team”.  A never-ending line of ragged customers flashed their cash quickly and efficiently and scuttled off. The “distribution team” was well trained in quick escapes should there be a police raid. As Don Lupara said to me the family had many “friends” in the public prosecutor’s office and in the police so raids were known far in advance. The family had many “friends” in the custom’s office too. For their information and assistance very large sums of cash were needed so Don Lupara had a payroll to meet in addition to “employees” in the factory and in the distribution network.

All said and done this was a business model that could be one of the finest in the capitalist world. Again what in earth had fate delivered to me. Ginerva and I becoming narcotic kingpins in Naples? Ginevra was not that type of girl…..or so I thought yet I recalled she cut up 3 tough Puerto Rican thugs in Harlem faster than you could blink.

Now for our lunch break Don Lupara said it was important I meet some of his “colleagues”  as I would be dealing with them in the future? And why did Don Lupara have me set up to take Italian language courses?

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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