1673864243 Italys most wanted mobster Cosa Nostra boss arrested

Italy’s most wanted mobster: Cosa Nostra boss arrested

Updated on 01/16/2023 at 10:15 am

  • Great success for the Italian police.
  • The Carabinieri arrested Matteo Messina Denaro – the boss of Cosa Nostra.
  • The mafia boss had already been on the run for 30 years.

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Italian police have arrested the head of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Matteo Messina Denaro. As the Carabinieri announced on Monday, the mafia boss and Italy’s most wanted criminal has been arrested by special forces.

Messina Denaro is linked to several murders. Police arrested the 60-year-old man in the Sicilian capital of Palermo on Monday, General Pasquale Angelosanto told Italian news agency AGI. Mafia hunters managed to arrest them in a private clinic in Palermo, where Messina Denaro wanted to be treated.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini confirmed the arrest. “Superboss” Denaro has been arrested, Salvini wrote on the Whatsapp messaging service. He was “deeply moved” and thanked “the women and men of the state who never gave up and uphold the rule that sooner or later even the biggest criminals are caught on the run”.

Mafia godfather Matteo Messina was on the run for 30 years

Italys most wanted mobster Cosa Nostra boss arrested

Matteo Messina Denaro had been on the run for 30 years. (archive image)

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Previously, Messina Denaro had been on the run for 30 years. The mobster, who went into hiding in 1993, was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for murder.

Denaro was number one on the Italian Interior Ministry’s list of most wanted criminals. Since the turn of the millennium, investigators have tried to isolate the now 60-year-old with the help of arrests in his environment and confiscations. This strategy has already been successful.

In 2015, investigators discovered, among other things, that Denaro, who was born near Trapani, in western Sicily, did without modern means of communication in order not to leave a trace. Instead, he used the old mafia method of “pizzini” – coded messages on a small piece of paper – to instruct his henchmen. The only known photo of the fugitive so far is from the early 1990s.

Messina Denaro was considered the successor of the “godfathers” Bernardo Provenzano and Toto Riina.

He is credited with being involved in the deadly 1992 bombings of mob hunters Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. He was considered a confidant and successor to the historic “godfathers” Bernardo Provenzano and Toto Riina, who died in prison in 2016 and 2017.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni spoke of a “great success for the state, which shows that it has never been defeated by the mafia”.(ank/dpa/AFP)

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