Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the bosses of the Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily and Italy’s maximum desired man, has been arrested by using police while being handled in a non-public health center in Palermo, prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia said Monday.
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He had been a fugitive for the reason that 1993 and became considered by using Europol one of the most desired men in Europe, de Lucia informed.
“It is a victory for all of the police forces which have labored collectively over those long years to convey the dangerous fugitive to justice,” Italy’s leader of Police, Lamberto Giannini, stated in an assertion congratulating the Carabinieri – Italy’s army police – and the Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni tweeted: “A splendid victory for the state, which demonstrates that it does not surrender within the face of the Mafia.”
Defense Minister Guido Crosetto called the arrest “a signal of a nation that wins in opposition to Mafia.”
Speaking out of doors the prosecutor’s workplace, Meloni said that whilst Italy had not yet gained the “conflict” in opposition to the Mafia, this became a “war that was essential to win.”
“It’s an afternoon we can have fun and tell our youngsters that the Mafia can be defeated,” she stated.
A lifestyle of crime
Messina Denaro is thought to have ordered dozens of Mafia-related murders and became given numerous existing sentences in absentia for his many crimes, most notably in 1992 for his involvement in the separate murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
He obtained his latest existence sentence in 2020 for deadly bombings in Milan, Florence, and Rome within the overdue Nineties, and for the murder and torture of the 11-yr-vintage son of an enemy who gave proof against the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.
Having been a desired guy for nearly 30 years, he changed into Cosa Notra’s longest-hiding fugitive.
Messina Denaro become taken into custody around 10 a.M. Nearby time after a raid carried out by way of more than one hundred specialized agents with the anti-Mafia Carabinieri in the early morning hours. The Maddalena health center in which he become arrested is a personal medical institution recognized for plastic surgery and other optional surgical procedures. It isn’t recognized what treatment Messina Denaro turned into receiving.
In recent years, anti-Mafia security forces have been final in on Messina Denaro’s circle, seizing around €three billion ($three.25 billion) in belongings belonging to companions, family, and friends thought to be helping his life in hiding and making arrests between 2009 and 2010.
Messina Denaro – known as Diabolik – appeared as one of the successors of Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested even in hiding in a farmhouse outdoors in Corleone, Sicily, in April 2006.
The crime became a family affair for Messina Denaro, born to a recognized Mafia boss in Sicily on April 26, 1962. Among those arrested inside the 2009-2010 crackdown was his brother, Salvatore Messina Denaro, who refused to testify about his whereabouts.
In 2013, his sister, Patrizia Messina Denaro, was sentenced to fourteen years in jail, a time period she is still serving, for being a member of the Mafia.
Time in hiding
While in hiding, Messina Denaro maintained numerous romantic relationships, consisting of along with his fiancée, Franca Alagna, with whom he had a daughter, Lorenza. Another of his excessive-profile liaisons become with an Austrian lodge worker, who bragged that they traveled to Greece on vacation no matter his being on Europol’s most-desired list.
Over the years, there have been several failed tries to arrest him.
In May 2011, police believed they have been surveiling Messina Denaro at a farmhouse near his native land of Castelvetrano. Still, they did not seize him regardless of the involvement of masses of officials. His DNA turned into later located at the website.
Adding to police embarrassment turned into the arrest of a British guy at a restaurant in The Hague in 2021 after the anti-Mafia police wrongfully diagnosed him as Messina Denaro.
A suspected sighting of him in a car in September of that 12 months brought about a manhunt and hundreds of recommendations, the prosecutor stated.