Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, Italy’s most wanted man, arrested in Sicily | Warrior Forum
Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, Italy’s most wanted man, arrested in Sicily
One of the Cosa Nostra Mafia’s top leaders in Sicily and the most sought man in Italy, Matteo Messina Denaro, was apprehended by police while receiving treatment in a private medical facility in Palermo, according to prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia on Monday.
According to de Lucia, he had been on the run since 1993 and was one of the most sought men in Europe.
Lamberto Giannini, Italy’s police commissioner, congratulated Carabinieri, Italy’s military police, and the Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office and stated, “It is a success for all the police services who have fought together over these many years to bring the dangerous fugitive to justice.”
For thirty years, Messina Denaro had been evading capture.
“A fantastic triumph for the state, which illustrates that it does not give up in the face of the Mafia,” wrote Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in a tweet.
Guido Crosetto, the defence minister, referred to the arrest as “a manifestation of a state that prevails against the Mafia.”
While Meloni acknowledged that Italy had not yet triumphed over the Mafia, he said that this was a “fight that was crucial to win.” Meloni was speaking outside the prosecutor’s office.
She stated, “It’s a day we can rejoice and teach our kids that the Mafia can be stopped.
A life of crime
Given repeated life sentences in absentia for his numerous crimes, most notably in 1992 for his involvement in the separate murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, Messina Denaro is believed to have orchestrated dozens of murders related to the Mafia.
For the deadly bombs in Milan, Florence, and Rome in the late 1990s as well as the murder and torture of an enemy’s 11-year-old son who testified against the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, he was given his most recent life term in 2020.
He was the longest-hiding fugitive of Cosa Nostra, wanted for nearly 30 years.
After being detained in Palermo on January 16, 2023, Matteo Messina Denaro is depicted in a police booking photo.
Following an early-morning raid by more than 100 specialised operatives with the anti-Mafia Carabinieri, Messina Denaro was taken into prison approximately 10 a.m. local time. Private Maddalena clinic, where he was detained, specialises in plastic surgery and other elective procedures. What medical care Messina Denaro was receiving is unknown.
He is being kept in a “secret location,” according to the Carabinieri press office, which spoke to CNN on Monday.
Anti-Mafia security authorities have been closing in on Messina Denaro’s network in recent years. Between 2009 and 2010, they made arrests and seized over €3 billion ($3.25 billion) in assets from friends, family, and allies who were suspected to be supporting his life in hiding.
Messina Denaro, also known as Diabolik, is regarded as one of Bernardo Provenzano’s successors. Provenzano was captured in April 2006 while hiding out in a farmhouse outside Corleone, Sicily.
Messina Denaro, who was born on April 26, 1962, in Sicily to a well-known Mafia figure, considered crime to be a family affair. His brother Salvatore Messina Denaro was one of those detained during the crackdown in 2009–2010 but he refused to provide information about his location.
His sister, Patrizia Messina Denaro, was convicted of being a Mafia member in 2013 and given a 14-year prison sentence, which she is currently serving.
Time in hiding
Messina Denaro had various connections with women while he was hiding, including his engagement to Franca Alagna, with whom he had a daughter named Lorenza. He also had a high-profile relationship with an Austrian hotel employee who boasted that they went on holiday to Greece even though he was wanted by Europol.
Messina Denaro was transported to the San Lorenzo Carabinieri police station in Palermo after his arrest.
There have been several unsuccessful attempts to apprehend him over the years.
Numerous police personnel were involved in the surveillance of Messina Denaro in May 2011 at a farmhouse close to his hometown of Castelvetrano, but they were unable to apprehend him. Later, his DNA was discovered there.
The arrest of a British man at a restaurant in The Hague in 2021 after the anti-Mafia police mistakenly recognised him as Messina Denaro added to the embarrassment of the police.
The prosecutor claimed that a possible sighting of him in a car in September of that year sparked a manhunt and numerous tips.
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