Notorious Mafia Matteo Messina Denaro Arrested After 30 Years On The Run

Notorious Mafia Matteo Messina Denaro Arrested After 30 Years On The Run

One of Italy’s most wanted mafia bosses, Matteo Messina Denaro, has been arrested in Sicily after eluding authorities for 30 years. He was apprehended in a private clinic in the capital city of Palermo where he was receiving treatment for cancer. Denaro is believed to be a high-ranking member of the notorious Cosa Nostra mafia and was tried and sentenced to life in prison in absentia in 2002 for multiple murders.

Over 100 members of the armed forces were involved in his arrest. Denaro was known as “Diabolik” and “U Siccu” (Skinny) and was considered Cosa Nostra’s last “secret-keeper”, holding information and the names of those involved in many high-profile crimes by the mafia. His arrest is being seen as a sign of hope that the mafia can be eradicated in southern Italy, where the state is perceived as largely absent and ineffective.

Messina Denaro’s arrest is a major victory for Italian law enforcement, who had been searching for him for decades. He was considered one of the most dangerous and elusive members of the Cosa Nostra, and was wanted for a string of heinous crimes, including the 1992 killing of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, the deadly 1993 bomb attacks in Milan, Florence, and Rome, and the kidnapping, torture, and killing of the 11-year-old son of a mafioso turned state witness.

Denaro was also known for his role in overseeing racketeering, illegal waste dumping, money laundering, and drug trafficking for the powerful Cosa Nostra crime syndicate. He was reportedly the protege of Totò Riina, the head of the Corleone clan, who was arrested in 1993 after 23 years on the run.

Despite being on the run since 1993, Denaro is believed to have still been issuing orders to his subordinates from various secret locations. Italian investigators often came close to catching him by monitoring those closest to him, resulting in the arrest of his sister Patrizia and several other associates in 2013. Police also seized valuable businesses linked to Denaro, leaving him increasingly isolated.

However, the timing of the arrest is raising questions among experts. University of Essex criminology professor Anna Sergi told the BBC that it is unclear how the authorities were tipped off, or how it was possible for Denaro to run around Sicily, presumably protected, for 30 years. Some have suggested that someone within the crime world may have decided he was no longer useful, as he was reportedly quite ill with cancer at the time of his arrest.

Despite these questions, the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro is being celebrated as a major victory in the fight against organized crime in Italy. It is a reminder that even the most elusive and dangerous criminals can eventually be brought to justice, and serves as a symbol of hope for those working to eradicate the influence of the mafia in the country.

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