Italy Arrests Sicilian Mafia Boss Matteo Messina Denaro: One of the Cosa Nostra Mafia’s top leaders in Sicily and the most wanted 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 wanted men in Europe.
Lamberto Giannini, Italy’s police chief, congratulated the Carabinieri, Italy’s military police, and the Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office and said, “It is a victory for all the police forces that have worked together over these long years to bring the dangerous fugitive to justice.”
“A great victory for the state, which demonstrates that it does not give up in the face of the Mafia,” wrote Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in a tweet.
Guido Crosetto, the defense minister, referred to the arrest as “a sign of a state that wins against the Mafia.”
While Meloni acknowledged that Italy had not yet triumphed over the Mafia, he claimed that this was a “battle that was fundamental to win.” Meloni was speaking outside the prosecutor’s office.
“It’s a day we can celebrate and tell our children that the Mafia can be defeated,” she said.
A Life of Crime
Given several 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 ordered dozens of murders related to the Mafia.
For the deadly bombings in Milan, Florence, and Rome in the late 1990s and 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 sentence in 2020.
He was the longest-hiding fugitive of Cosa Nostra, wanted for nearly 30 years.
Following an early-morning operation by more than 100 specialist agents with the anti-Mafia Carabinieri, Messina Denaro was apprehended at approximately 10 a.m. local time. Private Maddalena clinic, where he was detained, specializes in plastic surgery and other elective procedures. What medical care Messina Denaro was receiving is unknown.
Anti-Mafia security forces have been closing in on Messina Denaro’s network recently. Between 2009 and 2010, they arrested and seized approximately €3 billion ($3.25 billion) in assets from friends, family, and associates who were thought to be supporting his life in hiding.
Messina Denaro, also known as Diabolik, is regarded as one of Bernardo Provenzano’s successors. Bernardo Provenzano was apprehended in April 2006 while hiding in a farmhouse outside Corleone, Sicily.
Messina Denaro, born on April 26, 1962, in Sicily to a well-known Mafia boss, considered a crime a family affair. His brother Salvatore Messina Denaro was detained during the crackdown in 2009–2010, but he refused to provide information about his whereabouts.
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 several relationships with women while hiding, including his engagement with 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 vacation to Greece even though Europol wanted him.
There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to apprehend him over the years.
Numerous police officers were involved in the surveillance of Messina Denaro in May 2011 at a farmhouse close to his hometown of Castelvetrano, but they could not 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 recognized 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. Follow Newswatchlist.com for more information. You can also leave your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to bookmark our website.