Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the bosses of the Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily and Italy’s most wanted man, has been arrested by police while being treated in a private health clinic in Palermo, prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia said Monday.
He had been a fugitive since 1993 and was considered by Europol one of the most wanted men in Europe.
“It is a victory for all the police forces that have worked together over these long years to bring the dangerous fugitive to justice,” Italy’s chief of Police, Lamberto Giannini, said in a statement congratulating the Carabinieri – Italy’s military police – and the Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni tweeted: “A great victory for the state, which demonstrates that it does not give up in the face of the Mafia.”
Defense Minister Guido Crosetto called the arrest “a sign of a state that wins against Mafia.”
Speaking outside the prosecutor’s office, Meloni said that while Italy had not yet won the “war” against the Mafia, this was a “battle that was fundamental to win.”
Messina Denaro is thought to have ordered dozens of Mafia-related murders, and was given several life 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 received his most recent life sentence in 2020 for fatal bombings in Milan, Florence and Rome in the late 1990s, and for the murder and torture of the 11-year-old son of an enemy who gave evidence against the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.
Having been a wanted man for nearly 30 years, he was Cosa Notra’s longest-hiding fugitive.
Messina Denaro was taken into custody around 10 a.m. local time after a raid carried out by more than 100 specialized agents with the anti-Mafia Carabinieri in the early hours of the morning. The Maddalena clinic where he was arrested is a private clinic known for plastic surgery and other elective surgeries. It is not known what treatment Messina Denaro was receiving.
In recent years, anti-Mafia security forces have been closing in on Messina Denaro’s circle, seizing around €3 billion ($3.25 billion) in assets belonging to companions, relatives and associates thought to be supporting his life in hiding, and making arrests between 2009 and 2010.
Messina Denaro – known as Diabolik – is regarded as one of the successors of Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested while in hiding in a farmhouse outside Corleone, Sicily, in April 2006.
Crime was a family affair for Messina Denaro, born to a known Mafia boss in Sicily on April 26, 1962. Among those arrested in 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 14 years in prison, a term she is still serving, for being a member of the Mafia.
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com