Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the bosses of Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily and Italy’s most wanted person was detained by the police while being treated at an unnamed health clinic in Palermo the city of Palermo, Prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia announced Monday.
He was wanted as a fugitive since 1993 and was thought by Europol to be among the most wanted individuals across 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 head of Police, Lamberto Giannini, issued a statement, praising the Carabinieri Italy’s military police force – and that of Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Italian Prim Minister Giorgia Meloni posted on Twitter “A great victory for the state, which demonstrates that it does not give up in the face of the Mafia.”
Defence Minister Guido Crosetto called the arrest “a sign of a state that wins against Mafia.”
Outside the prosecutor’s office, Meloni said that while Italy has not yet won its “war” against the Mafia it was an “battle that was fundamental to win.”
“It’s a day we can celebrate and tell our children that the Mafia can be defeated,” she added.
A life in crime
Messina Denaro is believed to be the one who ordered numerous Mafia-related deaths, and was sentenced to life in absentia in connection with his many crimes, but most notable was in 1992, for his part in the murders of Anti-Mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
He was given his last life sentence in 2020 , for the fatal bombings that occurred at Milan, Florence and Rome in the 1990s as well as the torture and murder of an 11-year-old son of an enemy who provided evidence for the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.
Being wanted as a criminal for over 30 years He had been Cosa Notra’s longest-hiding wanted criminal.
Messina Denaro was detained at around 10. a.m. in the local time, following an investigation that was carried out by over 100 specially trained police officers from an anti-Mafia Carabinieri during the wee morning hours. The Maddalena clinic which he was detained at is a private facility that is that is known for plastic surgery as well as other elective procedures. It is unclear the kind of treatment that Messina Denaro received.
The Carabinieri press office informed this morning that the journalist was being held in the “secret location.”
Since the past few years, anti-Mafia security officers have been gaining ground on Messina Denaro’s circle. They have seized approximately EUR3 billion ($3.25 billion) in funds belonging to associates family members and friends believed to be assisting his life hidden, as well as bringing him to justice between 2009 and 2010.
FILE – The 1995 file photograph that was taken from West Palm Beach, Fla. The photo was made public by FBI depicts Francis P. “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. Salemme was once a influential New England Mafia boss who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of an Boston club owner has passed away aged 89 according to the Bureau of Prisons. Salemme passed away on the 12th of December. 13 2022, as per Bureau of Prisons’ online information. (Federal Bureau of Investigation via AP, File)
Messina Denaro – also known as Diabolik is believed to be one of the heirs to Bernardo Provenzano, who was detained while hiding in a farmhouse in Corleone, Sicily, in April of 2006.
Crime was an affair of the family for Messina Denaro, who was born to an infamous Mafia boss in Sicily on the 26th of April 1962. The most wanted in the 2009-2010 police crackdown is his older brother Salvatore Messina Denaro, who refused to provide evidence about his whereabouts.
In 2013 the sister of his, Patrizia Messina denaro, received 14 years of prison, which she’s still serving because she was a part of Mafia.
Time in hiding
In the shadows, Messina Denaro kept a variety of romantic relationships, including his fiancée, Franca Alagna who he shared a daughternamed Lorenza. Another of his prominent liaisons was with one Austrian hotel employee, who claimed that they went to Greece for a vacation, despite being listed on Europol’s most wanted list.
In the past There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to detain the suspect.
in May of 2011, the police believed that they were watching Messina Denaro in a farmhouse close to his hometown of Castelvetrano however they were unable to catch him despite the involvement of hundreds police officers. The DNA of the deceased was later discovered on the spot.
In addition to the embarrassment of police was the detention of an unidentified British man in an eatery at The Hague in 2021, following the falsely identified the man in the wrong way as Messina Denaro.
A possible sighting of him in a car in the month of September this year led to the search for him with hundreds of clues, according to the prosecutor.