ROME — Italy’s No. 1 fugitive, convicted mob boss Matteo Messina Denaro, was arrested Monday at a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily, after 30 years on the run, Italian paramilitary police said.
Messina Denaro was captured at a clinic where he was being treated for an undisclosed medical condition, said Carabinieri General Pasquale Angelosanto, who heads the police’s special operations unit.
Messina Denaro was taken by police to a secret location immediately after his arrest, Italian state television reported.
When he was in hiding as a young man, he is now 60. Messina Denaro, who had a power base in the port city of Trapani in western Sicily, was considered the top boss of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, even while on the run.
He was the last of three long-time fugitive high-level mob bosses who have eluded arrest for decades.
Messina Denaro, who was tried in absentia and found guilty of dozens of murders, faces multiple life sentences.
He is to be jailed for twin bombings in Sicily in 1992 that killed top anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Barcellino. Other gruesome crimes he was found guilty of include the murder of the young son of a mobster who was strangled and his body dissolved in vats of acid.
Monday’s arrest came 30 years and a day after convicted “boss of bosses” Salvatore “Toto” Riina was captured in a Palermo apartment after 23 years on the run.
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