Matteo Messina Denaro, Italy’s most wanted mafia boss, was apprehended in Sicily after 30 years on the run.
Messina Denaro was allegedly detained in a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily’s capital. He is said to be a boss of the notorious Cosa Nostra mafia in Sicily.
According to Italian media, he was receiving treatment when he was arrested shortly before 10:00 (09:00 GMT) and taken to a secret location by the Carabinieri. The arrest is said to have involved over 100 members of the armed forces.
Messina Denaro was tried and sentenced to life in prison for multiple murders in absentia.
These include the murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992, the deadly bomb attacks in Milan, Florence, and Rome in 1993, and the kidnapping, torture, and murder of the 11-year-old son of a mafioso turned state witness.
For the powerful Cosa Nostra organized crime syndicate, the mafia boss also oversaw racketeering, illegal waste dumping, money laundering, and drug trafficking. He was reportedly Tot Riina’s protege, the head of the Corleone clan who was apprehended in 1993 after 23 years on the run.
Despite the fact that Messina Denaro had been a fugitive since 1993, it was believed that he was still issuing orders to his subordinates from various secret locations.
Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s Prime Minister, thanked the armed forces for their efforts in apprehending the “most important member of the mafia criminal group,” adding, “This is a great victory for the state.”