Arrest of the most wanted mafioso in Italy, Matteo Messina Denaro

Steph Deschamps / January 16, 2023

Italy's most wanted mobster, Sicilian Matteo Messina Denaro, on the run for 30 years, has been arrested in Palermo, Sicily, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini announced Monday.
Matteo Messina Denaro, 60, is considered the successor of the great historical leaders of Cosa Nostra, Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who died in prison in 2016 and 2017.
"After 30 years on the run, the superboss Matteo Messina Denaro has been arrested. It is with great emotion that I thank the women and men of the state who never gave up, confirming the rule that sooner or later even the greatest criminals on the run are arrested," Salvini reacted on whatsapp.
This is a great day for Italy and serves as a warning to the mafia: the institutions and our heroes in uniform never give up," concluded Salvini.
"Today, January 16, the carabinieri (...) arrested the fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro inside a health facility in Palermo where he had gone to undergo clinical therapies," said Carabinieri General Pasquale Angelosanto to the AGI agency.
On the Ministry of the Interior's list of the six most wanted criminals in Italy, Matteo Messina Denaro, born in April 1962 near Trapani, Sicily, is in first place.
A former Cosa Nostra triggerman, he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for murder. But the only known photo of him dates back to the early 1990s.
For many years, hundreds of police officers and carabinieri have been involved in the hunt for Italy's most notorious fugitive. 
Since the 2000s, the Italian police have increased the number of arrests and seizures of property in his entourage, in a strategy of isolation that has taken almost 20 years to bear fruit, as his support network was so large.


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