Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro: how he was apprehended while visiting a clinic
by Davide Ghiglione in Rome and Laura Gozzi in London
A police officer stopped BBC News Italy’s most wanted mobster as he was making his way to a cafe outside a luxury Sicilian clinic and asked him for his name.
He never lied.
He simply raised his head and said: “I’m well-known to you. Matteo Messina Denaro here.
The Mafia “boss of all bosses,” whom the armed forces had been seeking for three decades, was not positively identified by the military until that precise moment.
Under the name Andrea Bonafede, he made a reservation at the clinic.
However, the Italian Carabinieri military police were certain enough that he was the man they were seeking for after years
The disappearance of Messina Denaro also occurred in that year. For 30 years, the only evidence police had to match him was a facial composite and a few brief audio recordings.
He has been spotted everywhere, from Venezuela to the Netherlands, according to reports. However, he was apprehended in Palermo, the capital of his native Sicily.
According to Italian journalist Andrea Purgatori, who spoke to the BBC it took so long to capture him because
The most sought mafioso in Italy had, after all, for a long time felt safe enough “to roam freely in the streets of Palermo, the moral capital of Cosa Nostra,” according to Mr. Purgatori.
He was ultimately discovered in the middle of a bustling city, hardly a secret location. What eventually helped the police locate him after 30 years of searching?
Police rejected the idea of a tip-off at a press briefing. Instead, they claimed that they had whittled down their suspects using a combination of traditional investigation techniques and contemporary technologies.
According to Mitja Gialuz, an attorney and professor of criminal procedure at LUISS University in Rome