Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro arrested, police say | World News

Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has been arrested by police after 30 years on the run.

Messina Dinaro is accused of being the boss of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia and has been on the run since 1993.

He was detained at a private hospital in the Sicilian capital, Palermo, where he was being treated for an undisclosed medical condition.

According to Italian state TV, he was taken to a secret location shortly after his arrest.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni thanked the authorities for the arrest and called the operation “a great victory for the state which shows that it never gives up to the mafia”.

Photo: Italian Police/Lapress/AP
A 2011 computer-generated image by Italian police, right, and an old photo of Messina Dinaro. Photo: Italian Police/Lapress/AP

Messina Dinaro was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

He also faces life in prison for his role in bombings in Florence, Rome and Milan that killed 10 people the following year.

Police said last year that despite being on the run, he was still able to dictate how the mafia operated in the area around his regional stronghold, the western Sicilian city of Trapani.

Messina Dinaro is also accused of being solely or jointly responsible for several other murders in the 1990s.

Prosecutors say he helped organize the kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, in 1993 in an attempt to prevent his father from testifying against the Mafia.

The boy was held captive for two years before he was strangled and his body dissolved in acid.

Messina Dinaro was the last of three fugitive high-level Mafia bosses who eluded capture for decades.

His arrest comes 30 years later and a day after convicted “boss of bosses” Salvatore “Toto” Reyna is captured after 23 years on the run.

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