Tuesday, italian police arrested the country’s most-wanted mafia boss, matteo messina denaro, in sicily after 30 years on the run. messina denaro is alleged to be a boss of the notorious cosa nostra mafia and is wanted in connection with numerous murders, including those of anti-mafia prosecutors giovanni falcone and paolo borsellino in 1992, as well as several deadly bomb attacks in milan, florence and rome in 1993. over 100 members of the armed forces were involved in the arrest.
Arrest took place in sicily on tuesday and was reportedly the result of a long-term investigation into messina denaro’s activities. messina denaro had been a fugitive since 1993, but police believe he was still issuing orders to his subordinates from various secret locations. over the years, investigators had come close to catching the mafia boss by monitoring those closest to him and seizing valuable businesses linked to him.
Arrest of messina denaro is seen as a major victory for the italian government in its fight against organised crime. gian carlo caselli, a judge and former prosecutor general, called it an “exceptional… simply historical event” that might lead to significant developments in the ongoing inquiries into the 1993 bomb attacks. italy’s prime minister giorgia meloni thanked the armed forces for their work in detaining the “most important member of the mafia criminal group”. a video circulated by italian media appears to show people standing in the street and applauding the italian police as messina denaro is led away.