The notorious criminal known as “Diabolik,” who was considered Italy’s most wanted man, has been apprehended while receiving treatment for cancer.
Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the most powerful and dangerous members of the Sicilian Mafia, was arrested while receiving cancer treatment. According to the clinic’s director, Denaro attempted to flee but was quickly apprehended by law enforcement. He reportedly identified himself to the police and did not resist arrest. The police found him in good condition and wearing a $38,000 Franck Muller watch. Denaro had been using the alias “Andrea Bonafede” and was carrying identification under that name.
After 30 years on the run, Italy’s top fugitive and convicted Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested in Sicily. Authorities say he controlled La Cosa Nostra as a fugitive for decades and now they want to know who protected him. @marcusmoore reports. https://t.co/xKg8vAPcN7 pic.twitter.com/I5kyvj2YVG
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 17, 2023
Denaro had been the boss of the powerful Mafia family in Trapani, Sicily since his uncle Salvatore “Toto” Riina’s arrest in 1993. He was known for his brutality and involvement in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, extortion and murder. He had been a fugitive since 1993.
The arrest of Denaro has been celebrated as a victory for law enforcement and the state. Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, tweeted that it demonstrated the state’s determination in the fight against the Mafia. Denaro was also known by his nickname Diabolik, possibly after an Italian comic book character and was considered as a successor of Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested in 2006.
Matteo Messina Denaro comes from a family with a long history of criminal activity. His father was a mob boss, and both his brother and sister have been convicted of mafia-related crimes. Despite his arrest, Denaro has already been sentenced to life in prison in absentia for his involvement in the murder of two anti-mafia prosecutors in 1992 and bombings that resulted in ten deaths the following year.