Rome, Jan 16 (EFE).- The alleged boss of the Sicilian Mafia Matteo Messina Denaro has been arrested after 30 years on the run.
Messina Denaro, who has been on the most wanted since 1993 for his alleged role in a series of bombings carried out by the mafia and has been convicted in absentia for several murders, was detained in a private health clinic in Palermo, in Sicily, Italian media reported Monday.
He is believed to be the boss of bosses in the Sicilian Mafia.
Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni welcomed the arrest as a “a great victory for the state which demonstrates that it does not give up in the face of the mafia.”
She added in a tweet: “My warmest thanks, together with those of the whole government, go to the police forces, and in particular to the Ros dei Carabinieri (special operations), to the national anti-mafia prosecutor and to the prosecutor of Palermo for the capture of the most significant exponent of mafia crime.”
Meloni pointed out that his capture came a day after the 30th anniversary of the arrest of Totò Riina, another prominent Sicilian Mafia boss.
Messina Denaro, 60, faces life sentences for the 1993 bombings that killed 10 people in Florence, Rome and Milan.
He is also regarded as the mastermind behind the 1992 bombings that killed antimafia prosecutors Paolo Borsellino and Giovani Falcone, the latter’s wife, Francesca Morvillo, and eight security agents.
It was after the bombings in 1992 and 1993, and the arrest of Riina, that Messina Denaro disappeared and is believed to have run the mafia, commonly known as the Cosa Nostra, from hiding.