Thought to be Mafia Boss Arrested After 30 Years on the Run


Taelyn Nordbrock, Reporter

Ever heard of the name Matteo Messina Denaro, or the Cosa Nostra Mafia? Denaro was arrested on Monday, January 16th. Denaro has been one of the most wanted men since 1993 and started to be considered the most wanted man in Europe. There, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni posted a statement on Twitter regarding his capture, “A great victory for the state, which demonstrates that it does not give up in the face of the Mafia.” Italy’s chief of police, Lamberto Giannini congratulated the victory of the Carabinieri (Italy’s Military Police) and thanked all the other forces that have been involved all these years. Meloni mentioned that this isn’t the end of the “war [on organized crime]” but a sign that they can end it and inspire hope in future generations that the Mafia can be ended. Denaro has lived most of his life committing crimes and murders, whether they were related to the Mafia or murders of his own. “Messina Denaro is thought to have ordered dozens of Mafia-related murders, and was given several life sentences in absentia for his many crimes, most notably in 1992 for his involvement in the separate murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.” His most recent life sentence in 2020, was for the fatal bombings in Milan, Florence, and Rome. He also allegedly murdered and tortured an 11-year-old son of an enemy of his who gave evidence about the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.

He became Cosa Nostra’s longest-hiding fugitive. Messina Denaro got taken into custody around 10 a.m. local time after a raid had been carried out with more than 100 special agents of the Carabinieri that had followed early hours of the morning. He was arrested in a private clinic called the Maddalena Clinic known for plastic and elective surgery. However, it’s not given what he was receiving while there. The Carabinieri press office spoke to CNN on Monday stating that he was being held in a “secret location.” Making arrests between 2009 and 2010, in recent years anti-Mafia security forces had been slowly surrounding Denaro’s circle and seizing around $3.5 billion in assets that were thought to be supporting his life on the run. Crime ran in Messina’s family, as his father was a Mafia boss, his brother was arrested during the 2009-201o crackdown, and his sister is serving 14 years for being a Mafia member.

In his time of hiding, he had many romantic relationships. He had a daughter named Florenza with his fiancee Franca Alagana. He has had many failed attempts to arrest him while being on the run, as well as many times where he evaded capture even with hundreds of officers after him. He also had many reports of sightings, including false reports during his time of hiding. However, they’ve now got him in custody and fully arrested after these 30 years.