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Monday, January 23, 2023

Italian police arrest man whose ID helped fugitive mobster


ROME — Italian police in Sicily on Monday arrested the person whose identification was utilized by a convicted Mafia boss who had been Italy’s No. 1 fugitive for 30 years, authorities mentioned.

Carabinieri police mentioned that Andrea Bonafede had been arrested on a warrant issued by judicial authorities in Palermo. Investigators contend that Bonafede obtained 20,000 euros ($22,000) cash from Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro to purchase a home in western Sicily that served as one of many fugitive’s hideouts.

When Messina Denaro was captured final week at a Palermo clinic the place he was receiving chemotherapy, he was utilizing an official identification card with Bonafede’s identify however along with his personal picture. Through the arrest, police additionally took into custody one other man who had pushed him to the clinic.

Police have searched not less than three houses within the city of Campobello di Mazara, in western Sicily, close to Trapani, which they are saying Messina Denaro had been utilizing as hideouts during the last a number of months. It was one in every of these houses that was bought by Bonafede, investigators mentioned.

In issuing the warrant for Bonafede’s arrest, Decide Alfredo Montalto mentioned Bonafed was suspected of being a member of Cosa Nostra, because the Sicilian Mafia is thought, and serving to Messina Denaro to hold out his function as a significant mob boss.

Because of Bonafede’s permitting Messina Denaro to make use of his identification, the fugitive was “capable of transfer on the territory (of Italy), eluding legislation enforcement, in addition to to entry Nationwide Well being Care with out revealing his actual identification,’’ in response to the accusations within the warrant.

The fugitive had been receiving most cancers remedy for months on the Palermo clinic as an out-patient registered as Andrea Bonafede, authorities mentioned.

Messina Denaro had been convicted in absentia whereas he was on the lam of a number of of essentially the most heinous Mafia crimes and given a number of life sentences. He was convicted of being one of many masterminds of the 1992 bombings — one in every of assaults killed Italy’s high anti-Mafia Justice of the Peace, Giovanni Falcone, alongside a freeway outdoors Palermo and the opposite killed a fellow Justice of the Peace, Paolo Borsellino two months later — that shocked Italy. Additionally killed in these bombings was Falcone’s spouse and bodyguards of each magistrates.

Bonafede was arrested after dusk in a small city simply outdoors Campobello di Mazara, in response to police video footage launched by the Carabinieri.

Of their searches of the three homes allegedly utilized by Messina Denaro, authorities mentioned they discovered airline ticket receipts indicating he had traveled overseas at occasions, receipts from dear eating places, jewellery and posters from movies, together with “The Godfather” and “Joker.”

A couple of days after the Jan. 16 arrest of the fugitive, police present in a non-public parking zone in Campobello di Mazara a black Alfa Romeo Giulietta sedan they mentioned Messina Denaro used to drive himself round, with Bonafede’s identification paperwork, the arrest warrant for Bonafede mentioned.

Investigators allege that the fugitive personally purchased the automotive, used, at a Palermo dealership, a sign the convicted mobster felt a sure degree of confidence he wouldn’t be acknowledged in Sicily’s primary metropolis.

The parking spot is allegedly owned by the son of the suspect who was arrested after driving Messina Denaro to his medical appointment.

Investigators allege that Messina Denaro may depend on a community of accomplices, drawn from his energy base in western Sicily, to assist with logistics.

Hours after his arrest, Messina Denaro was flown to a most safety jail in central Italy to start serving his sentences.

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