One of Italy’s most feared gangsters and leader of the mafia clan that inspired The Godfather has been arrested in a daring raid.
Matteo Messina Denaro, frontman of the notorious Sicilian “Cosa Nostra” group, has been arrested by police after 30 years as Italy’s most wanted mafia don.
Police say the 60-year-old, known as “The Boss of Bosses,” was arrested during a visit to a private medical clinic in Sicily’s largest city, Palermo.
He is believed to be behind the 1992 murders of two anti-mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
Denaro also faces a life sentence for his role in bombings that killed ten people in Florence, Milan and Rome the following year.
Denaro is said to have given himself the nickname “The Devil” for his horrific crimes.
Last September, Italy’s Carabinieri police claimed the mafia don was still in power and issuing orders from its regional stronghold in the western Sicilian city of Trapani.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has thanked the police for arresting the country’s most wanted gangster.
The recently elected leader wrote on Twitter: “My heartfelt thanks, together with those of the entire government, go to the police forces and in particular to the Ros dei Carabinieri, the National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor and the Public Prosecutor of Palermo for the arrest of the most important exponent of mafia crime. “
She added: “The prevention and fight against mafia crime, as evidenced by the fact that the executive branch’s first measure concerned the harsh penal regime for mafiosi, will continue to be an absolute priority of this administration.”
Denaro’s last confirmed sighting was in August 1993 when he was spotted with two friends on vacation in Forte dei Marmi in the northern Italian region of Tuscany.
Born in 1963 in Castelvetrano, Sicily, Denaro once wrote in a letter that his greatest regret was not having finished school.
In a letter from the dreaded Don, discovered by police in 2015, he said, “My biggest anger stems from the fact that I was a good student, only to have something else distracting me.”
Cosa Nostra, Italian for “Our Thing,” is the traditional name the Mafia uses to refer to themselves.
The classic 1972 film The Godfather and its subsequent sequels were largely based on the actions of the Sicilian Mafia, although the words “Mafia” and “Cosa Nostra” never appear in them.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7142884/italy-mafia-boss-arrested-sicily-godfather/ Most Wanted Mafia Don Matteo Messina Denaro “The Boss of Bosses” who led the clan that inspired The Godfather has been arrested