ROME — Italy’s No. 1 fugitive, convicted mob boss Matteo Messina Denaro, was arrested Monday at a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily, after 30 years on the run, Italian paramilitary police said.
Messina Denaro was captured at the clinic where he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed medical condition, said Carabinieri General Pasquale Angelosanto, who heads the police’s special operations team.
Messina Denaro was taken to a secret location by police immediately after the arrest, Italian state television reported.
A young man when he went into hiding, he is now 60 years old. Messina Denaro, who had a power base in the western Sicilian port city of Trapani, was considered the leader of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, even while on the run.
He was the last of three longtime fugitive Mafia bosses who had evaded capture for decades.
Messina Denaro, who was tried in absentia and found guilty of dozens of murders, faces multiple life sentences.
He is expected to be jailed for two bombings in Sicily in 1992 that killed top anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Among the other grisly crimes he was convicted of was the murder of the young son of a Mafia defector, who was strangled and his body dissolved in a vat of acid.
Monday’s arrest came 30 years and a day after the capture of “boss of bosses” Salvatore “Toto” Riina, convicted in a Palermo apartment after 23 years on the run.