Italian police arrest man whose ID helped a fugitive gangster

ROME – Italian police in Sicily on Monday arrested the man whose identity was used by a convicted mafia boss who became Italy’s No. 1 fugitive in 30 years on the run, authorities said.

The Carabinieri police said Andrea Bonafede had been arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the judicial authorities in Palermo. Investigators claim Bonafede received €20,000 from mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro to buy a house in western Sicily that the fugitive used as a hideout.

When Messina Denaro was captured last week At a clinic in Palermo where he was receiving chemotherapy, he used an official ID card with Bonafede’s name but his own photo. During the arrest, police also took into custody another man who had driven him to the clinic.

Police have searched at least three houses in the western Sicily town of Campobello di Mazara, near Trapani, which Messina Denaro had used as a hideout in recent months. It was one of those homes that Bonafede bought, investigators said.

In issuing Bonafede’s arrest warrant, Judge Alfredo Montalto said Bonafede was suspected of being a member of Cosa Nostra, as the Sicilian mafia is known, and of helping Messina Denaro carry out his role as a key mob boss.

Thanks to Bonafede’s permission for Messina Denaro to use his identity, the fugitive “was able to move about the territory (of Italy), evade law enforcement and access national healthcare without revealing his true identity,” so the allegations in the arrest warrant.

The fugitive was treated for months at the Palermo clinic as an outpatient registered as Andrea Bonafede, authorities said.

Messina Denaro had been found guilty in absentia of several of the most heinous mafia crimes and had been sentenced to several life sentences. He was convicted of being one of the masterminds of the 1992 bombings – one of which killed Italy’s top anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone along a highway outside Palermo and the other two months later killed a colleague, Paolo Borsellino, who shocked Italy. Falcone’s wife and both judges’ bodyguards were also killed in these bombings.

Bonafede was arrested after dark in a small town outside of Campobello di Mazara, according to police video footage released by the Carabinieri.

During their searches of the three homes allegedly occupied by Messina Denaro, authorities said they found airline ticket receipts showing he had temporarily traveled abroad, receipts from expensive restaurants, jewelry and posters of films, among others “The Godfather” and “Joker”.

A few days after arresting the fugitive on January 16, police found a black Alfa Romeo Giulietta sedan they say Messina Denaro drove himself around in a private parking lot in Campobello di Mazara, with Bonafede’s identification papers, the arrest warrant for Bonafede said.

Investigators claim the fugitive bought the car used from a dealership in Palermo, an indication that the convicted gangster had a level of confidence that he would not be recognized in Sicily’s largest metropolis.

The parking lot is said to belong to the suspect’s son, who was arrested after driving Messina Denaro to his doctor’s appointment.

Investigators claim that Messina Denaro could count on a network of accomplices drawn from his power base in western Sicily to help with logistics.

Hours after his arrest, Messina Denaro was flown to a maximum security prison in central Italy to serve out his sentence.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Italian police arrest man whose ID helped a fugitive gangster

Sarah Y. Kim

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button