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After three decades on the run convicted Mafia boss, Matteo Messina Denaro, has been captured.

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Messina Denaro was found at a clinic in Palermo where he was being treated for a medical condition, The Associated Press reported. Information about the illness was not released.

Messina Denaro was nicknamed “Diabolik” and “U Siccu” or “The Skinny One,” Reuters reported.

The now-60-year-old man went into hiding when he was a young man in 1993, CNN reported, but was still considered a top Mafia boss of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra while he was on the run with a power base near the port of Trapani.


In this handout image provided by the Carabinieri, Matteo Messina Denaro is seen in a police booking photo after he was arrested In Sicily, on January 16, 2023 in Palermo, Italy. Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested at a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily on 16 January after being on the run for 30 years. The 60 year-old is considered the successor of the historic leaders of Cosa Nostra. (Photo by Carabinieri via Getty Images)

Messina Denaro’s was the final of three captures of top bosses who had been tracked by hundreds of police officers, the AP reported. He had been using the pseudonym Andrea Bonafede, a last name that translates to “good faith” in Italian.

When he was asked about his occupation by a judge in Palermo, trying to confirm his identity, Messina Denaro said he was a farmer and that his brother was a banker, while his four sisters were homemakers.

He told the court that he has six children, with at least one who was born while he was on the run.

Messina Denaro was convicted of several murders when he was tried in absentia in 1992, CNN reported, including:

  • Two bombings in Sicily in 1992 that killed anti-Mafia prosecutors, their bodyguards and one of the lawyer’s wife. In all 10 people were killed in the bombings, Reuters reported.
  • Murder of a Mafia turncoat’s son. The 12-year-old boy was abducted and held for two years before he was strangled before his body was dissolved in acid, according to Reuters.

Messina Denaro now faces several life sentences but there is speculation that he may cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for lenient prison conditions, the AP reported.

Experts told Reuters while Cosa Nostra had been the Mafia powerhouse in Italy it has been replaced by the Calabrian Mafia as the most powerful organized crime group in the country.