Edgardo Greco, a convicted murderer linked to Italy's most powerful organized crime group, the 'Ndrangheta, was on the run for 16 years. [Source: CNN News]
Italian anti-Mafia police have arrested another mobster on the run, just two weeks after the sensational arrest on January 16 of Sicilian Cosa Nostra super boss Matteo Messina Denaro at a health clinic in Palermo, Sicily.
This time it was Edgardo Greco, 63, who was apprehended in Saint-Etienne, France, where he was working under the alias Paolo Dimitrio as a pizzaiolo – or pizza chef – at the Caffe Rossini Italian restaurant.
Greco, associated with the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, was convicted in absentia in 1991 for the double homicide of brothers Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo, who he is alleged to have killed with iron bars before dissolving their bodies in acid, according to court documents. He had evaded Italian law enforcement officials since his conviction.
Described as a “dangerous fugitive” by Nicola Gratteri, the anti-Mafia prosecutor who led the investigation as head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Catanzaro, Calabria, Greco was also convicted of the attempted murder of several prison officials, earning him the nickname “prison killer.”
Gratteri started closing in on Greco after he was featured in an article in the French newspaper Le Progres, which the restaurant posted on its official Facebook page, the prosecutor’s office confirmed to CNN.
Police in Calabria also said that he regularly posted on social media under his false name. The restaurant’s phone number was disconnected when CNN attempted to call on Friday.
Journalist and author Roberto Saviano, who has been living under police protection since his book “Gomorrah” was published in 2006, told CNN that it is common for Mafia bosses to crave attention. “It’s typical. Look at El Chapo, who, when he was working wanted to meet Sean Penn who he wanted to make a movie about him. And Al Capone wanted to go on the movie set of ‘Scarface,’” Saviano told CNN in an interview last week.
Italian anti-Mafia police said there are still four major mafiosi in hiding, and several lesser figures on the run. The Italian government anti-Mafia website lists the top four. Pasquale Bonavota, 48, has been on the run since 2018 and has been convicted of Mafia crimes related to the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta. Giovanni Motisi, 64, a member of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, has been on the run since 1998 when he was convicted of murder and Mafia association in Sicily. Renato Cinquegranella of the Neapolitan Camorra, 73, has been on the run since 2002, after being convicted of murder, weapons charges and extortion, and Attilio Cubeddu, 75, has been on the run since 1997, convicted of multiple kidnapping charges and is considered one of Italy’s most dangerous fugitives.
Italy’s anti-Mafia squad said they are working around the clock to find those still in hiding, by arresting those within their protective networks, sequestering bank accounts and assets, and even scouring social media for errors like Greco made that blew his cover.