A mafia hitman who had escaped for 16 years is arrested as a pizza craftsman in France

A mafia hitĀ­man who has been on the run for 16 years was arrestĀ­ed ThursĀ­day in France where he worked as a pizĀ­za chef.

EdgarĀ­do GreĀ­co, 63, was conĀ­victĀ­ed of murĀ­derĀ­ing two men in the earĀ­ly 1990s after ties to the notoĀ­riĀ­ous ItalĀ­ian crimĀ­iĀ­nal group Ndrangheta, authorĀ­iĀ­ties said. ArrestĀ­ed by French police in the city of Saint-Etienne.

He was senĀ­tenced to life in prison for the murĀ­der of brothĀ­ers SteĀ­fano and Giuseppe BarĀ­tolomeo in 1991 and is described as a danĀ­gerĀ­ous fugiĀ­tive. ItalĀ­ian police said they were beatĀ­en to death with metĀ­al rods at a fishĀ­monĀ­ger in CalĀ­abria. ā€œTheir bodĀ­ies were extinĀ­guished and nevĀ­er found again,ā€ police said.

GreĀ­co has also been charged with attemptĀ­ed murĀ­der in a sepĀ­aĀ­rate case.

AccordĀ­ing to ItalĀ­ian news agency ANSA, GreĀ­co disĀ­guised his idenĀ­tiĀ­ty and worked as a pizĀ­za chef at an ItalĀ­ian restauĀ­rant in France. ItalĀ­ian police have released a phoĀ­to of GreĀ­co in a white chefā€™s coat in what is believed to be the restauĀ­ranĀ­tā€™s kitchen.

InterĀ­pol, the interĀ­naĀ­tionĀ­al police agency that coorĀ­diĀ­natĀ­ed the case with the French and ItalĀ­ian police authorĀ­iĀ­ties, said GreĀ­coā€™s crimes were linked to the Pino SenĀ­na and PerĀ­na Plano orgaĀ­nized crime synĀ­diĀ­cates in the CosenĀ­za region of southĀ­ern Italy in the earĀ­ly 1990s. announced that it was relatĀ­ed to the Mafia War.

He was held responĀ­siĀ­ble for the deaths of two peoĀ­ple in the so-called Maxi triĀ­al, which prosĀ­eĀ­cutĀ­ed and conĀ­victĀ­ed hunĀ­dreds of gangĀ­sters between 1986 and 1992. Police said in 2006 they had ā€œevadĀ­edā€ a preĀ­triĀ­al detenĀ­tion order relatĀ­ed to that trial.

GreĀ­co, who escaped in OctoĀ­ber 2006, was issued a EuroĀ­pean arrest warĀ­rant by the CatanĀ­zaro pubĀ­lic prosĀ­eĀ­cuĀ­torā€™s office in southĀ­ern Italy.

French police, with the help of ItalĀ­ian colĀ­leagues, arrestĀ­ed EdgarĀ­do GreĀ­co in Saint-EtiĀ­enne, France, accordĀ­ing to a stateĀ­ment from Interpol.

ThursĀ­dayā€™s arrest comes two weeks after ItalĀ­ian police arrestĀ­ed Mafia boss MatĀ­teo MessiĀ­na Denaro.

ā€œNo matĀ­ter how much a fugiĀ­tive tries to live a peaceĀ­ful life abroad, he or she canĀ­not escape jusĀ­tice forĀ­evĀ­er. MatĀ­teo PianteĀ­dosi, MinĀ­isĀ­ter of the InteĀ­riĀ­or of Italy, said: ā€˜DedĀ­iĀ­catĀ­ed invesĀ­tiĀ­gaĀ­tors around the world will always seek jusĀ­tice.ā€™ I assure you,ā€ he said.

ā€œThe arrest of EdgarĀ­do GreĀ­co brings one of Italyā€™s worst crimĀ­iĀ­nals to jusĀ­tice and is once again a tesĀ­taĀ­ment to the comĀ­peĀ­tence and dedĀ­iĀ­caĀ­tion of our counĀ­tryā€™s police, who have now actĀ­ed in conĀ­cert with the French authorĀ­iĀ­ties.ā€ Stated.

The operĀ­aĀ­tion was part of InterĀ­polā€™s ā€˜Project Iā€‘CANā€™, launched in 2020 with ItalĀ­ian fundĀ­ing and tarĀ­getĀ­ing the crimĀ­iĀ­nal group ā€˜Ndrangheta. InterĀ­pol is said to have helped arrest dozens of fugiĀ­tives around the world.

Ndrangheta has long been a major conĀ­cern of the ItalĀ­ian authorĀ­iĀ­ties. RegardĀ­ed as Italyā€™s most danĀ­gerĀ­ous and powĀ­erĀ­ful crimĀ­iĀ­nal gang, it has globĀ­al ties and strong ties to the trafĀ­fickĀ­ing of South AmerĀ­iĀ­can cocaine to Europe.

In 2021, about 350 alleged memĀ­bers of ā€œNdranghetaā€ appeared in court in a class triĀ­al in CalĀ­abria, southĀ­ern Italy.

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