Sunday, September 5, 2021

Hunt for mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro - Diabolik

It has been a good year for the capture of Italy’s most wanted criminals. Raffaele Imperiale, a Mafia drugs baron was scooped up in Dubai. Francesco Pelle, the boss of a leading crime family, was arrested in March in Lisbon. Rocco Morabito, the one-time “cocaine king of Milan” was nailed in Brazil two months later, while a host of other top Italian mafia figures have also been arrested. Number one on the list is Matteo Messina Denaro - Diabolik.

Rare photo of Matteo Messina Denaro
In 2019, 200 cops searched farmhouses and warehouses belonging to around 30 suspected gangsters in and around Castelvetrano, the mafia boss’ Sicilian hometown. Diabolik was not found. While his location is unknown, Italian authorities believe the 59-year-old is hiding in Sicily.
Denaro, who once bragged he could “fill a cemetery” with his victims, has been on the run since 1993 and is believed to come and go regularly from the Italian island. He is also on Europol’s list of the most wanted fugitives. Despite this, he is thought to have succeeded the late Totò Riina as boss of the Casa Nostra. He is wanted for a string of crimes including dozens of murders. A trial got underway in the Sicilian town of Caltanissetta earlier this year in which Denaro is also accused of being among those who ordered the murders of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.
An Italian court sentenced Matteo Messina Denaro to life imprisonment over his role in a bombing campaign which claimed the lives of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, as well as many others. Denaro, 58, went into hiding in 1993 and is considered the most high-profile fugitive of the Sicilian Mafia. Denaro was already overdue to serve several life sentences for murder. Authorities have tried to close the net on him for years and arrested dozens of his relatives and aides. Diabolik remains an enigma. Few would recognize Matteo Messina Denaro, but he is one of the most sought after fugitives in the world.
Salvatore “Toto” Riina died in 2018Denaro was born into mafia greatness. His father was a high-ranking mafioso and his son quickly became favored by boss Salvatore 'Toto' Riina. Denaro established himself as a reliable foot soldier with a talent for murder. “Riina loved him.” Denaro has overwhelming influence and protection from the Provenzano and Graviano clans. Bernardo Provenzano was a Sicilian "boss of bosses" who was head of the Corleonesi, a crime organization based in Corleone, Sicily; the inspiration for The Godfather movie franchise. With a feared reputation for brutality none will betray Denaro.