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Italian mafia fugitive who operated restaurant while on the run is arrested after 16 years

Edgardo Greco appeared in a French newspaper in 2021 to promote his restaurant

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

Italian mafia fugitive Edgardo Greco has been arrested in France after 16 years on the run.

The convicted murderer, who is suspected of being part of the ‘Ndrangheta syndicate, spent years operating a pizza restaurant in the French city of Saint-Étienne.

Greco, who used the alias Paolo Dimitrio, appeared in Le Progres newspaper in 2021 to promote his new business, Caffé Rossini Ristorante.

He was arrested on Thursday following an investigation carried out by French and Italian authorities.

Greco escaped from police custody in 2006 and has been on the run ever since.

He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of brothers Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo who were beaten to death in Cosenza in January 1991.

The Carabinieri say that the bodies were dissolved in acid. He was also sentenced in absentia for the attempted murder of another.

Originating in the Italian region of Calabria, the 'Ndrangheta is considered the largest and most powerful mafia group in Italy, with activities on every continent and strong links to cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe.

Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol said of the arrest: “No matter what means they deploy to spend quiet days abroad, the fugitives will not be able to escape prosecution forever.

“Throughout the world, dedicated members of law enforcement will always ensure that justice is upheld.”

It comes just weeks after Cosa Nostra boss Matteo Messina Denaro was captured in his hometown of Sicily after 30 years.

He was sentenced in absentia to a life term for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

He also faces a life sentence for his role in bomb attacks in Florence, Rome and Milan which killed 10 people the following year.

Police said in September 2022 that he was still able to issue commands relating to the way the mafia was run in the area around the western Sicilian city of Trapani, his regional stronghold, despite his long disappearance.

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