Authorities in Italy have finally arrested one of Italy’s most wanted mafia bosses who has been on the run for two decades, including fleeing a life sentence for murder.
According to AFP, Ernesto Fazzalari, 46, was captured in the early hours of the morning in an apartment in a remote part of the southern region of Calabria, home to the notorious ‘Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate.
He was one of the country’s most wanted ‘Ndrangheta fugitives along with ‘superboss’ Matteo Messina Denaro and has been on the run since 1996 after he was convicted in absentia in 1999 of mafia association, kidnapping, illegal possession of weapons and a double homicide linked to a bloody 1989-91 feud which left 32 people dead in his home town of Taurianova.
After his arrest, the government hailed it as a significant victory for the state in its battle against what is now considered Italy’s most powerful mafia group.
‘Thank you to the judges and the forces of order. Viva l’Italia,’ Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wrote in a tweet.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano described Fazzalari as ‘one of the most important fugitives and a leading underworld figure.’
He added: ‘This shows that you cannot run from justice. These are the kind of victories that encourage and support us in the difficult but winnable fight against organised crime.’
Fazzalari was notoriously ruthless, he murdered many in his reign of terror and drugs. His arrest has been hailed by authorities after many years of escape from justice.