Italian police arrest suspected mafia boss on holiday

19th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Paolo Rosario De Stefano, 33, had been on the run for four years and is considered among Italy's most dangerous criminals.

Rome – Italian police on Tuesday arrested a suspected clan leader of the powerful 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate while he was vacationing in Sicily, an officer told AFP.

Paolo Rosario De Stefano, 33, had been on the run for four years and is considered among Italy's most dangerous criminals.

"Fugitive criminals are much more vulnerable when they go on holiday," the police spokesman said. "Normally they never leave home and have little contact with their families, which are often under surveillance."

De Stefano and his wife and three daughters had rented a vacation home in the resort of Taormina, eastern Sicily, across the Strait of Messina from his stronghold in Reggio di Calabria, the police spokesman said.

De Stefano was unarmed and did not resist his arrest, he added.

Sentenced on appeal to eight years in prison for mafia association, De Stefano was the last wanted member of his clan.

He had taken over the leadership of the clan after the arrest last December of Giuseppe De Stefano, who had been convicted in absentia to 18 years in prison for drug trafficking and other crimes.

The De Stefano clan has had almost total control over organised crime in Reggio di Calabria after crushing rivals in gangland warfare that claimed nearly 1,000 lives in the 1980s.

The 'Ndrangheta mafia, Italy's most powerful and violent, burst into the international limelight in 2006 when six presumed mafiosi were gunned down outside a German pizza restaurant in Duisburg, western Germany.

AFP / Expatica

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