Top suspect in mafia killings arrested in Diemen

13th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Giovanni Strangio is suspected of leading a shootout that left six rival clan members dead in Germany in 2007.

THE HAGUE – Dutch authorities said Friday they had arrested the top suspect in a 2007 mafia massacre, in a town near Amsterdam where he had been leading a low-profile life in a modest block of flats.

Giovanni Strangio, 30, was arrested in the town of Diemen, east of the capital city, on Thursday night, said a statement by the national prosecution authority.

An alleged top member of the 'Ndrangheta mafia grouping, he is suspected of leading a shootout that left six rival clan members dead outside a pizza restaurant in Duisburg, western Germany, in August 2007.

Strangio was one of the most wanted people in Germany and Italy.

"At his home, where he lived with his family, police found a firearm with ammunition," said the statement.

Spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP that investigators also found fake identity documents and equipment with which to produce more, as well as "a huge amount of cash" that was still being counted.

Strangio was described as slender, 1.74 metres (5.7 feet) tall, with dark hair and blue eyes.

He was living in Diemen with his wife and child.

"The fugitive Italian went out rarely, and then only in disguise," said the statement.

Another alleged 'Ndrangheta member, 41-year-old Francesco Romeo, was arrested alongside Strangio.

Renato Cortese, head of the Calabria police intervention force, told AFP that Romeo was Strangio's brother-in-law.

The two men will appear in an Amsterdam court shortly for the start of an extradition procedure.

The investigation had been conducted in close collaboration with police in Germany and Italy, said the statement.

The bodies of six clan members, aged between 16 and 39, were found in the boots of two cars near the Da Bruno restaurant in Duisburg on 15 August 2007. The execution-style killings in the early morning hours threw an international spotlight on a long-running vendetta between the Nirta-Strangio and Pelle-Vottari clans of the 'Ndrangheta mafia, one of four operating in Italy.

Dozens of suspected mafiosi went on trial last year following a probe into the feud that began well before the Duisburg massacre, claiming nearly 20 lives since 1991.

AFP / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article