Italy’s most wanted Mafia boss arrested after 30 years on the run

ROME — Italian authorities on Monday arrested their most wanted fugitive, Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, who was detained at a private clinic in the Sicilian city of

Palermo after 30 years on the run. Denaro had been on Italy’s most wanted list since the early 1990s and is alleged to be the head of the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate. He

had already been convicted of dozens of murders in absentia and faces multiple life sentences. His arrest marks a landmark moment in the decades-long battle by

authorities against organized crime. Video on social media showed people cheering in the streets of Palermo, honking horns in celebration and clapping for the Carabinieri police.

“A great victory for the state,” Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement. She thanked the national anti-mafia unit as well as prosecutors in Palermo for

their work. With a reported penchant for fast cars, Rolexes and women, Denaro had built a reputation as the “boss of bosses.” But he had also become near-mythic for

dodging authorities. Some informants reportedly spoke of facial surgeries. There were so few photos of him that Italian authorities had to rely on computer-generated images that

approximated what he might look like as an older man. The Carabinieri commander, Pasquale Angelosanto, told reporters that Denaro had been seeking to undergo treatment

for an unspecified illness at a private clinic in Palermo.