Matteo Messina Denaro: A man whose identity was used by a prolific mafia boss arrested in Sicily | world news

A man whose identity was used by Italy’s most wanted mob boss – Matteo Messina Denaro – has been arrested in Sicily.

Andrea Bonafede was arrested by the Carabinieri police on a warrant issued by the judicial authorities of Palermo, the capital of Sicily.

When Messina Denaro was captured last week in a clinic in Palermo where he was receiving chemotherapy, he used an official identity card with Bonafede’s name but with his own photo.

Picture:
Matteo Messina Denaro was captured in a clinic in Palermo where he was receiving chemotherapy

Bonafede is suspected of being a member of Cosa Nostra, as the Sicilian mafia is called, and of helping Messina Denaro in her role as mob boss.

The charges in the warrant said that with the identity of Bonafede, the 60-year-old fugitive was “able to move around the territory [of Italy]escaping law enforcement, as well as accessing national health care without revealing one’s true identity”.

Investigators suspected Bonafede had also received €20,000 (£17,500) from the mob boss in order to buy a house in western Sicily which was used as a hideout for Messina Denaro.

Police have raided at least three homes in the western Sicily town of Campobello di Mazara near Trapani which they say have been used in recent months.

The commander of the Carabinieri police speaks after the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro.  Photo: Alberto Lo Bianco/LaPresse/AP
Picture:
The commander of the Carabinieri police speaks after the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro. Photo: Alberto Lo Bianco/LaPresse/AP

During the searches, authorities found receipts for plane tickets, receipts from expensive restaurants, jewelry and posters of movies such as The Godfather and Joker.

A black Alfa Romeo Giulietta car, which Messina Denaro used to get around, was also found with Bonafede’s identification documents, according to the arrest warrant.

Messina Denaro had been on the run since 1993 and was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for the murders he committed in the early 1990s.

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He was found guilty as one of the masterminds behind the 1992 bombings – one of which killed Italy’s top anti-Mafia magistrate, Giovanni Falcone, and the other killed fellow magistrate, Paolo Borsellino , 2 months later.

He was billed as the “last godfather” and was the last fugitive member of a generation of gangsters who terrorized Italy.

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