After 30 years on the run, notorious mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested in Sicily, the Italian authorities have said.
He was captured by the police at a private health clinic where he was receiving treatment in Sicilian capital Palermo, Xinhua news agency reported.
Messina Denaro, 60, is considered the top boss of the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate, one of Italy’s three most powerful mafia groups (along with ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra).
He had been on the run since 1993. A year later, the first international arrest warrant was issued against him.
He was sentenced in absentia to a life term for his role in several murders, including those of top anti-mafia magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1993 and of an 11-year-old boy.
Currently on an official visit to Turkey, Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi expressed his “great satisfaction” at Messina Denaro’s arrest.
“This is an extraordinary day for the state and for all those who have always been fighting against the crime syndicates,” Piantedosi said in a statement.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she would travel to Palermo to congratulate the prosecutors and the police forces.