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Italian mafia boss who escaped maximum security prison using bed sheets last year is captured on French island

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A boss from one of most Italy’s most violent mafias who escaped from a maximum security prison last year by using bed sheets has been captured in France, authorities in both countries said Friday.

Marco Raduano, described as “dangerous” on Europol’s list of Europe’s most wanted criminals, was detained in Bastia on the French island of Corsica.

He had escaped from a heavily secured prison in Nuoro, Sardinia, in February 2023, using sheets to scale down the walls. The escape was captured on surveillance footage and shared widely on social media. In the video, Raduano can be seen dangling from the sheets before jumping to the ground and running away.

His “right-hand man,” Gianluigi Troiano, was also picked up near Granada in Spain, Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said, in what he described as “another major blow against organized crime.”

Raduano, 40, is the boss of the rural Gargano clan operating within a young and little-known organised crime syndicate in Foggia, in the southern Italian region of Puglia, known as the Fourth Mafia.

He had been serving a 24-year prison sentence for membership of a criminal organization, drug trafficking, holding illegal weapons and other crimes, according to Europol.

Europol said he was “at the top” of his criminal organization, “with the role of promoter, organizer and ruthless killer of the group dedicated to the perpetration of murders, drug trafficking and management of the extortion racket”, it said.

His escape was hugely embarrassing for Italian authorities and underscored the power of the Fourth Mafia, today considered Italy’s most violent organized crime syndicate.

Less sophisticated than the wealthy ‘Ndrangheta, the Naples-based Camorra or Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, the Foggia clans rely on extortions, bombings and threats to extort locals even as they engage in drug trafficking, armed robberies and vehicle and livestock theft.

Raduano’s capture comes about a year after authorities arrested Italy’s most-wanted fugitive, taking mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro into custody after a 30-year manhunt. In September, Messina Denaro died in a hospital prison ward.


Italian police capture mafia boss after 30 years on the run

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