A fugitive Italian mafia boss who has been linked to killings in the German city of Duisburg has been arrested in Lisbon, police said here on Tuesday.
The man, a member of the ‘Ndrangheta crime organisation, had disappeared in June 2019, shortly before he faced final sentencing by Italy’s Court of Cassation to life imprisonment, reports dpa news agency. He was put on a list of most-wanted fugitives by the Italian Interior Ministry.
The ‘Ndrangheta hails from Calabria. It is the country’s most powerful mafia and is considered the leading trafficker of cocaine in Europe.
The arrest was made on Monday in the Portuguese capital, the police said.The wanted man was in hospital being treated for a coronavirus infection, local media reported. His conviction was linked to the decades-long battle between two ‘Ndrangheta clans, the Pelle-Vottari and the Strangio-Nirta families.
Between 2006 and 2007, dozens of people died in the fighting, which included a bloodbath at a restaurant in the city of Duisburg in August 2007. According to Italy’s Ansa news agency, the fugitive belongs to the Pelle-Vottari clan.
He was wounded in the spine during a gun battle in July 2006. From then on he was dependent on a wheelchair. Revenge followed around Christmas 2006, when the wife of the boss of the Strangio-Nirta clan was killed. It was for this crime that the man was convicted.
According to Ansa, the man had already been in prison for around nine years starting in 2008.
However, the court released him in 2017 to house arrest in Milan, where he was to remain until the final verdict was confirmed. It was from there that he fled.