For four years, the Superboss hid in the Sicilian Mafianest Campobello di Mazara
Matteo Messina Denaro (61) lived in the house of the “Swiss”
After 30 years on the run, Italy’s most wanted criminal was caught last Monday. Now three hiding spots and the boss’s car have been discovered.
Published: 11 minutes ago
The mafia boss when he was younger: The police were looking for Matteo Messina Denaro in 2006 with this mugshot.
Myrtle MuellerOutside Reporter News
The village tranquility in Campobello di Mazara (I) is gone. Carabinieri in uniform and men from the tax authorities’ special unit against organized crime move through the labyrinth of alleys in the town of 11,500 inhabitants. Forensic technicians in white protective suits secure evidence. Journalists hold their microphones under the noses of passers-by and residents. But nobody knows anything.
Matteo Messina Denaro (61) was on the run for exactly 30 years. On Monday, January 16, 2023, the Superboss was arrested during a morning chemotherapy session at La Maddalena private cancer clinic in Palermo. The investigators immediately follow his trail. Where has Matteo Messina Denaro been all these years? And who helped him escape? Now the police are revealing new details about the super boss of Cosa Nostra: the focus is once again on Switzerland.
In the pocket of Denaro’s fur jacket, the carabinieri find a digital car key. The black Alfa Romeo Giulietta is quickly located. It is in Campobello di Mazara in the province of Trapani. This is a district of Castelvetrano, birthplace and kingdom of the former mafia king. Thanks to GPS technology, recent trips can be reconstructed. She reveals the hiding places of the fugitive. One after the other. Italian media report on this.
Apartments searched by two «Swiss»
It is soon clear: Italy’s most wanted mafia boss has spent the past four years in his hometown. Several houses are searched. Including two by Antonio M.* (77), a mafia lawyer who was arrested in a Ticino pizzeria in 1993. He is said to have laundered the super boss’ black money into Luganese accounts. It has not yet been clarified whether Matteo Messina Denaro also temporarily lived in his Sicilian summer residences. But another «Swiss» turns up. Giuseppe P.* (77) apparently made an apartment in his apartment building in Campobello di Mazara available to the mafia boss until June 2022.
The apartment on the first floor at Via San Giovanni 260 is empty when the officers open it. A neighbor reports that Giuseppe P. moved to Switzerland 40 years ago. She doesn’t want to have noticed anything about Matteo Messina Denaro. Next door, at number 262, lives the man who drove the super boss to the private clinic in his Fiat Bravo on Monday. The police don’t believe in coincidence.
Bunker behind closet filled with jewelry and watches
Matteo Messina Denaro has used two more hiding places. They are all located within a radius of just a few hundred meters. Between the post office, piazza, supermarket, village pub and family doctor. On the ground floor of the Vicolo San Vito, the super boss had holed up in the six months before his arrest. On the wall is a poster of Marlon Brando as the lead in The Godfather. There are books lying around, including biographies of Hitler and Putin.
During a house search at Via Toselli Maggiore 34, the investigators discover a bunker behind a wardrobe filled with designer clothes and branded shoes, jewels, Ray-Ban sunglasses, perfumes, credit cards – and luxury Swiss watches.
*Names known to editors
Arrested in Palermo: Here the police take the mafia boss away(01:13)