Italy arrests fugitive boss of ‘most violent’ mafia on French island Corsica

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

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

He had escaped from a heavily secured prison in Nuoro, Sardinia, in February last year, using bedsheets to scale down the walls.

Authorities in Italy also announced on Friday the detention of his close aide, Gianluigi Troiano, another fugitive who had been picked up near Granada in southern Spain.

“The carabinieri’s (police’s) capture abroad of two dangerous fugitives, Marco Raduano and his right-hand man Gianluigi Troiano, represents another major blow to organised crime,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said.

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Gianluigi Troiano, the right-hand man of mafia boss Marco Raduano, is arrested in Otura, Spain. Poto: AFP/Italian Carabinieri

Raduano, 40, was jailed for being 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 Fourth Mafia.

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

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

A source close to the matter in Corsica told AFP that Raduano was arrested on Thursday evening in Aleria, as he was dining in a restaurant with a young woman.

He had been living there “quite frugally” on false papers, using a falsely registered stolen vehicle, the source said.

He did not resist his arrest.

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

Troiano, an “underboss and organiser”, had escaped from house arrest not far from Foggia in September 2021, Italian police said.

He was found in Otura, a small town near Granada, and will now have to serve a sentence of nine years and two months in prison, they said.

Raduano is also accused of the murder of two men in Foggia in separate incidents in 2017 – with Troiano also implicated in the latter.

The judicial process is ongoing.

Piantedosi thanked the French and Spanish authorities for their cooperation in allowing Italian police to “close the net” on the two fugitives.

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 locals.

They are also engaged in drug trafficking, armed robberies, and vehicle and livestock theft.

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