Top Italian mafia fugitive managed affairs online: Police


Palermo (Italy): One of Italy’s most wanted mafia fugitives, arrested in the South of France, managed his business affairs over the Internet and even had a nickname for a Skype account, a police official Saturday said.

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“We were able to determine that Giuseppe Falsone would connect mostly to the Sicilian sites of newspaper Giornale di Sicilia and Grandangolo to stay up to date,” Maurizio Calvino of Palermo’s anti-organised crime police force said at a press conference here.

Police found Falsone, believed to the Sicilian mafia’s third-highest ranking member, in possession of five mobile phones and two computers at the time of his arrest by Italian police Friday.

What tipped investigators off to Falsone’s whereabouts in the port city of Marseilles was his application for a boating license under a false identity.

Falsone, 39, spent 11 years on the run and had undergone cosmetic surgery.

Italian officials said Falsone is the country’s 25th organised crime figure arrested from its list of 30 most wanted fugitives.

The Italian interior ministry made the announcement of Falsone’s arrest late Friday with Interior Minister Roberto Maroni saying that Falsone had been a fugitive for over a decade and must serve a life sentence.

An Italian court had given Falsone, wanted for mafia association, murder and drug trafficking, a life sentence in absentia.

Police say he is a close associate of Sicilian Cosa Nostra’s “boss of bosses” Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested in 2006.