ROME, June 26 (UPI) — One of Italy’s most wanted mafia bosses has been caught Saturday while sleeping next to his girlfriend in a remote cottage in the rugged Calabrian mountains, Italian police said.
Ernesto Fazzalari, 46, was arrested after being wanted in a life sentence for murder.
Fazzalari was a leading figure in the ‘Ndrangheta, one of Italy’s most powerful mafia clans thought to be behind much of Europe’s cocaine trade.
“This shows that you cannot run from justice,” said Angelino Alfano, the interior minister. “These are the kind of victories that encourage and support us in the difficult but winnable fight against organised crime.”
Fazzalari was caught without resistance by Paramilitary police officers although a pistol and ammunition was in the building.
His 41-year-old girlfriend also was arrested on charges of helping a fugitive and complicity in illegal possession of a firearm.
He fled in 1996 and was convicted in absentia 1999 for murder, attempted murder, extortion and mafia association.
Fazzalari was the second most wanted mafia fugitive behind Matteo Messina Denaro, a suspected leader of the Sicilian mafia, the Cosa Nostra.