An apartment believed to be the latest hiding place of Sicilian mafia leader Matteo Messina Denaro was reportedly searched on Tuesday by Carabinieri, a day after the fugitive had been apprehended ending a 30-year runaway.
According to judicial authorities, the flat is located in an unassuming residential building close to the town’s center in Campobello di Mazara, in the Trapani province of Western Sicily, not far from Messina Denaro’s hometown and criminal stronghold of Castelvetrano.
There, according to court sources, investigators discovered expensive clothing, luxury footwear, perfumes, a fully stocked refrigerator, and pricey restaurant receipts. Also found in the house were potency tablets along with condoms. First and foremost, though, investigators are focusing on several cell phones hidden all over the apartment, as well as a diary that is being scrutizined to reconstruct the superboss’s contacts.
Also in Campobello di Mazara, an anonymous source led Italian law enforcement officials to find a second hideout on Wednesday. A full-fledged bunker carved out of a ground-floor apartment, the place might have contained sensitive documents and evidence – which, however, were likely made to disappear after the boss’s arrest.
Unlike his criminal-political network, the 59-year-old mob boss’s passion for luxury items is hardly a secret: upon his arrest at the private oncology clinic “La Maddalena” in central Palermo – where he was reportedly treating his colon cancer – Messina Denaro was sporting a Franck Muller watch and a Brunello Cucinelli sheepskin worth 35,000 and 10,000 euros respectively.
Giovanni Luppino, Messina Denaro’s putative assistant, was detained with him.
Police also started looking into doctor Alfonso Tumbarello on suspicion that he helped the mafia leader by attending to Messina Denaro when he was receiving anti-cancer therapy under the false identity of “Andrea Bonafede” – a surveyor who also happens to be the owner of the flat Messina Denaro resided in. Mr. Bonafede, who ‘lent’ his identity to Mr. Messina Denaro, was reportedly first hooked by the boss a year ago, ANSA reported.
Messina Denaro was sentenced to life imprisonment for dozens of murders, including that of 15-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo, whom he had dissolved in acid, as well as for the 1992 massacres against judges Falcone and Borsellino and the following year’s bombings in Milan, Florence and Rome. He is now locked up in a maximum-security prison in the central Italian city of L’Aquila, believed to be the toughest prison in Italy.
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