Europe

Top 'Ndrangheta mafia boss arrested in Madrid

One of Italy’s most wanted fugitives, Domenico Paviglianiti found with false Portuguese documentation

Alyssa McMurtry   | 05.08.2021
Top 'Ndrangheta mafia boss arrested in Madrid

OVIEDO, Spain

The Spanish police on Thursday said they arrested one of Italy’s most wanted fugitives, the head of ‘Ndrangueta mafia.

While police have withheld the name, Spanish and Italian media report that Domenico Paviglianiti, 60, was detained, known as “the boss of bosses.”

The police investigation leading to his arrest “was intense” and began at the beginning of the year. They had found his family living in Barcelona before they moved to Madrid.

Once in the Spanish capital, he was arrested with the help of Italian authorities and caught holding false Portuguese documentation, six cellphones and nearly €6,000 ($7,100) cash.

In 2005, the mafia boss was sentenced to 30 years behind bars in Italy for crimes including murder. He was later released thanks to an appeal put forward by his lawyers to the Spanish justice system, Spanish police say.

Since then, he had been traveling in an armored vehicle and his criminal activities mainly had to do with the trafficking of drugs and arms.

According to investigators, he remains, “one of the greatest exponents of crime in Calabria.”

Interpol says the ‘Ndrangueta mafia, from the southern Italian region of Calabria, is “one of the most extensive and powerful criminal organizations in the world, and the only Italian mafia organization present on every world continent.”

Italy’s largest mafia trial in three decades began against the organization in January. It could drag on for years, as 355 suspected mobsters and corrupt officials have been charged with participating in organized crime.

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