Senior Camorra mafia boss arrested after 16 years on the run
Published 07/12/2011 | 12:45
Italian police have arrested the most senior boss of the Camorra mafia still at large, digging through a secret bunker near Naples to end his 16 years on the run, according to reports.
Michele Zagaria, 53, considered to be the leader of the powerful and bloody Casalesi clan, has already been sentenced in absentia to multiple life terms in prison for a career of murder, extortion and drug trafficking.
Zagaria was hidden in a bunker with a thick ceiling of reinforced concrete under a home in the town of Casapesenna, north of Naples.
"You won. The state has won," Zagaria reportedly told anti-mafia investigators as he was being arrested.
He has been the subject of an international arrest warrant since 2000.
Italian prosecutors on Tuesday carried out 47 arrests in a crackdown on the Casaelsi clan and asked politicians to strip an MP from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party of his parliamentary immunity to arrest him too.
The Casalesi clan, involved in drug trafficking and construction, was at the centre of a book "Gomorrah" by investigative journalist Roberto Saviano, who has been forced into hiding because of threats against his life.
The book was later turned into an award-winning film.
Italian police in November 2010 arrested Antonio "The Baby" Iovine, a leader of the Casalesi, after 14 years on the run. Iovine, who had escaped arrest many times before, was picked up as he tried to jump from a balcony.
Earlier this year Francesco Pesce, an alleged leader of Italy's feared 'Ndrangheta mafia was arrested after being found hiding in a hi-tech underground bunker accessible only via a remote-controlled trap door.
In August 2009, police arrested Giuseppe Bastone, another who lived in an underground bunker equipped with a skateboard to propel himself down a 200 yard secret tunnel.