Wednesday 22 January 2020

Mafia fugitive caught hiding behind 'magic mirror' in Naples

Josephine McKenna in Rome

A MAFIA fugitive has been caught in Naples after police found him hiding behind a "magic mirror" in a wardrobe that led to a secret hiding place inside his luxury villa.

Antonio Cardillo, a 34-year-old alleged crime boss affiliated with the Lo Russo clan of the Naples Camorra, was arrested by officers of the Carabinieri in a raid early on Saturday after they discovered a ruse reminiscent of a spy novel. Cardillo had been at large for 18 months but had apparently been living at home with his family in Marano di Napoli on the outskirts of the city.

The rose-pink home called Villa Excelsia was surrounded by a large veranda and lush garden and protected by high walls and an elaborate security system. Acting on warrants sought by anti-Mafia prosecutors, police raided the house and found Cardillo's wife and two children asleep.

When police searched the master bedroom, where Cardillo's wife had been sleeping, they saw signs that the matrimonial bed had been used on both sides. As they searched, they found a tiny remote control device that did not appear to belong to a television, PC or other appliance.

When they entered the walk-in wardrobe beside the bedroom and activated the remote control, a full-length mirror that seemed to be attached to the wall moved aside.

The mirror was operated by hydraulic pistons and tubes activated by the remote control device and Cardillo was found sitting on a red chair in the small room behind it.

Cardillo is wanted for Mafia-related crimes and extortion and is considered to be a boss in a clan that operates in the northern suburbs of Naples, including Miano and Marianella. He escaped a police operation in which 50 of his alleged accomplices were arrested in Naples in 2010.

Cardillo's bunker is the latest in a number of bizarre hideouts used by Mafia bosses. In 2009, police found Giuseppe Bastone hiding in a 10ft-by-10ft underground bunker equipped with a skateboard he planned to use to escape through a 200-yard tunnel.

(©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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