News from Italy: Most Wanted Mafia Fugitive Arrested After Detectives Spotted Him on Google Maps | World | News
Gioacchino Gammino fled Italy two decades ago after escaping from prison and was living a quiet life in Spain, where he changed his name, found work as a chef and opened a fruit and vegetable store. But Italian police were starting to catch up with him and made a breakthrough when they came across an image on Google Maps showing an elderly man outside a grocery store in the town of Galapagar, north of Madrid.
As one of Italy’s most wanted gangsters who was convicted of murder, he fled a prison in Rome in 2002 and was living under the radar in Galapagar, a city north of Madrid.
Since moving to Spain, Gammino had changed its name to Manuel.
Nearby, they found a listing for a restaurant named Cocina de Manu which had been closed for some time.
But his Facebook page was still visible online, showing Gammino posing in his chef’s whites, and the menu had a Sicilian dinner specialty, with a design similar to the black-and-white iconic poster from The Godfather.
The mobster was recognizable to detectives by a distinctive scar on his chin.
He was arrested on December 17 but his capture has only been revealed now.
Upon his arrest, Mr. Gammino reportedly said: “How did you find me? I haven’t even called my family in 10 years.
He will be returned to an Italian prison where he will serve a life sentence for murder.
He was part of a mafia clan from Agrigento in Sicily which was embroiled in a bloody feud in the 1990s with Cosa Nostra, the island’s main organized criminal network.
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First arrested in 1984, he was investigated by top anti-Mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone, who was murdered by mobs with a huge car bomb in 1992.
Accused of murder in 1995, Mr Gammino fled but was arrested in Barcelona three years later.
He managed to escape from a prison in Rome in 2002 and fled again, disappearing without a trace.
A movie was being made in Rebibbia Prison at the time and he was able to break out of his freedom after being mistaken for a relative of a prisoner.
Some believe that an undercover mafia member in uniform may have helped her escape.
His arrest was the culmination of a two-year joint operation carried out by detectives in Rome and Sicily.
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His arrest last month was the culmination of a two-year operation carried out by detectives in Rome and Sicily.
This is not the first time that a mafia figure has been caught in the act of using Internet sources in the public domain.
In March 2021, a Mafia fugitive was arrested in the Caribbean after appearing on YouTube cooking videos in which he hid his face but inadvertently showed his signature tattoos.
Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, led a quiet life in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, with the Italian expatriate community calling him a “foreigner,” police said in a statement Monday.
Mr Biart had been on the run since 2014, when Italian prosecutors ordered his arrest for cocaine trafficking in the Netherlands on behalf of the Cacciola clan of the ‘Ndrangheta’ mafia.