Fugitive Italian mobster caught hiding out as pizza maker in France
A fugitive Italian mafia boss who was on the lam for almost 17 years was apprehended Thursday in France, where he’d been working as a pizza chef.
Edgardo Greco, 63, was caught in Saint-Etienne, located near Lyon, French officials said.
Greco, a boss for the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta clan, was sentenced for the double murder of criminal rivals and brothers Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo. They were beaten to death in Cosenza in January 1991. Their bodies were dissolved in acid, witnesses told police.
Greco was also wanted for attempted murder of Emiliano Mosciarat, another mobster.
He went on the run in 2006, when a judge issued a trial warrant, and later sentenced in abstentia.
It’s unknown where he hid out before going to France. He settled in Saint-Etienne in 2014.
While on Italy’s most-wanted list, Greco assumed the identity of Paolo Dimitrio and was even featured in local French newspapers as “an authentic Italian pizza maker” who boasted of “regional and homemade recipes” at his restaurant.
Italy’s carabinieri military police said investigators had been able to trace Greco’s support network, which led them to Saint-Etienne. Interpol and French authorities surveilled him and then brought in Italian cops to arrest Greco.
It was the second high-profile bust of an Italian criminal after Sicilian Cosa Nostra boss Matteo Messina Denaro was nabbed at a cancer clinic in Palermo on Jan. 16 after more than 30 years on the run.
“No matter how hard fugitives try to slip into a quiet life abroad, they cannot evade justice forever,” Interpol secretary general Jurgen Stock said in a statement. “Dedicated officers around the world will always ensure that justice is served.”