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Author Topic: Mafia's top boss caught by his laundry  (Read 814 times)

TehBorken

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Mafia's top boss caught by his laundry
« on: Apr 12 06 07:54 »
 [h1]Sicilian mafia's top boss collared by his laundry[/h1] [cite class="byline"]Correspondents in Palermo[/cite] [cite class="author"][/cite] [div class="pub-date"]April 13, 2006[/div]   [h4]IN the end, Bernardo Provenzano, the Sicilian mafia's "boss of bosses", was done in not by an informant or a rival gangster but by a delivery of clean laundry to his hideout.[/h4][p class="encompass"] Police tracked the package on Tuesday to a farmhouse outside Provenzano's power base, Corleone - the Sicilian town that inspired the family name in The Godfather - and closed in when they saw his hand reach out of the door to take it. [/p]Italy's most wanted man was captured without resistance after being on the run since 1963.  [/p]Provenzano had escaped capture so many times he became something of a legend in the Italian imagination - earning the nickname "The Phantom of Corleone". [/p] From his days as an up-and-coming hitman before he became a fugitive, he had another moniker, "The Tractor", for his ruthlessness inmowing down enemies of the Corleone clan. [/p]"Bastard! Murderer!" a crowd in Palermo, the Sicilian capital, shouted at the 73-year-old as black-hooded anti-mafia police took him out of a sedan and rushed him into the courtyard of a police building in Palermo after his transfer from the countryside. [/p]During his years on the run, the mobster had been convicted in absentia and given life sentences for more than a dozen murders of mobsters and anti-mafia investigators. [/p]His hair grey, and wearing tinted glasses and a wind-breaker, Provenzano held up his handcuffed hands as he was hustled away from the angry onlookers. [/p]Investigators said long-range cameras had been trained on suspected accomplices for several days, as well as the Corleone home where Provenzano's wife and children lived. [/p]A few days ago, they noticed a package leave the wife's house, then delivered by car to a series of other homes. On Tuesday morning, the package left the town and was driven out to the farmhouse. [/p]"This morning, he (Provenzano) reached out (through the farmhouse door) with a hand to grab the package and that's when we decided to move in," said Nicola Cavaliere, a top police official in Rome. [/p]In the house with him was a shepherd who doubled as a housekeeper, authorities said.  [/p] An "impassive" Provenzano "didn't say a word" when arrested, but later acknowledged his identity.  [/p]The last photos that investigators had of Provenzano showed him as a young man, but police last year gave the fugitive a "new face" - issuing an updated composite drawn with help from a mafia turncoat in 2001, who depicted the mobster with white hair and hollow cheeks. Descriptions from the staff at a clinic in Marseilles, where investigators say Provenzano sought treatment for a prostate tumour two years ago, also helped police. [/p]Although they were too late to capture him then, police obtained DNA samples from his doctors. After his arrest on Tuesday, experts were able to confirm Provenzano's identity through those samples. [/p]Turncoats have told investigators that Provenzano eluded capture for so long by sleeping in different farmhouses every few nights across the island. He allegedly gave orders with written notes, not trusting mobile phone conversations for fear of being monitored. [/p]Prosecutors have said Provenzano took command of the Sicilian mafia in 1993, after "boss of bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina, also from Corleone, was arrested in Palermo after years as a fugitive. [/p]Provenzano was born in 1933, joined the mafia family of Michele Navarra after World War II and became an enforcer for Luciano Liggio. He and Riina became Liggio's most trusted enforcers. "He has the brains of a chicken but shoots like an angel," Liggio said of Provenzano. [/p]After taking over the mafia, Provenzano, belying Liggio's gibe, astutely changed its strategy, focusing less on murder and more on low-profile but lucrative activities such as money laundering, protection rackets, human trafficking and drugs. [/p]The Times, AP
[a href="http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,18801411-2703,00.html"]http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,18801411-2703,00.html[/a]
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