Italian police capture ‘superfugitive’ mafioso boss in hiding for 14 years

Italian police have nabbed one of Italy’s most wanted mobster fugitives after 14 years in hiding.

Rumours that the young, angel-faced mafioso Marco Di Lauro, 38, was living a gilded life in Dubai were to put to rest Saturday when police showed up as he was tucking into a plate of pasta at the modest apartment in the gritty north Naples periphery where he lived with his wife and two cats.

More than 150 officers were involved in the blitz to bring in Di Lauro, 38, who has been wanted since an international arrest warrant was issued in 2006 after narrowly escaping a 2004 police swoop known as “night of the handcuffs."  

According to Italian reports he did not put up any resistance and was allowed to hug his wife and freshen up before being taken to police headquarters.

Known as F4 (quarto figlio, or fourth son) as he was the fourth of 10 sons of ex-Camorra boss Paolo di Lauro, he was considered #2 on Italy’s most wanted list, just after Sicilian mobster Matteo Messina Denaro, who has been on the run since 1993 and is one of the world’s most searched for criminals.

The break in the Di Lauro case came on the heels of a murder earlier in the day by one of his associates, Salvatore Tamburrino. Tamburrino, 40, showed up at police headquarters with his lawyer Saturday to confess he had shot dead his wife, Norina Mattuozzo, 33, after she refused to return home with him.

Her  body had been discovered earlier in the day at her parents’ home in Naples, where she had gone to live with their two children, aged 14 and 7. 

But in the hours that lapsed between her death being reported and Tamburrino deciding to turn himself in, there was what Naples chief of police Antonio De Jesu described as “sudden and feverish” blizzard of activity that allowed detectives, using wiretaps and other intelligence techniques, to home in on Di Lauro’s location.

 Marco’s father Paolo Di Lauro was head of the Camorra clan that controls drug trafficking in the poor Naples neighbourhoods of Scampia and Secondigliano, not far from the apartment where Di Lauro was living. His family was involved in a bloody power struggle in 2004 known as the Scampia feud, in which at least 130 people were killed.

The Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and interior minister Matteo Salvini both tweeted congratulations for the joint police-Caribinieri operation to capture the “super fugitive”. 

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