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Man whose identity was used by prolific mafia boss arrested in Sicily

In Sicily, a man whose identity was used to identify Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has been arrested.

Andrea Bonafede was taken into custody by Carabinieri police following a warrant issued in Palermo by the judicial authorities.

Messina denaro was last week taken at Palermo’s Palermo clinic, where he was being treated for chemotherapy. He was wearing an official ID card with Bonafede’s name and his own photo.

Image Matteo Messina Denaro was taken at a Palermo hospital where he was being treated with chemotherapy

Bonafede is suspected to be a member Cosa Nostra as the Sicilian mafia is called, and that he helped Messina Denaro in his role as a major mob leader.


According to the warrant, Bonafede, 60, was “able” to escape law enforcement and access national healthcare while hiding his identity.

Investigators suspect that Bonafede received EUR20,000 (PS17.500) from the mafia boss to purchase a house in western Sicily, which was used as Messina Denaro’s hideout.

Police searched at least three homes near Trapani in Campobello di Mazara in western Sicily. They claim they were used within the past few months.

More information about Italy

Image: After Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested, the Commander of Carabinieri Police speaks. Pic: Alberto Lo Bianco/LaPresse/AP

The authorities discovered receipts for airline tickets, receipts from high-end restaurants, and jewellery. They also found posters from movies like The Godfather and Joker.

According to the arrest warrant, a black Alfa Romeo Giulietta car that Messina Denaro drove around in was also found along with Bonafede’s identification documents.

Messina denaro was on the run from 1993. He was sentenced in absentia for the murders he committed in the 1990s.

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He was found guilty of being one of the bombing masterminds in the 1992 attacks. One of them killed Giovanni Falcone (Italian anti-mafia chief magistrate), and the other two killed Paolo Borsellino (a fellow magistrate) two months later.

He was known as the “last Godfather” and the last fugitive member in a group of mobsters that terrorized Italy.


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