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After 16 years on the run, Italian mob suspect found working as pizza chef

Edgardo Greco, a convicted murderer linked to Italy's most powerful organized crime group, the 'Ndrangheta, was on the run for 16 years . An Interpol statement said French police, with help from Italian colleagues, arrested Edgardo Greco in Saint-Etienne, France on Feb. 2, 2023. Interpol

After nearly 17 years on the run, a convicted killer and suspected Mafia hitman was arrested in France where he had been working as a pizza chef.

In 2006, Edgardo Greco, 63, was given a life sentence for two murders and an attempted murder as part of what is commonly known as a “Mafia war” in Italy between the Pino Sena and Perna Pranno gangs in the 1990s, according to an Interpol statement. Greco is believed to have connections to the infamous crime group ’Ndrangheta in Calabria, Italy.

Interpol described the criminal-turned-pizzamaker as a “dangerous fugitive.” He was discovered in Saint-Étienne, France on Thursday, where he had lived since 2014. The Associated Press reported Greco was working as a pizza chef for the past three years.

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He used the alias Paolo Dimitrio while living in France, the BBC reported. His photo appeared in a local newspaper in July 2021, where he advertised his restaurant’s Italian cooking. The article said Greco, identified as Dimitrio, was Italian-born but a true Saint-Étienne local.

Greco was convicted of murder in the 1991 killings of Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo. Italian police said the brothers were beaten to death with iron bars in a fish shop in Calabria. Their bodies were never found, but police believe the victims were dissolved in acid.

Greco was also convicted of attempting to murder another man in Calabria later that year.

He avoided prison by allegedly falsifying medical documents for a vital treatment, meaning he could not be detained. He escaped police custody in 2006 and has been wanted since.

Greco’s capture on Thursday is part of Interpol’s I-CAN project that targets the ‘Ndrangetha crime group. As part of the initiative, dozens of fugitives have been arrested around the world.

Italian carabinieri and anti-Ndrangheta police officers talk at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, central France, Thursday, Feb.2, 2023. Interpol

“No matter how hard fugitives try to slip into a quiet life abroad, they cannot evade justice forever,” Interpol chief Jurgen Stock said in the organization’s statement.

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The ‘Ndrangheta, based in the “toe” of the Italian peninsula, is one of the world’s most powerful cocaine traffickers and is seen as the largest threat among organized crime syndicates. In recent years, ’Ndrangheta mobsters have been arrested around Europe and even in Brazil.

With files from The Associated Press

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