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Mafia killer arrested after living a double life as a pizza chef, even boasting in public about his food under a fake name

Business Insider India logo Business Insider India 03-02-2023 Joshua Zitser
  • A convicted mafia killer who had been on the run for 16 years was arrested in Saint-Etienne, France.
  • Edgardo Greco had been working as a pizza chef and using an alias while authorities looked for him.

A convicted mafia killer was working as a pizza chef in France when he was captured by authorities on Thursday morning, after more than 16 years on the run, Interpol said.

Edgardo Greco, 63, was part of the notorious 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate, which originated in Italy's Calabria region but now has a presence worldwide. It's considered one of Italy's most powerful mafia groups, and is known for moving cocaine across Europe.

Greco escaped temporary police custody in 2006 after an arrest warrant was issued for the double murder of two brothers, the international police cooperation organization said.

He was given a life sentence for the murders of Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo, who were killed in 1991 as part of a "mafia war," per BBC News.

Greco is also accused of the attempted murder of another man, Emiliano Mosciaro, which also took place in 1991.

The fugitive was arrested in Saint-Etienne, France, while posing as a pizza chef under the name Paolo Dimitrio. He had worked in several Italian restaurants in the French city, according to The Guardian.

In June 2021 he became the owner of a restaurant called Caffe Rossini Ristorante, which he ran until November, French prosecutors said, per The Guardian.

He became so confident in the alias that he appeared in a local newspaper as Dimitrios, in July 2021, boasting about the restaurant's homemade recipes, which included ravioli, risotto, and tagliatelle.

A post on the Facebook page of the restaurant refers to it, in French, as "the Italian restaurant of his dreams," adding that 'Dimitrio' was "Italian by birth" but had lived in Saint-Etienne for 14 years.

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After Greco's arrest on Thursday morning, he appeared before a magistrate in Lyon, who formally notified him of the Italian arrest warrant, prosecutors said, according to The Guardian. He is now in detention.

Greco's capture follows the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro, the boss of Sicily's Cosa Nostra mafia group, last month. Denaro was captured in a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily, after three decades on the run, Italian authorities said.

After Greco's arrest, Interpol's secretary general J├╝rgen Stock said in a statement: "No matter how hard fugitives try to slip into a quiet life abroad, they cannot evade justice forever. Dedicated officers around the world will always ensure that justice is served."

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