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Italian fugitive caught working as pizza chef after 16 years on the run

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

Italian fugitive caught working as pizza chef after 16 years on the run

Featured Image Credit: Carabinieri Cosenza / Interpol

An Italian fugitive who was on the run for 16 years has been arrested in France after hiding in plain sight as a pizza chef.

Edgardo Greco was caught in Saint-Étienne, in eastern-central France, after going on the run in 2006 when a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

The 63-year-old was wanted for the murder of brothers Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo in January 1991, when two gangs were embroiled in a 'mafia war'.

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The brothers were beaten to death at a fishmonger's in the small Italian town of Cosenza. Their bodies were never found, but are believed to have been dissolved in acid to hide the evidence.

Edgardo Greco settled in France after years on the run. Credit: Carabinieri Cosenza
Edgardo Greco settled in France after years on the run. Credit: Carabinieri Cosenza

Greco was a member of a rival gang linked to the ‘Ndrangheta, a prominent Italian Mafia-type organised crime syndicate. On top of the brothers' murders, he has also been accused of the attempted murder of another man in the same town.

Greco managed to escape temporary police custody to go on the run, and after eight years he settled in Saint-Étienne and got a job as a pizza chef in an Italian restaurant.

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He adopted a new identity with the name Paolo Dimitrio to avoid being recognised as the subject of a European arrest warrant.

Authorities in Italy had already issued Greco a life sentence, and in 2019 Italy's Carabinieri military police began to trace Greco's support network.

Greco was found working as a chef. Credit: Pixabay
Greco was found working as a chef. Credit: Pixabay

The investigation led police to Saint-Étienne, where French authorities carried out surveillance of Greco's location. After 16 years on the run Greco had adopted a grey beard and glasses, but Italian police were able to confirm his identity and arrest him with support from the Interpol Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta (I-CAN) Project.

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Italy’s Minister of Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, praised the authorities involved in Greco's capture, saying it demonstrated the country’s commitment to fighting all forms of organised crime and locating dangerous fugitives.

Jürgen Stock, Interpol Secretary General, added that Greco's arrest was evidence that criminals cannot run forever.

Greco was arrested with support from the Interpol Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta (I-CAN) Project. Credit: Interpol
Greco was arrested with support from the Interpol Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta (I-CAN) Project. Credit: Interpol

"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," Stock said.

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“The I-CAN Project, underpinned by the global connectivity INTERPOL provides, will continue to ensure that police have the actionable intelligence they need so that fugitives around the world cannot rest easy."

The I-CAN project works to raise global awareness and understanding about the ‘Ndrangheta, and shares police information in a bid to dismantle their networks and operations.

Topics: News, Crime, True crime, World News

Emily Brown
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