A mafia boss who has been on the run for 20 years has finally been arrested – after being spotted on Google Maps.
Notorious criminals throughout history have often been caught in surprising and ridiculous ways.
Legendary highwayman of yore Dick Turpin got caught when a postman recognised his handwriting, notorious mobster Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion, and now Google Maps is the tool that has played a part in the downfall of a mafia boss.
Gioacchino Gammino, a convicted murderer considered to be one of Italy’s most-wanted gangsters, had been on the run from the law for 20 years, and was finally found after being spotted on Google Street View.
According to The Guardian, the 61-year-old was arrested when a police investigation confirmed that a man spotted on Google Maps who looked like Gammino was indeed the person they were looking for.
The fugitive had been caught on camera outside fruit and vegetable shop El Huerto de Manu in Galapagar, and his identity was confirmed when they found a listing for La Cocina de Manu, a nearby restaurant.
Though both establishments had closed in the meantime, police found a Facebook page associated with the restaurant and saw a picture of Gammino in chef’s gear.
They were able to identify him by the scar on the left side of his chin.
The presence of a Sicilian dish on the menu further confirmed his identity, and Gammino was finally arrested on December 17.
Police have stressed that they did not just stumble across Gammino – who has been the subject of a European arrest warrant since 2014 – on Google Maps by accident.
Francesco Lo Voi, leader of the latest investigation into Gammino’s whereabouts, told The Guardian, ‘It’s not as if we spend our days wading through Google Maps to find fugitives.
‘There were many previous and long investigations, which led us to Spain. We were on a good path, with Google Maps helping to confirm our investigations.’
Gammino had been wanted for murder and a variety of other mafia-related crimes. He was previously arrested in Barcelona in 1998 and was sent to serve a life sentence in Italy, but escaped in 2002 while a film was being made at the prison.
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