On the early morning of 1 October, the Italian Polizia di Stato, with the support of Europol, located and arrested in the Sicilian countryside close to Vita (Italy) a suspect known as V.M., one of the most high-profile fugitives in Italy.
This dangerous fugitive, son of a prominent member of the Italian crime syndicate COSA NOSTRA, was wanted by the Italian authorities since 2016 for his involvement in a violent triple murder case committed in 2006 in northern Italy. Europol was quickly involved in this case, since the individual had international links to other EU and third party countries.
This arrest – the result of a fruitful exchange of information between Europol, Italy and other EU Member States, is the fifth of its kind as part of the Italian project ‘Eurosearch’, which aims to locate and capture dangerous mafia fugitives in Europe.
Earlier this year, 4 similar operations were carried out respectively on 7 and 12 May, 28 July and 18 August by the Italian Polizia di Stato, in cooperation with their counterparts in other EU Member States and Europol, on the occasion of which 3 COSA NOSTRA fugitives and one top ‘NDRANGHETA fugitive were arrested.
Europol is supporting the project ‘Eurosearch’ and the related investigations with ENFAST (European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams) and with its dedicated AP ITOC (Analysis Project on Italian Organised Crime) which analytical and operational support, such as organising dedicated operational meeting at its headquarters in The Hague.