A reputed Italian mafia hitman known for dissolving his victims in acid was finally nabbed after 16 years on the lam — slinging pizza pies at a French restaurant.
Interpol and Italian police on Thursday announced the arrest of 63-year-old Edgardo Greco, a convicted murderer with ties to Italy’s most powerful organized crime syndicate, the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta.
Italy’s ANSA news agency reported that Greco had been working for the past three years as a pizza-maker in the city of Saint Etienne in southeastern France, where he had lived under the assumed name Paolo Dimitrio since 2014.
Investigations by Italian prosecutors in Catanzaro and police in Cosenza — both in southern Italy — led to the fugitive’s arrest, an Interpol statement said.
According to Interpol, Greco — who was known to his French pizzeria patrons as “Rocco” — was convicted in two homicides in 1991 and accused of attempted murder in another case involving a rival mob boss who was stabbed inside a jail.
Italian authorities said the two people brutally murdered on Jan. 5, 1991, were brothers Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo who were bludgeoned to death with a metal bar in a fish shop in Calabria.
Three years later, Greco reportedly dug up the victims’ remains to dissolve them in acid and cover up the homicides, according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
Interpol, the international police organization based in Lyon, France, said the killings were part of a “mafia war” between the Pino Sena and Perna Pranno clans that raged in Italy in the early 1990s.
Greco vanished in 2006 after a warrant was issued for his arrest as part of a sprawling mafia trial. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life.
After years of living quietly in France — with a life sentence hanging over him in Italy — Greco resurfaced in July 2021 in an article published by the French newspaper Le Progres, in which the chef bragged about his “100% fresh and homemade” Italian dishes.
The article featured a photo of a beaming Greco — by then considered one of Italy’s “super fugitives” — showing off some of his regional specialties and waxing poetic about his Calabrian grandmother and his desire to recreate a little slice of his homeland in his restaurant.
The author of the article rhapsodized that while the pizza chef was Italian by birth, at heart he was a local of Saint Etienne.
“No matter how hard fugitives try to slip into a quiet life abroad, they cannot evade justice forever,” Interpol chief Jurgen Stock was quoted as saying following Greco’s capture Thursday.
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.
Italy’s Minister of Interior Matteo Piantedosi applauded Greco’s arrest, saying that it demonstrated the country’s commitment to fighting all forms of organized crime and locating dangerous fugitives.
This article was originally posted here