An article in a small newspaper from Saint-Etienne led to the discovery of Edgardo Greco
A convicted murderer believed to belong to one of Italy’s most powerful mafia organizations has been arrested in France after evading authorities for 17 years, Interpol said, citing the Guardian.
63-year-old Edgardo Greco, suspected of belonging to the notorious “Ndrangheta”, was arrested early February this year in the French city of Saint-Etienne, where he was running an Italian restaurant under a different identity and posing as a pizza chef.
According to Interpol, Greco is a “dangerous fugitive” wanted in his homeland to serve a life sentence for the 1991 murder of brothers Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo.
He is also charged with the attempted assassination of Emiliano Mosciaro during the Pino Senna-Perna Prannano mafia war, also in the early 1990s. Both clans are part of the Calabrian Ndrangheta mafia.
According to Italian police, the Bartolomeo brothers were beaten to death with iron bars in a fish warehouse in January 1991. Their bodies have never been found and are believed to have been dissolved in acid.
The attack on them was organized by a rival gang who believed the brothers were trying to expand their illegal business by encroaching on their own territory. Greco was chosen as the contractor for the wet order.
The crime remained unsolved for 15 years, when in 2006 a breakthrough was made in the case and a judge issued a warrant for the killer’s arrest.
However, he managed to elude the authorities by presenting false documents attesting to a non-existent illness, which prevented his arrest.
The gangster then escapes and goes underground.
Greco assumes a new identity – Paolo Dimitrio. In his homeland, however, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and a European arrest warrant was issued against him.
Meanwhile, the Neapolitan mobster, after eight years of wandering from place to place, decided to settle in the French city of Saint-Etienne, southwest of Lyon. There he began working in various Italian restaurants and made a name for himself as a skilled pizza maker.
According to prosecutors in the case, the woman was “even more ruthless than the men”
So in June 2021, when he was already confident enough in his fictional identity of Paolo Dimitrio, he decided to take the next step in his professional life and open his own restaurant – Caffe Rossini Ristorante.
The opening of the new establishment was also covered by the local press, with a headline appearing in the Le Progres newspaper: “Paolo Dimitrio opens the restaurant of his dreams”, and the restaurant’s Facebook page shows a photo of the proud owner posing in front of his establishment.
The photo shows a man with a scruffy beard and glasses, but it is also a turning point, leading Italian authorities to the wanted criminal. Italian authorities are not disclosing details of their investigation or how they managed to get hold of the article in Le
His arrest is said to have been made with the help of the Interpol-led Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta project, which facilitates police cooperation between its 195 Interpol member states in the fight against organized crime.
However, the facts show that early Thursday morning he was detained. He was immediately brought before an investigating judge in Lyon, who officially notified him of the arrest warrant issued against him in Italy.
Greco is about to be extradited to his homeland.
The arrest of the killer of the Bartolomeo brothers is another blow against the Calabrian mafia. It comes a week after Italian police said they had broken up ‘Ndrangheta organizations.
During the police action, assets worth around 250 million euros were confiscated
During the action, assets with a total value of over 250 million euros were confiscated and 56 people were arrested.
The detainees have been charged with a range of crimes, including mafia-related conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, bribery and possession of weapons, murder and others, police and prosecutors said.
Last month, Italian police arrested Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the most notorious bosses of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia, who had been on the run for 30 years.
The 60-year-old man was detained after visiting a health clinic in the Sicilian capital, Palermo, where he received treatment.
Photo: Carabinieri Cosenza