Italian police arrest mafia boss in Bali

Italian police have arrested a fugitive mafia boss living in a luxury home on the island of Bali in a joint operation with Indonesian authorities, police said on Friday.

This handout released by the Palermo carabinieri police shows Italian fugitive mafia boss Antonino Messicati Vitale sunbathing on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. Italian police have arrested the fugitive mafia boss who was living in a luxury home on the island of Bali in a joint operation with Indonesian authorities.

Antonino Messicati Vitale, who has served 10 years in prison in the past for mafia association, fled the country after new charges of extortion were filed against him.

He is believed to be head of the Sicilian Mafia clan of Villabate, which was at the centre of a bloody gang war in Palermo in Sicily in the 1990s.

An Italian court in 1995 absolved him of mafia killing charges on a technicality.

Messicati Vitale, whose father Pietro was gunned down in 1988, was one of the most high-profile Italian mafia bosses still on the run.

"The fugitive's residence was in a luxurious residence in a seaside resort in Bali," a police statement said.

Investigators tracked Messicati Vitale by bugging and wiretapping his family and allies and then tracking a group of his relatives who travelled to Bali.

A picture released by the police showed him in Indonesia on a deckchair smoking and reading a Dan Brown novel.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency