(Italian Police/ Associated Press ) - A picture released Friday, Dec. 12, 2013, by the Italian Police, showing Patrizia Messina Denaro.
Police have arrested the sister of Italy’s No. 1 Cosa Nostra fugitive in pre-dawn sweep in western Sicily that investigators say brought them closer than ever in their quest to capture the powerful Mafia boss. Matteo Messina Denaro has eluded capture since 1993. On Friday, police arrested his sister, Patrizia Messina Denaro, at home in Castelvetrano, a town in the heart of the crime clan’s stronghold. They also arrested a nephew and a cousin of his and 27 others, including businessmen allegedly in cahoots with him. After the capture of other Mafia long-time fugitives in the last two decades, Messino Denaro is the top Cosa Nostra figure still at large. In Palermo, Carabinieri commander Mario Parente told reporters: “We have never come as close to Matteo Messina Denaro as today.”