Mafia boss on lam 19 years caught

AFP-JIJI

An Italian Mafia boss has been arrested in London after nearly two decades on the run.

London’s Metropolitan Police said Domenico Rancadore, 64, was detained Wednesday on a European arrest warrant. But Judge Quentin Purdy expressed doubt Thursday over the warrant and was to announce Friday whether Rancadore can be released on bail.

Considered an important member of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Rancadore has been wanted by Italian police for 19 years and is on the country’s list of most dangerous criminals.

Shocked neighbors in the west London suburb of Uxbridge, where Rancadore was running a travel agency, described him as “one of the best neighbors you could have.”

He has an outstanding prison sentence of seven years in Italy for Mafia-related activities. Italy’s Interior Ministry said Italian police had worked with their British counterparts to locate the fugitive. The ministry said several witnesses had described him as a leading member of the Palermo Mafia. “In particular, in the 1990s he played the role of chief of the Cosa Nostra in Trabia, Palermo,” it said.

A neighbor said he had been known in London as Marc Skinner and had two children with his English wife. “I know him very well,” said Joan Hills, 76. I’ve seen the children grow up with my children. . . . They are the nicest people that you could wish to meet.”