Published: Sat, December 08, 2018

Italian Mafia 'godfather' Settimo Mineo held in Sicily raid

Italian Mafia 'godfather' Settimo Mineo held in Sicily raid

Mineo was rearrested in 2006 and imprisoned for another 11 years.

Settimino Mineo, 80, is believed to have succeeded the former head of Cosa Nostra, Toto "the Beast" Riina, who ordered dozens of murders during a bloody reign of terror but died previous year.

Italian authorities said Tuesday they had dismantled the rebuilt upper echelons of the Mafia in the Sicilian capital by arresting 46 people, including the man presumed to have taken over as provincial kingpin after the death of "boss of bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina in 2017.

Once all-powerful on Sicily, the world's most famous crime gang has been squeezed over the past 2 decades, with many bosses put behind bars, businesses sequestered and locals increasingly ready to defy it.

The Sicilian Mafia managed to rebuild the Cupola after it had not met for years, Italian media reported. Italian media showed pictures of the white-haired, bespectacled Mineo being led away by police, his handcuffed hands hidden beneath a coat.

Italian police have arrested the new head of the Sicilian mafia and 45 other alleged mobsters in a powerful blow to organised crime on the Mediterranean island, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said today.

Police determined that Settimo Mineo was elected head of a reconstructed "cupola", or provincial mob commission, during a May 29 meeting of clan leaders in Palermo.

Lifelong Mafia member Mineo was arrested as part of investigations by judge and prosecutor Giovanni Falcone in 1984 and imprisoned for five years.

In 1992, Falcone and another top prosecutor - Paolo Borsellino - were blown up in Mafia hits.

One prominent mafioso the police have been unable to capture is Matteo Messina Denaro, nicknamed "Diabolik", who has been on the run since 1993 and comes from the province of Trapani, which lies to the west of Palermo. It was the first time clan leaders had gathered since Riina's death, prosecutors said.

The 80-year-old jeweller was reportedly elected the Cosa Nostra's new godfather at a high-level meeting in May.

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