'Gommorah' kingpin arrested

Michele Zagaria caught in underground bunker

07 December, 16:43

(ANSAmed) - Rome, December 7 - Police on Wednesday arrested the leading fugitive of the Camorra mafia clan exposed in the well-known book and film Gomorrah.

"The state has won," police quoted Michele Zagaria as saying ironically as they handcuffed him.

Zagaria, top dog in the bloodthirsty Casalesi clan, was hiding out in an underground bunker north of Naples. As authorities dug him out, officers completely surrounded the small town of Casapesenna in order to block an escape attempt. Police found a similar hiding place in October they believed was used by the clan boss on various occasions. Zagaria, 53, had been on the run since 2000 and was sentenced in absentia to life for murder and other mafia crimes in 2008.

He was on the list of Italy's 30 most-wanted fugitives.

The Neapolitan mafia's Casalesi clan was exposed in Roberto Saviano's 2006 book Gomorrah, later turned into a successful film that won second prize at Cannes.

The writer is under round-the-clock police protection because of death threats from Casalesi bosses like Zagaria.

In recent months police had made a string of arrests and asset seizures against the Casalesi gang, which is based at Casal di Principe near Caserta, north of Naples.

On Thursday, police arrested seven people linked to the notorious family including two brothers and a cousin of the kingpin.

(ANSAmed).

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