How Italy’s most wanted mafioso hid in plain sight for 30 years

Who is Matteo Messina Denaro?

Listen | 23:59

“For years we were bombarded with news that Matteo Messina Denaro was in Amsterdam, he’d been seen in Liverpool, he’d been seen in Brazil. Many people couldn’t believe he would be going around Sicily in this way,” says Italian criminologist, Dr Anna Sergi.

Italy’s most wanted fugitive was arrested in a spectacular swoop in Sicily last week. The Cosa Nostra boss was wanted for a string of killings and bombings that terrorised the Italian public in 1993.

But how did he evade capture for 30 years? And where does it leave Italy’s war on the mafia?

Dr. Sergi of the University of Essex explains who Matteo Messina Denaro is, how he hid in plain sight for 30 years and what it was like growing up in a region dominated by mob violence.


Produced by Trish Laverty