Google street view helps nab Mafia boss on the run for 20 years

WION Web Team
Galapagar, Spain Published: Jan 06, 2022, 09:59 AM(IST)

A Street View that revealed his downfall also showed him outside another establishment that bore his false name, El huerto de Manu. Photograph:( Others )

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'How did you find me? I haven't called my family in ten years,' Gammino reportedly told police upon his arrest on 17 December

In one of the most amazing arrests, Google Street View helped catch a Sicilian mafia fugitive who had been on the run for nearly 20 years.

A mafia fugitive who was on the run for nearly 20 years was caught after being spotted on Google Street View.

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After a picture of a man resembling Giovanni Gammino was taken outside a fruit shop in Galapagar, Spain, authorities tracked down the man.

Gammino, 61, was tracked down to Galapagar a town near Madrid. He had long been suspected to be in the country, but police were unable to locate him.

According to Nicola Altiero, deputy director of Italy's anti-mafia unit (DIA), the photograph helped them confirm the investigation they were conducting in the traditional way.

Italy's La Repubblica newspaper reported that Gammino went by the name of Manuel and worked as a chef at a restaurant called La cocina de Manu.

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The Sicilian who has an identifying mark, a scar on the left side of his chin - also appears in a Facebook profile for the now-closed restaurant, which offered a "Sicilian dinner" for diners.

A Street View that revealed his downfall also showed him outside another establishment that bore his false name, El huerto de Manu.

The newspaper La Repubblica reports that Gammino was the boss of the Stidda crime group in Agrigento, Sicily. There has been much rivalry between the group and the well-known Cosa Nostra.

Giovanni Falcone - a renowned anti-mafia judge killed in a bomb attack - investigated him in the 1980s.

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In 2002, Gambino escaped from Rome's Rebibbia prison while a film was being made there, and a year later he was sentenced to life in prison for murder.

In the years since then he evaded capture, and recently his small-town life in Spain was uncovered to his surprise.

"How did you find me? I haven't called my family in ten years," Gammino reportedly told police upon his arrest on 17 December.

Currently, he has been taken into custody in Spain, according to Ms Altiero from the Italian anti-mafia unit, but he is expected to return to Italy in February.

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