Mafia boss Messina Denaro’s third hideout found

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Italian police on Thursday found the third hideout of Matteo Messina Denaro, the Mafia superboss caught after 30 years on the run in a Palermo cancer clinic Monday.

It is an apartment in the town of Campobello di Mazara, the town near his native Castelvetrano near Trapani where the other two hideouts were found earlier this week.

The flat was empty and it is on sale. Police are trying to locate the owner.

Luxury items and Viagra were found in the first hideout and, about 300 metres away, jewels but no documents were found in the second hideout, hidden behind a false back of a wardrobe.

Police are hoping to find Cosa Nostra documents including ‘pizzini’ orders to Mafia members.

They are also hoping to find the vast cash cache of the 60-year-old boss, who was Italy’s most wanted man before his sensational capture four days ago.

Messina Denaro was being held on Wednesday in a high-security jail in central Italy, subject to special restrictions applied to the country’s most dangerous prisoners.

“I’ve no criminal record,” Messina Denaro, who was caught on Monday after 30 years on the run, told prison guards when he was admitted to the Costarelle prison close to the city of L’Aquila, Italian media reported.

Messina Denaro had been sentenced in absentia to multiple life terms for an array of crimes, including for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino — killings that shocked the nation and sparked a crackdown on Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia.

He will be one of around 160 prisoners in the Costarelle, which opened in the 1990s and is the largest of Italy’s maximum security jails. It has previously housed mobsters including Raffaele Cutolo and Leoluca Bagarella.

Messina Denaro, who had expensive tastes in clothes and cars, will be subject to the “41 bis” rules, a strict isolation regime designed to try to prevent suspects from running criminal groups from behind bars.

Prisoners are held on their own in small cells, with video surveillance in operation at all times.

Messina Denaro is suffering from cancer and his treatment is expected to continue at a hospital in L’Aquila, a small city in the mountainous Abruzzo region. He is likely to be flown back to Sicily when required to appear in court.

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