Italian killer with mafia links arrested in France after 16 years on the run

A convicted murderer linked to one of Italy's most powerful mafia organisations was arrested on Thursday in central France, Interpol said.

Italian killer with mafia links arrested in France after 16 years on the run
Police arrested Edgardo Greco in central France on Thursday after a manhunt lasting 16 years. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Edgardo Greco, 63, is suspected of belonging to the notorious ‘Ndrangheta, a powerful mafia organisation in Calabria, southern Italy.

He is wanted in Italy to serve a life sentence for the murders of Stefano and Giuseppe Bartolomeo, and accused of the attempted murder of Emiliano Mosciaro “as part of a mafia war between the Pino Sena and Perna Pranno gangs that marked the early 1990s”, Interpol said.

The Bartolomeo brothers were beaten to death with iron bars in a fish warehouse, Italian police said.

Greco’s arrest in central France came with help for Italy and France from the “Cooperation against ‘Ndrangheta Project” (I-CAN) run by Interpol, which facilitates police cooperation between its 195 member states.

READ ALSO: Italian police seize €250 million and arrest 56 in latest mafia blitz

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, quoted in Interpol’s statement, said the arrests demonstrated his country’s commitment to “fighting all forms of organised crime and locating dangerous fugitives”.

The ‘Ndrangheta is considered Italy’s most extensive and powerful mafia group, Interpol said, operating worldwide and with strong ties to the trade in cocaine bound for Europe from South America

I-CAN’s job is help raise awareness of ‘Ndrangheta and their modus operandi, sharing police information to dismantle their networks and operations, the agency said.

The arrest of Greco, who worked in the evenings in a pizza restaurant under an assumed named according to Italian media, came a week after Italian police said it had dismantled a ‘Ndrangheta mafia ring dominating a large area of southern Calabria and seized assets exceeding 250 million euros.

Fifty-six people, many already in prison, were put under criminal investigation for a series of crimes including mafia-related conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, bribery and possession of weapons, police and prosecutors said.

The arrest of Greco comes just over two weeks after Italian police arrested one of the most notorious bosses of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia, Matteo Messina Denaro, who had been on the run for 30 years.

The 60-year-old was arrested after visiting a health clinic where he was being treated in the Sicilian capital Palermo

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French teen dies from heart failure after knife attack near school

A 14-year-old girl has died of a heart attack in eastern France after her school locked down to protect itself from a knife attacker who lightly wounded two other girls, an official said on Friday.

French teen dies from heart failure after knife attack near school

The teenager “was rescued by teachers who were very fast to call the fire department. She died at the end of the afternoon,” education official Olivier Faron said.

The girl’s middle school in the village of Souffelweyersheim closed its doors on Thursday afternoon after a man stabbed two other girls aged 7 and 11 outside a nearby primary facility.

“Sadly this pupil underwent an episode of very high stress that led to a heart attack,” Faron said.

A mother outside the middle school on Friday morning said her son in first year of secondary had also been scared during the lockdown the previous day.

“Whereas in the primary school they made it more like a game, perhaps here it was a little too direct,” Deborah Wendling said.

“He thought there was an armed person in the school. They could hear doors slamming, but in fact it was just other classrooms locking down.”

Faron defended the teachers.

READ ALSO: Schoolgirl threatens teacher with knife as tensions rise in French schools

“There is no perfect solution,” he said.

But “we will analyse in depth what happened. If there are lessons to be taken from this, we will take them.”

The two girls hurt in the attack were discharged from hospital on Thursday evening with only light wounds.

Police have arrested the 30-year-old assailant, and a probe has been opened into “attempted murder of minors”, the prosecutor’s office said.

It was not immediately clear what had motivated him, but it did not appear to be “a terrorist act”, it said.

He was “psychiatrically fragile” and appeared to have stopped his medication.

The incident follows a series of attacks on schoolchildren by their peers, in particularly the fatal beating earlier this month of Shemseddine, 15, outside Paris.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal on Thursday announced measures to crack down on teenage violence in and around schools.