Posted on: February 5, 2024, 12:17h.
Last updated on: February 5, 2024, 12:17h.
An Italian Mafia boss who escaped from prison using the oldest trick in the book – by knotting bedsheets together – has been recaptured on the French island of Corsica after a year on the lam.
Video footage of his escape showed Marco Raduano, 40, shimmying down the sheets before dropping from some height onto grass in the prison courtyard. He then exited via a courtyard door to which he had somehow obtained a key, according to reports.
He was arrested on Thursday while he was dining with a young woman in a restaurant in the town of Bastia, according to the AFP news agency.
Raduano is alleged to be the boss of the Società Foggiana (the Foggia Society), an offshoot of the Sacra Corona Unita organized crime group. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2018 for drug trafficking and was midway through a murder trial at the time of his daring escape.
Italian authorities said that Raduano’s close associate, Gianluigi Troiano, was arrested at the same time near Granada in southern Spain.
The carabinieri’s (Italian police’s) capture abroad of two dangerous fugitives, Marco Raduano, and his right-hand man, Gianluigi Troiano, represents another major blow to organized crime,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said.
Raduano’s disappearance last year was not noticed for a full two hours, despite being captured on security video. Prison officials said he made his getaway during a shift change at a time when staff shortages meant there was only one guard on watch.
The gangster had been a model prisoner up to that point and had been rewarded with a plum job in the library on an upper floor. This may have given him the opportunity to scope out the guards’ schedule as they patrolled the wall, investigators said at the time.
Sacra Corona Unita Illegal Gambling
Mainly based in the Puglia region on Italy’s “heel,” the Sacra Corona Unita organization’s revenue streams include drug trafficking, prostitution, arms trafficking, extortion, and illegal gambling.
As its name suggests, Società Foggiana is based in the neighboring Foggia region and is considered one of the most brutal and violent of all Italian Mafia groups. It is notorious for shattering its victims’ skulls with shotgun blasts so their relatives can’t give them traditional open-casket funerals. Raduano allegedly guarded his personal stash of guns with a boa constrictor.
In 2018, Italian authorities busted a €4.5 billion illegal online gambling ring that was a joint operation between the Sacra Corona Unita, Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, and Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta.
Raduano’s outfit had been instrumental in bringing the Sicilian and Calabrian factions together, and had used its technical know-how to build the operation, according to prosecutors.