The irresistible call of a lavish Easter feast in Sicily landed a prominent mobster behind bars Sunday after authorities arrested him as he was returning to the Mediterranean island from Brazil to celebrate with family.
Considered by authorities to be the newly appointed “capo” of the Pagliarelli mafia district in southeast Palermo, Giuseppe Calvaruso, 44, had been living for months in Brazil, from where authorities say he was delegating mob affairs to loyal subordinates.
Easter in Sicily is one of the most important Catholic celebrations, with spectacular processions and sumptuous meals. After being away from home for nearly a year, Calvaruso had planned a brief stay to feast with family, authorities said, departing from Natal and stopping over briefly in Paris before landing at Falcone Borsellino airport in Palermo. He was arrested quietly Easter Sunday by Carabinieri police while waiting for his luggage at the baggage carousel.
Anti-mafia prosecutors are charging him and four other loyalists who were also arrested, including his right-hand man in Palermo, Giovanni Caruso, 50, with mafia association, extortion, assault, kidnapping and fraud-related charges.
The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, divides Palermo into eight local districts, including Pagliarelli, home to the city’s maximum security prison. Prosecutors maintain Calvaruso was appointed head of the Pagliarelli district after the oldest boss of the Sicilian mafia, Settimo Mineo, 82, was sent to prison in December 2018.
Considered a promising young boss for his ability to manage international affairs, authorities claim Calvaruso held close ties to investors in Singapore ready to finance construction in Sicily’s tourism and hotel sector. He was also tasked with maintaining diplomatic ties to other mafia district leaders to negotiate business and resolve disputes.
But it was the tricky job of ensuring public order in his own district that eventually ensnared him. Prosecutors say Calvaruso ordered a violent assault on a gang of thieves who carried out several “unauthorised” thefts in his neighborhood. In one case, they say a local retailer hit by thieves twice in one week turned over video of the robbery to the local boss, who identified the rogue thieves and brought them to a garage where they were allegedly brutally beaten in Calvaruso’s presence.
Source: Telegraph UK