Europe

Italian mobster Morrone held in Spanish post office

Lucio Morrone held by a Spanish civil guard and Italian police officer
Image caption Lucio Morrone (C) was detained in a joint operation involving Spanish and Italian police

One of Italy's most wanted gangsters has been detained on the Costa del Sol in Spain while trying to withdraw money from a post office.

Lucio Morrone, known as "Spalluzzella", is described by Spain's Guardia Civil as head of a dangerous clan in the Naples Camorra.

He was sentenced to 20 years in jail for drug trafficking and on the run for five years, says Spain's Civil Guard.

Morrone was caught in a joint operation involving Spanish and Italian police.

In 2013, Italian authorities told their Spanish counterparts that Morrone, thought to be head of the Teste Matte (Crazy Heads) clan active in Naples' Spanish quarter, may have moved to Spain to evade capture.

He was eventually spotted in the small town of Benalmadena, south of Malaga, after surveillance of tourist sites and areas popular among local Italians, authorities say.

Morrone, 53, was carrying forged documents when he went to pick up money that had been wired from Naples and he was detained under a European arrest warrant.

A former Teste Matte clan chief, Paolo Pesce, was arrested further down the coast at Fuengirola in 2008.

Last week, another member of the Naples mafia, Carlo Leone, was detained in western Spain. He had been on the run since 2009.

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