Italian mafia boss caught after Google Maps sighting in Spain

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Image source, Google Maps
Image caption,
A Google Street View shot shows a man resembling Gammino, right, standing in front of a grocery shop

An Italian mafia boss who has been on the run for decades has been arrested after he was spotted on Google Maps.

Gioacchino Gammino, 61, was found in Galapagar, Spain, where he was living under the name Manuel.

A Google Street View shot showing a man resembling Gammino standing in front of a grocery shop was key to tracking the fugitive, investigators say.

Gammino escaped a Rome prison in 2002 and was sentenced to life in jail the following year for murder.

He was a member of a Sicilian mafia group known as Stidda and was one of Italy's most wanted gangsters.

Sicilian police believed Gammino was in Spain, but it was the photo of him talking to a man outside El Huerto de Manu, or Manu's Garden, that triggered an immediate investigation.

His identity was confirmed when police found a Facebook page of a now-closed restaurant, Cocina de Manu, which was located nearby. It had posted photos of Gammino wearing chef's clothes and he was identified by a scar on his chin.

The restaurant had Sicilian dishes on the menu.

He was arrested on 17 December, but it was only reported by La Repubblica on Wednesday.

After his arrest, he reportedly told police: "How did you find me? I haven't even called my family for 10 years."

Gammino is in custody in Spain and Italian police hope to bring him back to Italy by the end of February, Nicola Altiero, the deputy director of the Italian anti-mafia police unit, told Reuters news agency.

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