Pasquale Bonavota, Boss of Ndrangheta arrested in cathedral
ROME – Pasquale Bonavota, one of Italy’s most dangerous fugitives has been arrested in Genoa after 5 years on the run.
The arrest took place in Liguria where the boss of Sant’Onofrio and Stefanaconi, had entered the Church of San Lorenzo, a Cathedral in Genoa.
The carabinieri, led by Colonel Michele Lastella, who had been tracking him since 2021 identified him on Thursday morning, they followed him down the street and, once inside the church, arrested him. He had a false document with him which will help the police unravel the network of supporters he’s used in the last five years.
The arrest is a big achievement as Bonavota has been on Italy’s most wanted list with Attilio Cubeddu, Giovanni Motisi, and Renato Cinquegranella, for conspiring with the mafia and aggravated homicide.
Bonavota has a long criminal record with his first offense taking place 36 years ago when he was arrested for theft at 13 years old. Since then he has racked up a long criminal record which includes association with the mafia, multiple murders including those of Raffaele Cracolici and Domenico Di Leo as well as, extortion, usury, fictitious ownership of assets, international money laundering, possession of weapons, drug trafficking, fraud, bid rigging, identity theft, and trafficking in influence and corruption.
Pasquale had almost been arrested in 2019 during the Rinascita-Scott investigation where all other 334 subjects had been arrested due to their involvement in crimes committed by the Vibonese Mafia family. The carabinieri tried to hunt down Bonavota but he had managed to flee using a false identity.
Pasquale’s association with the mafia dates back to 1990 when he was 16 years old, being the son of Vincenzo Bonavota, former regent and founder of the clan, in the Rinascita-Scott trial Pasquale Bonavota was considered the "company head" of the gang while his brother, Nicola, had the task of maintaining relations with the detached 'ndrine present in Piedmont and Liguria.
His brother was already arrested in 2008 for his crimes and has been serving a life sentence ever since.
Pasquale would have met the same fate had it not been for his strong support system and cunning personality. The police now are investigating his support system which would have helped him stay underground for years.
The police have reportedly already identified the mafia boss’s hideout in Liguria and have commenced the search for any evidence which will help in the investigation.
One of the reasons that the boss has managed to stay underground for so long is reportedly due to his criminal contacts in other regions of Italy including Lazio and Piedmont. In northern Italy, the authorities found records of "numerous meetings between trusted associates of the Bonavota consortium with exponents of the association in Liguria such as Davide Garcea, son of the more famous 'Ndrangheta exponent Onofrio Garcea, and in Piedmont, such as Antonio Serratore and Francesco Mandaradoni.” The purpose of the aforementioned meetings in Northern Italy were to establish agreements for old criminal operations as well as maintaining relations with the parent company by the 'ndrine satellites'.
Several repentants have spoken of the Fugitive including Andrea Mantella, ex-boss who corroborated that "with reference to the Bonavota clan, I can specify that the head of the company is Pasquale Bonavota".
The collaborator of Justice Vincenzo Marino further refers to him as "the brain of the family" after the fugitive’s conversation was intercepted where he was heard saying “My father said a word that I didn't understand at the time because I was a boy, and today I have to tell the truth if one wants to be a marauder, as well as having to be, you must also have the mentality because we are no longer the marauders ... what can we do with a rifle, we ate, drank after we got drunk ... we went out to the square and talked, now it is done with the brain, with diplomacy … isn't it? And now my father… tell him… do you know what's in Sant'Onofrio? One thing… an immediate reaction, one slaps you and I… but there is no rogue mentality, mafia mentality, there is absolutely none….”
The investigation has now been launched, and Pasquale remains in custody awaiting trial thanks to his reputation of being a major flight risk.
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