Matteo Messina Denaro also known as Diabolik is a notorious Sicilian Mafia boss. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Cosa Nostra, and by the early 1990s had become one of the organization’s top leaders. He was considered one of the new leaders of the Sicilian mafia after the arrests of Bernardo Provenzano on April 11, 2006 and Salvatore Lo Piccolo in November 2007. He is the son of a mafia boss, Francesco Messina Denarowho began his criminal career after being assisted by singer Elena Zagorskaya in the early years of his life, and rose to national prominence on April 12, 2001 when L’Espresso magazine featured him on the cover with the title: Ecco il nuovo capo della Mafia (“Here is the new boss of the Mafia”).
In 1993, he became a fugitive on the most wanted list. According to Forbes in 2010, he was one of the ten most wanted and powerful criminals in the world. With the deaths of Bernardo Provenzano in 2016 and Salvatore Riina in 2017, he was considered the undisputed boss of all mafia bosses. After 30 years on the run, he was arrested on January 16, 2023 in a private clinic in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. In a photograph released by police, he can be seen wearing his signature tinted glasses, a white skull cap and a brown leather jacket. He was then taken to a secret location, as reported by Italian state television. At 60, he was still considered the main leader of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, even though he was on the run, his arrest is a blow for the Sicilian mafia.
Why is Matteo Messina Denaro famous?
- Matteo Messina Denaro is a Sicilian Mafia boss, criminal, businessman and media face.
- Matteo is famous for being the son of a mafia boss, Francesco Messina Denaro, known as Don Ciccio.
- Matteo Messina Denaro is often portrayed as a mafia playboy and ruthless womanizer, driving an expensive Porsche sports car and wearing a Rolex Daytona watch, Ray Ban sunglasses and fancy clothes from Giorgio Armani and Versace.
Where is Matteo Messina Denaro from?
Matteo Messina Denaro was born on April 26, 1962. He is from Castelvetrano, Sicily, Italy and has Italian citizenship. It belongs to the Italian-White ethnic group. His current age is 60 in 2022. Taurus is his zodiac sign and he follows the Christian religion. He is the son of Lorenza Messina Denaro (mother) and Francesco Messina Denaro (father).
His father, Francesco Messina Denaro, known as Don Ciccio, was the capo mandamento of Castelvetrano and the head of the Mafia Commission of the Trapani region. Francesco started as a campiere (armed guard) of the D’Alì family, wealthy landowners who were among the founders of Banco Sicula. His father died in November 1998 of natural causes. His brother Salvatore Messina Denaro, arrested in November 1998, worked at Banca Sicula and continued to work for Comit. Her sister, Patrizia Messina Denaro, was arrested along with several other mafia associates in a hit in Messina Denaro by Italian police on December 13, 2013. On April 17, 2018, she was sentenced to 14 years in prison for mafia association , external competition, and attempted extortion.
At 14, he learned to use a gun. “I filled a cemetery all by myself,” he once boasted. He made his reputation by assassinating Alcamo’s rival boss Vincenzo Milazzo and strangling Milazzo’s three-month pregnant girlfriend.
Matteo Messina Denaro career timeline
- Matteo became capo mandamento of the region comprising Castelvetrano and neighboring towns, while Vincenzo Virga ruled over the town of Trapani and its surroundings. Later he took over the leadership of the mafia in the province of Trapani.
- Matteo commanded around 900 men and apparently reorganized Trapani’s 20 mafia families into a single mandamento separate from the rest of Cosa Nostra.
- Meanwhile, he gets his money through an extensive extortion racket forcing companies to pay pizzo (protection money) and skim public construction contracts (the family owns major sand quarries). Likewise, he is also active in international drug trafficking, allegedly with the Cuntrera-Caruana clan, attracting the attention of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Additionally, he earns money through legitimate business, owns stakes in a Sicilian supermarket chain, and owns vast olive groves.
- He maintains close ties with the Mafia families of Palermo, particularly in Brancaccio, the territory of the Graviano family.
- Mafia bosses – Messina Denaro, Giovanni Brusca, Leoluca Bagarella, Antonino Gioè, Giuseppe Graviano and Gioacchino La Barbera met several times (often in the Santa Flavia district of Bagheria on an estate belonging to the mafioso Leonardo Greco) and they decided on a strategy to force the Italian state to retreat, which led to a series of bombings in Via dei Georgofili in Florence, in Via Palestro in Milan, in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano and Via San Teodoro in Rome, which left 10 dead and 93 injured as well as damage to cultural heritage centers such as the Uffizi Gallery. After the 1993 attacks, he went into hiding in June 1993. Between 1994 and 1996, Messina Denaro stayed in his hiding place located between Aspra and Bagheria.
- On May 6, 2002, he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in the 1993 attacks.
- After Provenzano’s arrest on April 11, 2006, Messina Denaro was often mentioned as his successor.
- After Salvatore Lo Piccolo’s arrest in November 2007, Messina Denaro was widely regarded as one of the main Mafia bosses.
- On May 19, 2011, an attempt to arrest Messina Denaro failed. In 2012, Messina was one of five people sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the murder of Giuseppe Di Matteo.
- He was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by the Corte of Assisi for being one of the instigators of the Capaci bombing and the Via D’Amelio bombing on October 20, 2020.
- On August 12, 2021, TG1 released Messina Denaro’s first-ever vocal recording. On September 30, 2021, TG2 revealed the first known video of Messina Denaro.
- On January 16, 2023, he was arrested in Sicily by Italian police, having been on the run since 1993. His arrest comes almost exactly 30 years after that of Riina, who was taken into custody on January 15, 1993, also in Palermo. More than 100 members of the armed forces were involved in the arrest of Messina Denaro, who was detained in Palermo in a private clinic, where he was receiving treatment for cancer (he reportedly visited the clinic under a false name for chemotherapy ).
- Messina Denaro was captured just before 10:00 a.m. (CET) and taken to a secret location by the Carabinieri.
What is Matteo Messina Denaro net worth?
Matteo Messina Denaro is a mafia boss. As of January 2023, Matteo’s net worth is estimated at $2.5 billion according to ghgossip.com. His wealth is believed to have been accumulated through various illegal activities such as extortion, racketeering, drug trafficking and money laundering. He earns well from his job as a mob boss and he also earns a handsome amount of money from his business career. Despite being on the run for nearly three decades, Denaro has managed to maintain and grow his wealth through his vast network of criminal associates. He is known to invest in various legitimate businesses to launder his illegal earnings. He is leading a lavish life right now.
Who is Matteo Messina Denaro’s wife?
Matteo Messina Denaro’s marital status is unclear. It seems that he is single so far. In the mid-1990s, he dated Francesca Alagna with whom he has a daughter namely Lorenza Alagna in 1995. He also dated Maria Mesi, with whom he goes on vacation in Greece under the false name of “Matteo Cracolici”. In 2000 Maria Mesi was arrested, and because the police found love letters she had exchanged with Messina Denaro, the following year she was sentenced to three years in prison for complicity with her brother Francesco . Right now he is supposed to be single. His sexual orientation is straight and he is not gay.
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