By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
One of Italy’s most wanted and dangerous criminals was arrested on Thursday morning. 49-year-old Pasquale Bonavota was caught as he exited a cathedral in the port city of Genoa, in the north of Italy. He became a wanted man in 2018 when he went on the run after being charged with murder and Mafia association.
At the time of his arrest, Bonavota carried a fake ID. He told police: “Maybe I’m not the Pasquale you are searching for. I was just here to pray the rosary.” Authorities weren’t fooled, however. They recognized one of the leading figures of the ‘Ndrangheta clan operating in the Sant’Onofrio area in the Calabrian province of Vibo Valentia.
Bonavota (right) allegedly ran the clan, or ‘ndrine, with his two brothers. He was known as the “Baby Boss” because he began playing a role in the Calabrian Mafia when he was still only 16 years old.
- READ: How the Molè Clan of the Calabrian Mafia established a cocaine empire with Navy divers and corrupt politicians
In recent decades, the Calabrian Mafia, known as the ‘Ndrangheta, has grown in power significantly. Using its connections to drug cartels in South America it has set up countless lucrative pipelines trafficking cocaine into Europe. This has made the group more influential than Cosa Nostra from Sicily and the Camorra from Naples.
This was noticed in Italy particularly when the group began planting its flag in cities and regions in the north of Italy. The Bonavota clan allegedly operates in Rome in the Lazio region and in the regions Piedmont, which counts as its biggest city Turin, and Liguria, where Genoa is located and police found Bonavota.
- READ: Coked Up Europe: Increase in cocaine traffic, more players and violence, but ‘Ndrangheta remains key
The ‘Ndrangheta uses these cities to launder money and invest in the local economy and real estate.
Bonavota is one of those charged as part of the currently ongoing maxi-trial in which over 330 people face a variety of charges related the ‘Ndrangheta’s criminal activities. Bonavota was the only one who managed to evade arrest.
Until Thursday that is.
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