A 200-strong police force has begun the biggest hunt in Mafia history, to track down Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro.

Nicknamed “Diabolik”, after the Italian comic book character, the 55-year-old has evaded arrest for some 24 years and is wanted for a string of crimes including dozens of murders. The latest round of Police hunts have brought them to the Italian capital Rome, as well as Palermo and Trapani in Sicily. It is here that they are searching bunkers, caves, caverns, and grottoes.

Despite being on the run since 1993, he is thought to have succeeded notorious Sicilian Godfather Toto Riina, who died last month.

It had been suggested that he may have fled the country and is in hiding abroad, only returning to Sicily from time to time. It was only a few years ago that law enforcement had found that Denaro had been using old ways of communicating with fellow mobsters. The old method known as “pizzini“, which helped Denaro relay messages using bits of paper, which were left under rocks.


The Sicilian crime boss also has a reputation as a womanizer, driving flash cars, and wearing a Rolex Daytona watch and designer clothes. He was reported to have said he could “fill a cemetery” with his victims.