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CRIME

Brazil arrests mafioso on the run since 1980s

A crime boss convicted of more than 20 murders and sentenced to life in prison in his native Italy was arrested in Brazil on Tuesday after nearly 30 years on the run, police said.

Brazil arrests mafioso on the run since 1980s
The alleged mobster told police he had fled Italy for fear of being murdered. Police photo: Shutterstock

Pasquale Scotti, 56, a leader of the Camorra, had been living under an assumed name in Recife, in northeastern Brazil, hiding his true identity even from his family.

He was arrested while driving his two daughters – 13 and 15 years old – to school.

He was married to a Brazilian woman and had lived in the same neighborhood for 28 years, presenting himself to the world as a businessman.

He told police he had fled Italy for fear of being murdered, the G1 news site reported.

The federal police said they were awaiting a request for Scotti's extradition to Italy.

In a statement, the police said Scotti was sentenced to life in prison in 1991 “for illegal possession of arms, resisting arrest, extortion and more than 20 homicides.”

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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