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'Betrayed by football': Italian fugitive arrested in Greece

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
'Betrayed by football': Italian fugitive arrested in Greece
Greek police forces collaborated with Italian authorities in apprehending fugitive Vincenzo La Porta on the island of Corfu. Photo by Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP

A fugitive on Italy's most-wanted list has been caught on the Greek island of Corfu after he was photographed as he celebrated Napoli's first Serie A title in 33 years, Italian police said on Saturday.

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Vincenzo La Porta, 60, had been on the run for 11 years, and is "considered to have close ties" to the Camorra crime organisation in the southern Italian city of Naples, a police statement said.

He was sentenced in absentia to 14 years in prison for his role in a criminal group skilled in tax evasion and fraud.

Police in Naples said they "never gave up" and "waited for him to make a misstep".

"Then they found him, on the Greek island of Corfu. What betrayed him was his passion for football and for Napoli", police said.

After a 33-year wait, Napoli won its first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona last May.

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"La Porta could not help but celebrate. The police recognised him in a photo taken outside a restaurant," in which the fugitive could be seen holding aloft a scarf in the team's white and blue colours.

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He was wearing a baseball cap, but investigators were sure they had their man. With help from their Greek colleagues, police began tailing La Porta.

He was then stopped as he rode his scooter and arrested. Greek police said the arrest took place on Friday.

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