By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – One of Italy’s most wanted criminals, mob boss Pasquale Scotti, was arrested on Tuesday, May 26th, in Brazil’s Northeastern city of Recife, where he had been living incognito for the past 28 years under the name of Francisco de Castro Visconti. The arrest was a joint effort by Brazilian federal police and Interpol. Scotti has been transferred to Brasília and extradition papers by Italian authorities are expected to be filed soon.

Italian Mob Chief Pasquale Scotti captured in Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Italian Mob Chief Pasquale Scotti captured in Recife, photo Divulgação Policia Federal.

The 56-year-old criminal is said to have been one of the main leaders of the ruthless Camorra family mafia syndicate, becoming the head of the New Camorra Organization after its leader, Rafaelle Cutolo was arrested. Scotti was convicted of extortion and more than twenty homicides which occurred in the early 1980s. In 2005 the Italian courts sentenced him to life in prison for his crimes.

Scotti was picked up by the police as he was taking his two teenage daughters to school. He lived in Recife with his Brazilian wife and daughters and had fraudulent Brazilian registration identification and voter registration number.

Brazilian news outlet Agencia Brasil reports that when he was arrested, Scotti told federal police agents that he was no longer that man they were looking for. “It is me, you have caught me. But that Pasquale Scotti no longer exists,” he was reported telling officers.

The arrest came less than 24 hours after Brazil’s Supreme Court received a formal request by Interpol for a warrant for the fugitive. Interpol is said to have found Scotti’s whereabouts after an investigation by Italian prosecutors in Naples. Scotti had escaped from an Italian hospital in 1984. Scotti is the latest international fugitive to be arrested in Brazil in the last few years. Last year New Zealand murderer Phillip John Smith was arrested in a hostel in Rio de Janeiro.

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