A notorious Italian Mafia boss on the run for almost two decades has been found managing a travel agency in London.
Domenico Rancadore, who was apparently living under the alias Marco Skinner, was arrested by detectives last night in a suburban street.
He was held outside his home in Uxbridge, near Heathrow, after coming home from work and appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court today (August 7).
His travel agency, which was under his wife’s name, was called Executive Travel and registered at the couple’s home in Uxbridge.
The 64-year-old is wanted by the Italian authorities and was sentenced to seven years in prison by the courts in Sicily after he disappeared in 1994.
Italian police say he was involved in extortion, racketeering and drug trafficking as a member of a powerful Mafia family running organised crime in the north of Sicily.
Joan Hills, a neighbour, told the Guardian she knew the family as the Skinners. “I know him very well,” she said. “He is one of the best neighbours you could ever have. They have been here for years.”
She said Mr “Skinner” and his wife Anne have two children who had grown up in the area.
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Euan Macmillan, for Rancadore, said there were “significant deficiencies” in the European arrest warrant.
His client had come to the UK “as a free man on his own Italian passport with his family”.
“He has led a blameless life in this country for the past 20 years,” he added.
Remanding Rancadore in custody, District Judge Quentin Purdy said: “There are concerns about the validity of the warrant that has come before the court.”
Judge Purdy is expected to rule later whether Rancadore can be bailed pending the outcome of legal proceedings against him by the Italian authorities.
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