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Sicilian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro identikit updated

Informant gives new info on most-wanted mobster in Italy

27 March, 14:57
Sicilian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro identikit updated (ANSA) - Palermo, March 27 - Italian police updated the identikit of the Sicilian Mafia Number 1 boss, fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro, after receiving new information about his appearance from an informant, investigators said Thursday. It marks the first time since 2011 that investigators were able to update the computer simulated portrait of the appearance of the crime boss, who is one of the world's 10 most-wanted men according to Interpol.

The 52-year-old crime boss has gained weight and his receding hairline has advanced, although his hair remains dark, an informant reported after a personal meeting with the mafia boss. Investigators discovered, thanks to the latest witness as well as other informants, that Messina Denaro no longer wears glasses. Old photos of the crime boss show him with thick spectacles due to a serious retina illness for which he sought treatment in Spain. A specialist who treated him in Barcellona confirmed the gravity of the condition and hypothesized that Messina Denaro has gone blind in one eye. Investigators have been closing the net around Messina with a wave of arrests and massive asset seizures since an updated identikit in 2011 gave new impetus to the search. In December, police said that they have never been so close to capturing Messina Denaro.

The comments came as close relatives of Messina Denaro were among 30 people arrested earlier that month, and some five million euros worth of assets belonging to Messina Denaro's family were seized.

The December operation came after police last April confiscated assets worth over 1.3 billion euros belonging to Vito Nicastri, a Sicilian wind-farm and solar-power magnate linked to Messina Denaro, in the biggest-ever assets seizure in the country's history.