One of the most wanted fugitives from Italian justice, Gioacchino Gammino is a member of the Stidda mafia – a group with a powerful presence in the Sicilian countryside that is a rival to Cosa Nostra – who was tracked down and detained in Galapagar, Spain, after being seen in a photo in Google Street View.
Jameno outlaw lived for 20 years in a Spanish town near Madrid and is known as Manuel. There he married and worked as a chef, in addition to owning a fruit and vegetable store. Over the years, the Sicilian police have conducted several investigations in their search for the 61-year-old criminal. In fact, a European arrest warrant was issued in 2014.
However, the fugitive was only in Spain, thanks to a Google Street View image that confirmed his whereabouts. The navigation tool, which can be accessed via Google Maps, captured a photo of two men talking outside a fruit and vegetable store called El Huerto de Manu in Galapagar.
Police thought one of the men looked a lot like Gammino, but his identity was only confirmed when they found a menu at a nearby restaurant called La Cocina de Manu.
The shop and restaurant are closed, but authorities found a photo of Gamino, dressed as his chef, on a Facebook page. In doing so, customers recognized him from the scar on the left side of his chin, as well as relating the fact that the restaurant’s menu has a dish called Cena Siciliana, in reference to the Italian island.
Gammino was arrested on December 17, 2021, but details of his arrest were not revealed until Wednesday (5). The case was confirmed by Francesco Le Foy, the prosecutor in Palermo, who led the latest investigation.
“It’s not like we spent our days searching Google Maps to find the fugitives. There have been a lot of long previous investigations that got us to Spain. We were on a good path, Google Maps helps confirm our investigations,” Le Foy told the newspaper. Guardian.
After 20 years in hiding, Gammino believed that he had managed to break all ties with Sicily. Upon his arrest, he reportedly told the police, “How did you find me? I haven’t called my family in ten years.”
Gammino belongs to a mob clan in Agrigento, Sicily, which became involved in a violent feud with Cosa Nostra, the main mob network in Sicily, in the 1990s. He was first arrested in 1984 when an anti-mafia judge, Giovanni Falcone, investigated him, who was assassinated by the Mafia in 1992.
The Italian gangster was wanted for murder and several other mob related crimes. He was arrested a second time in Barcelona in 1998 and was serving a life sentence in Rome’s Rebibbia prison when, in 2002, he managed to escape during the prison film-making uproar.
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