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Italian fugitive in Greece betrayed by football fever

Italian fugitive in Greece betrayed by football fever
Source: Pixabay

A fugitive on Italy’s most-wanted list has been caught in Greece after he was snapped celebrating a historic win by his football team, Italian police said Saturday.

Vincenzo La Porta, 60, had been on the run for 11 years, and is “considered to have close ties” to the Camorra organised 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 group skilled in tax evasion and fraud.

Police in Naples said they “never gave up” (searching for him) 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 33 years of waiting, Napoli in May won its first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona.

“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.

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 Friday.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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