Italian mafia fugitive arrested in Mexico, after being tracked down on Facebook

By Andrea Vogt at Daily Telegraph

Giulio Perrone, 65, a convicted drug smuggler, was arrested with help from Facebook. Photo / Italian Police
Giulio Perrone, 65, a convicted drug smuggler, was arrested with help from Facebook. Photo / Italian Police

One of Italy's most wanted fugitives is behind bars after investigators used Facebook to hunt him down in Mexico.

Facebook pictures posted under the mafioso's alias - Saverio Garcia Galiero - show a happy man living large south of the border - beaming as he takes the sun at the beach or relaxing with his arm draped around a pretty companion.

But not all his "friends" liked his posts. Back in Naples, where he was born, detectives tasked with finding fugitives were studying his timeline to confirm his real identity: Giulio Perrone, 65, a convicted drug smuggler who had been running from the law for more than two decades. The picture they posted on Saturday tells a different story.

Giulio Perrone's mugshot shortly after he was arrested. Photo / Italian Police
Giulio Perrone's mugshot shortly after he was arrested. Photo / Italian Police

"This arrest is part of a larger strategy being coordinated by the anti-crime division of the Italian police to capture mafia fugitives who have been taking refuge abroad for many years," authorities said in a statement.

Perrone was originally arrested in January 1993 along with his wife as he was transporting 16 kilograms of cocaine to the Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate.

According to police, he collaborated with Mazzarella, Formicola, Polverino and Tolomelli clans and was one of the kingpins in a drug trafficking operation importing cocaine into Germany in the 1980s and 90s. In 1998, he was officially pronounced a fugitive after a Naples court found him guilty of international drug trafficking and ordered him to serve a 22-year jail sentence.

Perrone was enjoying the good life in Mexico before he was tracked down by police. Photo / Italian Police
Perrone was enjoying the good life in Mexico before he was tracked down by police. Photo / Italian Police

But by then he was long gone, having disappeared without a trace in 1994 while awaiting trial. Italian forensic police monitoring mobster family Facebook posts discovered he was using the alias Saverio Garcia Galiero. Galiero was his mother's maiden name, which helped police trace him back to Italy.

He had been living the tropical port city of Tampico, in the north-easterly region of Tamaulipas, once the historic home of Mexico's oil industry but today a violent hotspot for contraband operations run by some of Mexico's most vicious drug cartels. Police said Perrone had remarried and has Mexican children.

Agents from the Mexican Agencia De Investigacion Criminal and Mexico City's Interpol office detained him near his home, then put him on a direct flight from Mexico City to Rome. Naples police met him at the Fiumicino airport Saturday and escorted him to jail.

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 28 Mar 2017 03:50:40 Processing Time: 1159ms