Pasquale Scotti evaded capture for more than 30 years. On Tuesday, the suspected Mafia boss was identified and arrested in Recife, Brazil. Authorities said the 56-year-old man was apprehended at a local shop, where he was purchasing groceries for his family.
A suspected boss of the Camorra crime syndicate, Pasquale Scotti is accused of drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, multiple weapons charges, and at least 20 counts of murder.
As reported by The Daily Beast, Scotti is the primary suspect in the brutal deaths of exotic dancer “Dolly Peach,” and “God’s banker” Roberto Calvi.
In 1984, the suspected crime boss was hospitalized in Neapolitan, Italy, with several gunshot wounds. Although his room was heavily guarded, Scotti escaped the hospital on Christmas Day and seemingly vanished into thin air.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano confirmed Scotti was rumored to have been killed in the 1990s. However, authorities were unwilling to give up their search.
Pasquale Scotti took great pains to cloak his identity and forget his criminal past. According to reports, the suspected crime boss changed his name to Francisco de Castro Visconti and underwent “extensive plastic surgery” to change his appearance.
— The Rio Times (@TheRioTimes) May 27, 2015
Under the assumed identity, Scotti opened several businesses, got married, and fathered two sons. Neighbors said the man they came to know was “shy,” and gave no indication that he was a suspected Mafia boss.
Although Scotti claims he is a changed man, Naples chief prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo said the fugitive maintained his ties to organized crime.
As reported by The Whistleblowers, Scotti may have received funding from the Camorra crime syndicate to finance his Brazilian business ventures. Prosecutor Colangelo confirmed Pasquale Scotti’s contact with the Camorra crime syndicate, and a similar organization in Brazil, led to his eventual arrest.
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) May 26, 2015
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Scotti’s identity was confirmed using his Brazilian voter registration card — which contained his fingerprints. Alfano praised investigators for their relentless work to identify and capture Italy’s most wanted man.
“This was an extraordinary score by our team… Hunting down fugitives goes beyond our own borders and we have built a legal network with investigative partnerships that increases our chances of victory.”
Following his arrest, Scotti admitted moving to Brazil in 1986, as he feared for his life. The fugitive said his family and friends were unaware of his criminal past.
In 2005 Scotti Pasquale was convicted in absentia in Italy, on multiple criminal counts, and sentenced to life in prison. He is currently awaiting extradition at the Federal Police headquarters in Recife.