Trip to the beach costly for mafioso

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iol news pic French Riviera Reuters File picture REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Rome - Alleged mafia boss Roberto Matalone evaded the police for two years, but a trip to the beach in southern Italy on Thursday proved to be his undoing.

Accused of being part of the inner circle of the Pesce clan, one of the most powerful branches of the Calabria mob, he is married to the sister of boss Francesco Pesce, who was arrested last year hiding in an underground bunker.

But Matalone, 35, turned out to be less shy than his brother-in-law. Surveillance footage released to the media on Friday showed him heading to the beach in shorts and a baseball cap, with a towel over his shoulder.

Police arrested him as he raised his umbrella soon after arriving at the beach in Joppolo, in the toe of Italy, with his family.

The arrest is the latest in a crackdown by Italian police on the 'Ndrangheta mafia, which according to Italian authorities controls 80 percent of drug trafficking into Europe in a business worth 27 billion euros a year.

According to the website of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, his beach reading material was prophetic - a book called “Mafia Hunters” about how Italian police track mafiosi. - Reuters

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