Google Maps helps Italian police capture top mafia fugitive

He had been on the run for nearly 20 years



By Reuters

Published: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 10:28 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 10:29 PM

Italian police has caught a top mafia fugitive who had been on the run for nearly 20 years thanks to the help of the Google Maps app, an investigator told Reuters on Wednesday.

After a two-year investigation, Gioacchino Gammino, 61, was tracked down in Galapagar, Spain, where he lived under a fake name. The town is close to the capital Madrid.

A Google Maps street view picture portraying a man who looked like him in front of a fruit shop was key in triggering a deeper investigation.

“The photogram helped us to confirm the investigation we were developing in traditional ways,” Nicola Altiero, deputy director of the Italian anti-mafia police unit (DIA), said.

Gammino, a member of a Sicilian mafia group dubbed Stidda, had escaped Rome’s Rebibbia jail in 2002 and in 2003 had been sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder committed several years earlier.

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Altiero said Gammino is currently under custody in Spain and they hope to bring him back to Italy by the end of February. Reuters was unable to locate a representative of Gammino to comment.


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