independent.ie– The irresistible call of a lavish Easter feast in Sicily landed a prominent mobster behind bars on Sunday after authorities arrested him as he was returning to the island from Brazil to celebrate with family.
Considered by authorities to be the newly appointed “capo” of the Pagliarelli Mafia district in south-east Palermo, Giuseppe Calvaruso (44), had been living for months in Brazil, from where authorities say he was delegating mob affairs to loyal subordinates.
Easter in Sicily is one of the most important Catholic celebrations. After being away from home for nearly a year, Calvaruso had planned a brief stay to feast with family, authorities said, departing from Natal and stopping over briefly in Paris before landing at Falcone Borsellino airport in Palermo. He was arrested on Easter Sunday by Carabinieri police while waiting for his luggage. Anti-Mafia prosecutors are charging him and four other loyalists who were also arrested, including his right-hand man in Palermo, Giovanni Caruso (50) with Mafia association, extortion, assault, kidnapping and fraud-related charges.
The Sicilian Mafia divides Palermo into eight local districts, including Pagliarelli, home to the city’s maximum security prison. Prosecutors maintain Calvaruso was appointed head of the Pagliarelli district after the oldest boss of the Sicilian mafia, Settimo Mineo (82) was sent to prison in December 2018
Prosecutors say Calvaruso ordered a violent assault on a gang of thieves who carried out several “unauthorised” thefts in his neighbourhood. In one case, they say a local retailer hit by thieves twice in one week turned over video of the robbery to the local boss, who identified the thieves and brought them to a garage where they were allegedly brutally beaten in Calvaruso’s presence.