A FUGITIVE Mafia boss with links to the Cosa Nostra has been arrested in the UK where he is believed to have been running a travel agency.
Domenico Rancadore, 64, who is wanted by the Italian authorities, was arrested in a London suburb after spending nearly two decades on the run.
Rancadore, who was sentenced to seven years in an Italian prison in his absence, had been living in Uxbridge, west London.
A statement from the Italian Interior Ministry said: “Accused of crimes of Mafia-style association, extortion and other serious offences and sought since 1994, multiple previous offender Rancadore Domenico, from Palermo, was arrested in London by British police.
“The operation was made possible thanks to the investigative data provided by the central operations service and the mobile squad, allowing British investigators, with the help of the service for International Police Cooperation, to locate where the fugitive was hiding.
“Rancadore ran a travel agency in the British capital and led a comfortable life.
“Several cooperating witnesses have referred to him as a leading member of the Palermo Mafia ‘family’, with a senior managerial role in the Caccamo ‘commandment’.
“In particular, in the 1990s, he played the role of chief of the Cosa Nostra in Trabia, Palermo.
“The operation is the result of the important relationship of international police cooperation ensured through Interpol.”
Shocked locals yesterday described Rancadore as “one of the best neighbours you could ever have”.
He was arrested at a residential address in Manor Waye, Uxbridge, under a European arrest warrant which was issued in January last year.
He is expected to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.
Joan Hills, 76, who lives in Manor Waye, said she knew Rancadore as Marc Skinner and his family had lived in the road for several years.
“I know him very well and he’s one of the best neighbours you could ever have,” she said.
“They have been here for years. I’ve seen the children grow up with my children.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of this, but they are the nicest people that you could wish to meet.”
She said Rancadore had two children and that he and his wife Anne, an English woman, ran a travel agency.
Scotland Yard confirmed that Rancadore was arrested at 7pm on Wednesday by the force’s extradition unit.
A spokesman said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service extradition unit arrested Domenico Rancadore on a European arrest warrant alleging that he has an outstanding sentence of seven years’ imprisonment to serve for participation in Mafia association, between 17 December 1987 and 13 April 1995 in Palermo, Italy.”