An Italian man with memory loss, found in Scotland last month, may have been on the run from the Chinese mafia, his lawyer has said.
The family of Salvatore Mannino, 52, say they still don’t know why he travelled to Edinburgh, only to collapse on the floor of St Giles’ Cathedral on September 20.
Police Scotland said he had forgotten his native language and identity when he was found.
The businessman had gone missing from Lajatico, near Pisa, the previous day after taking his children to school.
Reports at the weekend revealed he has been questioned by police in his home country amid reports he searched the internet for “how to disappear without a trace.”
But now, according The Times newspaper, he has started to speak Italian again. The newspaper also reported his lawyer’s claims that the Chinese mafia could be behind his mysterious disappearance.
“He can’t give an explanation. He asks his wife if she can explain what happened,” Ivo Gronchi, the Mannino family lawyer, told The Times. “This has all been a bolt from the blue for the family. If he was threatened by the Chinese mafia, he never mentioned it to them.”
Mr Gronchi said told the newspaper that Mr Mannino spent six months working as the manager of a supermarket in the Chinatown area of Prato.
He said Mr Mannino’s work resulted in him being invited out for meals by members of the Chinese community in Prato, with whom he had established social connections.
On one occasion his wife discovered him outside their house in the middle of the night engaged in conversation with someone, the newspaper reported.
Prosecutors in Pisa have opened an investigation into Mr Mannino on suspicion of violating his family assistance obligations. Three of Mr Mannino’s children are aged under 18.
According to reports in the Italian media, Mr Mannino has been charged with “violating his family assistance obligations”.
Before leaving the family home, he left a briefcase with €10,500 and a sheet of paper with a numerical sequence, a code which was deciphered by his eldest son, 18.