Italian mobster arrested at resort island

Last updated 01:30 08/12/2012

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Police on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have arrested a convicted Italian mobster who is believed to be an up-and-coming Mafia boss near Palermo, Sicily.  

Antonio Messicati Vitale was captured at his luxury villa in the Legian neighborhood of the popular tourist area of Kuta early Friday in a joint operation by Indonesian and Italian police. 

A photo released by Italian police in Palermo shows Vitale wearing sunglasses, bathing trunks and a watch while relaxing on a striped beach towel on a lounge chair. He has a cigarette in one hand and the Italian version of the Dan Brown novel, The Lost Symbol, in the other. A canned beverage, with a straw for sipping, sits in the sand, at arm's length.  

Police Maj. Pande Putu Sugiarta said Vitale was believed to have hidden out in the seaside resort for the past six months. 

The convicted Mafia boss is believed to have escaped capture earlier this year during a police raid to crack down on his alleged Villabate crime family on the outskirts of Palermo, the Italian news agency ANSA reported from the Sicilian capital.  

Indonesian police received a notice about the 40-year-old fugitive from their Italian counterparts in November. 

Italian investigators were suspicious after some of his family relatives traveled to Bali, ANSA said. 

Italian police officer Andrea Vitalone said in Bali that Vitale was wanted for involvement in various crimes, including murder, human trafficking and illegal arms trading. 

Plans are under way to take him back to Italy. Vitale has to serve a 10-year sentence on a conviction for Mafia association. His father, a local mob boss, was fatally gunned down in 1988 in Sicily.

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- AP

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