On Friday, August 5, a longtime fugitive in Italy was arrested after his love for his favourite football team exposed his hiding place. Vincenzo La Porta, who is on the list of Italy’s 100 most dangerous fugitives, was arrested by the police while he was riding a motorbike on the Greek Island of Corfu.
According to the Naples-based Carabinieri paramilitary police, fugitive Vincenzo La Porta was identified in a photo of people celebrating after the Napoli football team won Italian Serie A last season in a restaurant in Corfu. In the said picture, La Porta was waving a scarf with the sky-blue colours of his hometown team on it.
🔵”Galeotto” fu lo scudetto del #Napoli. Arrestato a #Corfù Vincenzo La Porta, latitante da 11 anni, tra i più pericolosi della lista del ministero dell’Interno e affiliato del clan Contini. I carabinieri lo hanno riconosciuto in una foto mentre festeggiava. Deve scontare 14 anni pic.twitter.com/8h7rv4iZu7
— Rai Radio1 (@Radio1Rai) August 5, 2023
Police subsequently went to Corfu to apprehend the 60-year-old fugitive, who had been on the run for 11 years. The officers intercepted him while he was riding his moped down a Corfu street. He was arrested on Friday, according to Greek police.
“What betrayed him was his passion for football and for Napoli. With the championship victory, La Porta couldn’t resist celebrating,” the Greek police said.
La Porta, who is linked to the Naples-based Camorra group, was convicted in absentia of criminal association, tax evasion, and fraud. La Porta had been working as an assistant chef at another restaurant on the island for about a month, according to the owner.
According to police in Corfu, he appeared before a prosecutor on Saturday and was ordered to be kept in jail until an appeals court panel decided on the extradition request. If Italy’s extradition bid is allowed, La Porta will serve a 14-year-and-four-month jail term.
“He has started a new family in Greece. He has a nine-year-old son and works as a cook to make ends meet. He suffers from heart conditions. He and his family will be destroyed if he is extradited,” La Porta’s lawyer said.
Meanwhile, police said they were persistent in their pursuit of La Porta, closely monitoring his financial and online actions and “waiting for him to make a mistake.”