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Son of Italy's former top Mafia boss arrested on Brazilian warrant

PALERMO, Italy (Reuters) - Leonardo Badalamenti, the son of the top boss of the Italian mafia in the 1970s, was arrested in Sicily on Wednesday on an international warrant from Brazil, police said.

Badalamenti, 60, who had been a fugitive in Brazil since 2017, is wanted on charges of drug trafficking and bank fraud allegedly committed while living there under an alias, a statement said.

He was arrested at his mother’s home in the coastal city of Castellammare del Golfo and taken to a prison in Palermo to await extradition procedures.

His father, Gaetano Badalamenti, was the boss of the mafia “commission” in the 1970s and infamous in organised crime history for ordering the murder of anti-mafia radio journalist Peppino Impastato in 1978 in the Sicilian city of Cinisi.

The elder Badalamenti took his family to Brazil in the 1980s to avoid the bloody mafia wars launched by the Corleone clan led by Toto Riina to assume total control of organised crime.

Gaetano Badalamenti was convicted of heroin trafficking in the United States in 1987 in the so-called “Pizza Connection” case and died in a Massachusetts prison in 2004 at the age of 80.

Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Bernadette Baum