LONDON -- A Sicilian Mafia boss who was lived with his family in a quiet London suburb for two decades was denied bail by a British court Friday and ordered held on a warrant from Italian authorities who have sought his extradition since January 2012.
Domenico Rancadore, 64, known in Britain as Marc Skinner, a retired teacher and father of two, was arrested Wednesday night by London police acting on the Italian warrant, according to media reports.
A London court confirmed Rancadore's arrest and detention without bail Friday. A police statement said he was arrested by “on a European Arrest Warrant alleging that he has an outstanding sentence of seven years imprisonment to serve for participation in Mafia association.”
Following a three-year trial in Italy on charges of trafficking and extortion, Rancadore was acquitted in 1993, and he subsequently moved with his family to Britain. He was also the subject of a 1999 Italian trial that resulted in a seven-year sentence in absentia on Mafia-related crimes.
Looking tanned and relaxed, Rancadore first appeared in a London court Thursday. At that time, his defense lawyer claimed there were deficiencies in the Italian warrant and asked for bail or dismissal of the case. A second warrant was filed before Friday's ruling denying bail.
The former physical education teacher who has run a London travel agency with his English wife since his arrival in England in 1993, is known in Mafia circles as “the professor” and is from a family seen as one of the wealthiest in the Sicilian Mafia, with investments in Italian and international property, according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
In Uxbridge, he was a helpful neighbor and a loving father and grandfather, happily married to his wife, who led a blameless life, according to his lawyer, Euan Macmillan.
To Italian police, he's a fugitive from justice and head of a Sicilian clan in Trabia -- near the Sicilian capital, Palermo -- responsible for drug trafficking, extortion and racketeering.
Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano expressed his gratitude to Italian and British investigators in the case, saying that “one of the most dangerous fugitives from justice ... has been captured.”
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