Published March 17, 2010
A cold-blooded Mafia hitman who called himself "Scarface" was arrested by Italian police on Tuesday after being tracked down via his Facebook account, The Sun reported.
Pasquale Manfredi, 33, was on Italy's 100 Most Wanted List and had been on the run for a year with police wanting to question him in connection with two bloody Mob hits.
The father-of-two is said to have been behind the murder of rival mobster Carmine Arena who was taken out with a bazooka in October 2004 and Pasquale Tripaldi a year later.
Officers had been tipped off that Manfredi was a fan of the global social networking site and regularly logged on using his laptop.
Using sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment in an operation codenamed Pandora, officers managed to locate Manfredi at an apartment in Isola Capo Rizzuto near Crotone in southern Italy.
The area is the heartland of the local Mafia, known as the N'drangheta, who are known for their vicious violence and were responsible for the so-called Duisburg Massacre two years ago in which six mobsters were gunned down in a German pizzeria.
Officers from the Rome Central Operation Service handled the investigation along with local officers in Crotone and were led by Edgardo Giobbi, who was also involved in the Meredith Kercher case.
Manfredi would log on under the Facebook name Georgie. Officers said they believed he received coded orders via the site and also kept in touch with mobsters.
Manfredi had more than 200 friends on his Facebook site and police are going through them systematically to see if any others are involved in Mafia activity or are wanted.
During the early morning raid on his top floor apartment Manfredi had tried to escape by climbing out of a window and running along roof tops but was eventually held.
Giobbi said: "Manfredi is a good catch. He is particular cold and cruel. We tracked him down because we had information he was using a key to log on to the Internet and in particular use Facebook.
"The operation lasted several months and was successful thanks to good police work and sophisticated technology. Manfredi is suspected of at least two murders and is also wanted for drugs and arms offences.
"He is a very dangerous character and he was on the country's 100 Most Wanted but now one can be taken off the list thanks to meticulous police work and a through investigation."
"Scarface" is a 1983 epic gangster film starring Al Pacino as Godfather Tony Montana.
This is not the first time Italian law enforcement has used Facebook to track down criminals. Last October, police near Rome arrested a burglar who logged on to the social network during a break-in and sent messages to his friends.
Meanwhile, a Mafioso sentenced to life in jail for torture and murder in Italy has been arrested in a Bucharest casino, Romanian police said Tuesday.
Giuseppe Scuderi, 44, received the life term in 2005 for the killing and torture of a Mafia associate but managed to flee before being taken to jail.
He had been living in Romania for three or four years, an Italian liaison police officer said Tuesday, quoted by Romanian news agency Mediafax.
Scuderi, who was arrested on Monday, should be transferred to Italy in coming weeks on the basis of a European arrest warrant from the Italian authorities.