Police in Sicily have detained 44 year-old Giuseppe Calvaruso, suspected to be the boss of the Pagliarelli mafia group.
He was arrested quietly Easter Sunday by Carabinieri police while waiting for his luggage at the baggage carousel.
Four other loyalists were also arrested, including his right-hand man in Palermo, 50 year-old Giovanni Caruso.
Guiseppe Calvaruso, who had been in Brazil for some months, returned to Palermo to celebrate Easter, a time for celebratory feasts and dinner in Italy.
Anti-mafia prosecutors are charging him and others with extortion, assault, kidnapping and fraud-related charges.
The raid was coordinated by prosecutors in Palermo and other investigators targeting the Mafia.
While in Brazil, Calvaruso was believed by authorities to be delegating mob affairs to loyal subordinates.
After being away from home for nearly a year, Calvaruso had planned a brief stay to feast with family, authorities said.
He reportedly departed from Natal, the capital of Natal is the capital city of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, on Brazil’s northeastern tip.
He stopped over briefly in Paris before landing at Falcone Borsellino airport in Palermo.
The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, divides Palermo into eight local districts, including Pagliarelli, home to the city’s maximum security prison.
Prosecutors maintain Calvaruso was appointed head of the Pagliarelli district after the oldest boss of the Sicilian mafia, Settimo Mineo, 82, was sent to prison in December 2018.
Considered a promising young boss for his ability to manage international affairs, authorities claim Calvaruso held close ties to investors in Singapore ready to finance construction in Sicily’s tourism and hotel sector.
He was also tasked with maintaining diplomatic ties to other mafia district leaders to negotiate business and resolve disputes.
But it was the tricky job of ensuring public order in his own district that eventually ensnared him.
Prosecutors say Calvaruso ordered a violent assault on a gang of thieves who carried out several “unauthorised” thefts in his neighbourhood.
In one case, they say a local retailer hit by thieves twice in one week turned over video of the robbery to the local boss, who identified the rogue thieves.
They were brought them to a garage where they were allegedly brutally beaten in Calvaruso’s presence.
With reports by Telegraph of London