Google Maps helps Italian police capture mafia fugitive


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The logo of the Google Maps application can be seen on a smartphone in this photo illustration taken on September 15, 2017. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

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ROME, January 5 (Reuters) – Italian police have arrested a mafia fugitive who had been on the run for almost 20 years with the help of the Google Maps app, an investigator told Reuters on Wednesday.

After a two-year investigation, Gioacchino Gammino, 61, was found in Galapagar, Spain, where he was living under a false name. The city is close to the capital Madrid.

A Google Maps street photo of a man who looked like him outside a fruit shop was the key to triggering further investigation.

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“The photogram helped us to confirm the investigation that we were developing in the traditional way,” said Nicola Altiero, deputy director of the Italian anti-mafia police unit (DIA).

Gammino, a member of a Sicilian mafia group nicknamed Stidda, escaped from Rebibbia prison in Rome in 2002 and was sentenced in 2003 to life imprisonment for a murder committed several years earlier.

Altiero said Gammino is currently in custody in Spain and that they hope to bring him back to Italy by the end of February. Reuters was unable to locate a representative for Gammino for comment.

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Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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