Stanley Tucci, apparently, isn’t the only one with a popular Italian cooking show.
A mafia refugee was arrested in the Dominican Republic after accidentally telling the police about his culinary hobby.
After seven years on the run, Marc Feren Claude Biart was tracked down via a YouTube cooking channel he started with his wife, Italian police said in a statement.
The alleged gangster’s “love of Italian cuisine” – and tattoo ink – made his arrest possible, police said.
Although he carefully hid his face, Biart couldn’t hide his distinctive body tattoos, they added.
The police believe that Biart is a member of the notorious crime syndicate “Ndrangheta” – one of the most feared and powerful in Europe – from the region of Calabria at the foot of the boot-shaped peninsula of southern Italy.
Biart had been wanted for alleged cocaine trafficking in the Netherlands since 2014, the police said. The search culminated in his arrest in the Dominican city of Boca Chica last week. Then he was extradited to Italy and landed in Milan on Monday.
Biart, 53, had lived in the Dominican Republic for five years and reportedly led a quiet life.
Police said he held back while he was in the Caribbean, apart from watching the cooking videos posted on the Internet. He was known to the locals simply as “Marc” and kept his distance from the Italian community in the popular tourist destination.
It was unclear how long the Kochkanal had been online or when the police found out about it.
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The arrest of Biart marks a breakthrough for that international effort Led by Interpol and several European police forces to fight organized crime. Known as the “Interpol cooperation against” Ndrangheta “, the initiative launched last year has the task of disrupting the global network of the mafia gang, which, according to Interpol, is present” on every continent in the world “.
Another member of the Ndrangheta mafia was arrested in Portugal on Monday, police said. Francesco Pelle, who had been on the run for 14 years, was found in a clinic in Lisbon where he was being treated for Covid-19.
Pelle is charged with ordering the murder of the boss of a rival clan that survived the attack but whose wife died in an ambush.
The Mafia group is currently facing one of the largest mob trials in Italy in the last three decades. During a pre-trial hearing on the landmark case, it took more than three hours to read the names of the 350 defendants.
The case is expected to last at least a year and will include kidnapping, murder and international drug trafficking charges.
Italian authorities said arrests like those of Biart and Pelle prove that the mafia’s activities should not only threaten Italy, but affect the whole world.