A member of an Italian mafia gang has been arrested in the Dominican Republic after his tattoos were recognised on YouTube.
Marc Feren Claude Biart had been on the run from Italian authorities since 2014 and had been living in Boca Chica on the Caribbean island, police said.
Prosecutors had wanted Biart on charges of trafficking cocaine to the Netherlands for a clan of the feared mafia gang, the “Ndrangheta.
According to police, the suspect had featured in YouTube videos where he explained Italian cooking recipes while keeping his face hidden.
However, his tattoos could be seen in the videos, which allowed him to be recognised.
The 53-year-old fugitive was captured in Santo Domingo on Wednesday and was transferred to Milan’s Malpensa airport, police said in a statement.
The ‘Ndrangheta is considered the most powerful mafia in Italy and is based in the southern region of Calabria. The group is known for its control over cocaine trafficking in Europe.
This week, Italian authorities have launched an operational summit in Italy in collaboration with Interpol to combat the ‘Ndrangheta.
“The fight against the Calabrian Mafia does not only concern Italy but also involves other countries because of its ability to penetrate the economic fabric across borders,” police said.
“It represents a serious threat at an international level, even if the trafficking and all criminal activities originate in Calabria.”
In January, Italy began one of the largest organised crime trials in its history against the ‘Ndrangheta syndicate.
More than 500 defendants face charges including murder, drug trafficking, extortion, and money laundering, in a hearing that is set to last for at least one year.