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Italian Police Arrest 3 Provenzano Helpers


Italian police have arrested Wednesday three people accused of aiding the Mafia's "boss of bosses" Bernardo Provenzano, who was the country's number one fugitive. The Mafia boss was arrested Tuesday after more than 40 years on the run.

He was Italy's most wanted man. Bernardo Provenzano was the reputed chief of the Sicilian Mafia. Now he is jailed in solitary confinement. Italian police are hoping to learn more about how he managed to avoid capture for more than four decades.

But so far Provenzano has refused to speak with investigators. Police found him Tuesday in a farmhouse outside his hometown of Corleone.

It seems he was betrayed not by an informant or a rival gangster - but by a delivery of clean laundry to his hideout.

Police had been watching the home where his wife and children live and noticed a suspect package being taken from there. They followed the vehicle carrying the package to the farmhouse. Then they moved in.

Provenzaano offered no resistance and admitted to his identity. In Palermo, a crowd shouted "murderer" as he was rushed into a police building. In Corleone, Mayor Nicola Nicolosi says the people in the town now feel a sense of liberation.

Nicolosi says Corleone wants to break with the mafia. He says the development of its territory and increasing employment in the area depend on expelling the mafia from Corleone and the rest of Sicily.

Italian police arrested three other people in Corleone Wednesday who are accused of aiding the mafia boss.

Giuseppe Gualtiero, head of operations of Palermo police, says those arrested were associates of Provenzaano. They took care of keeping the boss in touch with the outside, with his exchange of communications, packages, and logistical help.

Gualtieri said Provenzano's capture is a "point of departure" for investigators. He says now they'll be looking into his support network and at the Sicilian Mafia's internal organization. But they caution there is a next generation of criminals ready to keep the Mafia's business going.

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