Italian Police arrested the nephew of detained Mafia boss

Italian police said Thursday they have arrested the nephew of detained Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano on charges of helping his uncle hide and run Cosa Nostra while he was a fugitive.

Carmelo Gariffo was picked up overnight in Corleone, Sicily, and did not resist the arrest, police in Palermo said.

Provenzano was captured April 11 in a rundown farmhouse in his hometown of Corleone. He had been a fugitive for more than 40 years, escaping capture many times, and ran Cosa Nostra affairs through notes delivered by aides.

Many of the notes, called "pizzini," were written in code to conceal the identities of those he dealt with. Investigators believe that Gariffo was among those whose identities were hidden in the notes.

According to the ANSA news agency, Gariffo served as a kind of "secretary" to Provenzano, collecting and delivering his notes, as well as setting up doctor's appointments following prostate treatment Provenzano underwent abroad years ago under a false name.

Provenzano is believed to have taken over leadership of the Sicilian Mafia following the 1993 arrest of former boss Salvatore "Toto" Riina, reports the AP.

I.L.