An Alleged Mafia Fugitive Was Caught Because He Kept Posting Cooking Videos to YouTube
The cook in question hid his face, but not his tattoos.
Two years ago, an Italian mafia boss was finally captured after he spent 14 years as a "super fugitive," somehow evading both domestic and international warrants for his arrest. Marco Di Lauro—considered to be Italy's second most-dangerous man at the time—was eating a plate of pasta and sitting with his two cats when he was taken into custody.
Fast-forward to this week, when a different Mafia man was caught not while he was eating pasta, but because he couldn't stop preparing it. According to The Guardian, Marc Feren Claude Biart was always careful not to show his face during the Italian cooking videos he posted on his YouTube channel, but he never covered his distinctive tattoos.
Biart was captured in Boca Chica, a beachside city in the Dominican Republic, where he wasn't exactly welcomed by the other Italian expats. (The cops said that he was always regarded as "a foreigner.") He'd been on the Italian authorities' "To Catch" list since 2014 when a judge issued a warrant for his arrest after he was charged with drug trafficking in the Netherlands "on behalf of the Cacciola clan of the 'Ndrangheta mafia."
In a statement, the Italian police said that the 53-year-old was put on a plane back to Milan's Malpensa airport. Italian law enforcement agencies have been working with Interpol on a yearlong project called I-CAN, which stands for "Interpol Cooperation Against 'Ndrangheta," and Biart's arrest is being praised as one of I-CAN's most recent successes.
"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," the Polizia di Stato wrote. "It represents a serious threat at an international level, even if the trafficking and all criminal activities originate in Calabria."
Biart isn't the first alleged Mafioso to be taken down by an internet video. In 2015, longtime fugitive Antonio Montella was captured after his church filmed him being baptized in the sea near Pinetamare and posted that clip online. The cops saw the video, figured out which coastal region was pictured and who Montella's priest was, and that led them to the on-the-run drug trafficker.
"He seemed like a nice man, I am sure there must have been a mistake," Adelmo Iadanza, a parishioner at Montella's church, said. "He kept himself very much to himself, but was always in church at the weekend." (That streak of Sundays probably ended when he was sent back to Rome to serve his five-year prison sentence.)
So if you're the leader of an international criminal syndicate, it's probably best to avoid social media, live-streams, and even your own YouTube channels. Actually, it's probably better to avoid leading a life of crime—and not just so you can post all the cooking videos you want.