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Fugitive Arrested on Costa Smeralda

Submitted by kgnadmin on

Matteo Romano, age 56, who had been on the run since 2018 after a conviction for drug trafficking and evasion, was apprehended during a family cruise. Romano, who had been living in Spain's Balearic Islands, had evaded authorities for years. Italian police received a tip that he was aboard the cruise ship Costa Smeralda departing from Palma de Mallorca.

In a coordinated operation, with the support of Costa Cruises, the police officers boarded a pilot boat and reached the Costa Smeralda, located approximately 3 miles off the coast of Palermo. The cruise ship's captain maintained a stationary position with the engines running for a while, allowing the investigators to come aboard. They searched decks and corridors until they finally reached Matteo Romano's cabin. Meanwhile, back on land, Romano's family had the opportunity to say their farewells before he was taken to the Pagliarelli prison, where, unless there are new judicial orders, he will serve his sentence.

This fugitive had accumulated a 10-month sentence for drug trafficking and an additional 8 months from the Palermo court for evasion. Romano had seemingly managed to elude law enforcement for years, making his way to Spain to escape justice. However, his plans for an idyllic family cruise vacation took an unexpected turn when the police received a tip that he would be boarding the Costa Smeralda.