Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mafia fugitive was living a quiet island life. Then police found his YouTube cooking show.

 Stanley Tucci's not the only one with a popular Italian cooking show, it would seem.A mafia fugitive has been arrested in the Dominican Republic after inadvertently tipping off police with his culinary hobby.

NBC NEWS

After seven years on the run, Marc Feren Claude Biart was tracked down through a You Tube cooking channel he started with his wife, Italian Police said in a statement.

The alleged gangster's "love for Italian cuisine” — and tattoo ink — made his arrest possible, police said.

Though he carefully hid his face during the videos, Biart failed to disguise a distinctive giveaway: his body tattoos.

Police said they believe Biart is a member of the notorious "Ndrangheta crime syndicate" — one of the most feared and powerful in Europe — from the Calabria region at the toe of southern Italy's boot-shaped peninsula.

He had been wanted for allegedly trafficking cocaine from the Netherlands since 2014, police said.

Biart, 53, had been living in the Dominican Republic for the past five years and police said he had been keeping a low profile during his stay in the Caribbean — besides the cooking videos posted to the internet.

He was known to locals as simply “Marc” and kept his distance from the Italian community in the popular tourist destination.

Lt. Col. Massimiliano Galasso, a Reggio-Calabria police official, told NBC News that authorities had never stopped searching for Biart and had recently turned to open source intelligence.

Alerted by his wife's YouTube activity and armed with the knowledge that the fugitive had previously worked at a restaurant in Italy, Galasso said, police discovered the cooking videos and realized they had their man.

The search culminated in his arrest last week in the Dominican town of Boca Chica. He was then extradited to Italy and landed in Milan on Monday.

The channel was started earlier this year but is now no longer active, Galasso said, as Biart remains in custody.

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