Law enforcement authorities in Italy recently announced the arrest and detainment of Biart, a 53-year-old wanted Italian mafia associate who had managed to evade police detection for nearly six years while hiding in the Dominican Republic.
Officials successfully took Biart into custody last week in Boca Chica, a municipality in the Caribbean nation that is known for its white sand beaches and thriving nightlife. Following the arrest, Biart was extradited to Italy, landing in Milan on Monday.
According to Calabria News, the arrest was done in partnership with authorities from Italy, Dominican Republic and, of course, Interpol. Biart reportedly spent about five years in the nation after briefly hiding out in Costa Rica. He was known to locals simply as “Marc” and is reported to have spent the majority of his time away from the public.
While some criminals often get caught by making extravagant purchases, officials revealed they managed to close out their yearslong search for Biart after police spotted him in cooking videos posted on a YouTube channel.
Although Biart did make an effort to hide his face from the camera’s view, it was ultimately his unique body tattoos that caught the attention of the authorities, and led to his subsequent arrest, Italian police have stated. It was later determined that he started the channel alongside his wife.
Officials did not elaborate on the distinctive features of Biart’s body art. His capture was considered a massive success for the specialist operation known as the Interpol Cooperation Against N’drangheta, which was launched in 2020 to break down the crime syndicate’s global network.
Lt. Col. Massimiliano Galasso, an official with police in Calabria, informed NBC News that investigators had never ceased in their efforts to track down Biart, underscoring that officials had only recently opted to tap open source intelligence in order to try their luck.
Biart’s capture came as officials also apprehended Francesco Pelle, another member of the 'Ndrangheta who had been on the run after having been convicted of ordering the revenge killing of another mobster’s spouse. Pelle skipped out of town in 2019, just before the Italian Supreme Court was due to uphold his conviction and life sentence.
The 'Ndrangheta organization has recently come under heavy fire by law enforcement officials, as authorities are hoping to shutter the group’s global reach. In January, investigators began the trial for approximately 355 suspected mafia members whose charges ranged from drug trafficking to extortion and money laundering. Officials anticipate the trial will last for more than two years.