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How an Italian fugitive's love of football led to his arrest after 11 years on run

How an Italian fugitive's love of football led to his arrest after 11 years on run

It was his love of the beautiful game that caught him out.

One of Italy's most 'dangerous' fugitives has been captured after a decade on the run when he was spotted watching a Napoli match in a Greek restaurant.

Vincenzo La Porta had been on the run for 11 years, and was pictured on a balcony in Corfu celebrating his beloved Napoli winning the Serie A title a few weeks ago.

Investigators spotted him among the fans and headed to the island in search of the 60-year-old criminal.

Naples-based Carabinieri paramilitary police claimed that officers managed to block him going down a street on a moped on Friday.

"Betraying him was his passion for soccer and for the Napoli team,'' a police statement read. "With the championship victory, La Porta couldn't resist celebrating."

Closely connected to the Naples-based Camorra organised crime gang, La Porta has been convicted in his absence of criminal association, tax evasion and fraud, Sky News confirmed.

Appearing before a prosecutor on Saturday, he was ordered to be held in prison until a panel of appeal court judges rules on an extradition request from Italy.

Italian authorities reportedly want him to be flown back so he can serve a 14-year prison sentence in his home country.

Police are said to have been keeping tabs on La Porta's activity for some time and have been waiting for him to slip up and give them an insight into his location.

He was arrested near the restaurant where he had allegedly been working as a chef. His lawyer has since confirmed that he has started a new family in Greece and does not want to be extradited.

"He was sentenced long ago for tax offences," Athanassios Giannakouris said.

"He has started a new family in Greece ... he has a nine-year-old boy and is working as a cook to get by. He suffers from heart ailments. If he's extradited, he and his family will be ruined."

Featured Image Credit: Getty & Caribineri Napoli

Topics: Serie A, Napoli, Football