Dubai: A mafia boss wanted by Interpol for committing crimes in Italy including theft, extortion and money laundering has been arrested at Dubai International Airport, a top police official said.

Police said Interpol had issued a red notice against the Italian defendant, which meant he could be arrested in any country he entered.

The mafia boss, identified as Amedeo.J.R., was apprehended at Dubai airport last month after coming in on a flight from the Seychelles.

Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police and Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security, told Gulf News the suspect is known as the boss of a mafia gang called ‘Ndrangheta’ in Italy’s rural region of Calabria.

The suspect has direct contact with the main criminal mafia organisation in Italy.

He said police had been tracking the suspect’s movements following the Interpol arrest request issued by the Italian police.

Lt Gen Dahi said that Interpol thanked and appreciated the efforts of Dubai Police in arresting this dangerous suspect. He said the suspect used to travel via Dubai airport but it was the first time he had decided to enter the country.

Police said the suspect was jailed for five years in Italy in 2010 for collusion with the mafia in Calabria. He went on the run last June when his appeal failed at the Italian courts.

The boss is in his late 40s and, according to police information, has been working with the mafia since the early 1990s.

Lt Gen Dahi said a team at the General Department of Criminal Investigation of Dubai Police (CID) arrested the suspect after receiving information confirming his intention to visit Dubai for the first time.

According to Maj Gen Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Director of Dubai Police’s CID, the defendant was arrested on arrival.

He said the case has been transferred to the public prosecution and to Dubai Courts.

Dubai Courts will review the extradition file and study the reasons for Interpol having the man on its wanted list. It will look at the sentences handed to him by the Italian courts in order to make a decision about whether or not to extradite him, he said.