Italian fugitive arrested outside Scotland Yard

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By RAPHAEL SATTER, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — When British police finally snared an Italian fugitive wanted for the last 30 years, the task couldn't have been easier: he was arrested across the street from Scotland Yard's London headquarters, officials said Friday.

Authorities said 49-year-old Gianfranco Techegne was waiting in line Tuesday at the Broadway Post Office when he was taken into custody by detectives from Scotland Yard's extradition unit — based in a building only about 30 feet (10 meters) away.

Scotland Yard said Techegne has been wanted by Italian police since 1982 in connection with the armed robbery of a car rental agency in Naples during which a young police officer was fatally wounded.

The arrest, although conveniently located, wasn't a coincidence. Italian authorities requested his extradition last month and Scotland Yard said it had been "acting on intelligence."

Naples police said surveillance cameras had picked up on frequent visits by Techegne to the post office — and that detectives swooped in on him because they feared he was on the verge of leaving the British capital.

Italian police said that Techegne is not a member of the Camorra, as the Neapolitan crime clans are known, but was well-connected to the mob through his family. His sister-in-law is Maria Licciardi, a rare "madrina," or "godmother," the name given to female mob bosses.

Licciardi, investigators say, helped run the Alleanza di Secondigliano clan, one of the players in a long-running blood feud among Camorra factions in Naples.

Italian police said they were hampered in their search for Techegne because the last photo they had of him dated back three decades.

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Associated Press writer Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.

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