Italian Neo-Fascist, One of World’s Most Wanted Men, Arrested in Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Special agents arrested Stefano Delle Chiaie, an Italian neo-fascist charged in the bombing deaths of more than 100 people in Italy, security police commander Col. Porfirio Valera announced Sunday.
Delle Chiaie, a fugitive for 17 years, was one of the world’s most wanted men.
Interior Minister Jose Angel Ciliberto said Delle Chiaie would be deported to Italy on Monday.
Delle Chiaie is on trial in Italy in his absence in connection with the Aug. 12, 1980, bombing of the Bologna train station in which 85 people were killed and more than 200 wounded. The bombing was believed the work of neo- fascists.
Delle Chiaie was arrested Saturday at an apartment in a middle-class Caracas neighborhood where he apparently lived for the past three years, Valera said.
″Our security agents had been alerted that Delle Chiaie had fled Bolivia and they began a long search that concluded yesterday (Saturday),″ he told reporters. He said Delle Chiaie tried to escape through a back door, but special agents of the security police gave chase and captured him on the street.
″He politely congratulated our agents and told them it was the first time he had been caught,″ Valera said.
Delle Chiaie, 49, used more than 20 aliases after fleeing Italy in 1970, according to Valera. He entered Venezuela in 1984 with a Bolivian passport in the name of Vincenzo Modugno and lived here as Alfredo di Mauro, the commander said.
″He entered the country illegally. He is undocumented. His expulsion from the nation should take place immediately,″ Ciliberto said. Italian security agents and Interpol officials from the international police agency’s Paris headquarters were reported en route to Caracas.
Papers found in the apartment included lists of drug traffickers, Italian neo-fascist literature and a list of Italian extreme rightists in Venezuela, the police commander said.
Police also found evidence that Delle Chiaie was in contact with an unidentified Libyan agent and with Basque terrorists, Valera said.
Valera refused to say if others were arrested in the case. ″The investigation will continue and that is all I can say,″ he said.
Delle Chiaie fled Italy in 1970 after being accused of involvement in the Dec. 12, 1969 bombing in Milan of the Banco Nazionale dell’ Agricultura. The blast killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. That case remains unsolved. He is also wanted in other terrorism cases, including two unsuccesful coup plots in 1970 and 1973, a train bombing in August 1974 and the murder of an Italian judge, Vittorio Occorsio, in 1976.
In the 1960s, the Rome-born Delle Chiaie founded the National Avant-Guard, an extreme right-wing group. He has been described as the ″uncontested leader of neo-fascism in Rome.″
Over the past 17 years, he reportedly resided in South American countries, especially those with military regimes.
Delle Chiaie is believed to have ties with Licio Gelli, the fugitive head of the secret Masonic lodge Propaganda Due, which Italian authorities said was a criminal organization. Gelli and former intelligence officers Gen. Pietro Musumeci and Col. Giuseppe Belmonte are also on trial for the Bologna bombing.
In interviews he gave as a fugitive, Delle Chiaie denied allegations of terrorism, calling himself a ″militant national revolutionary.″
Valera said that shortly after the Bologna bombing, Delle Chiaie went to Bolivia at the invitation of then-Interior Minister Luis Arce Gomez and became his ″right-hand man.″
Unconfirmed reports have said Delle Chiaie, Arce Gomez, Italian Pier Luigi Pagliai and German Federico Fiebelkorn made millions of dollars in cocaine trafficking and arms smuggling during the Bolivian military dictatorship of Gen. Luis Garcia Meza.
Delle Chiaie fled Bolivia for an unknown destination a year after Garcia Meza’s government collapsed in 1981. Fiebelkorn returned to West Germany. Pagliai was wounded when Bolivian police captured him Oct. 10, 1982, and died on the plane to Rome after being extradited.