Giovanni Strangio

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Mugshot of Giovanni Strangio.

Giovanni Strangio (born January 3, 1979) is an alleged member of the 'Ndrangheta born in Siderno, Calabria. Starting from 2007, he was included on the list of most wanted fugitives in Italy as well as in Germany,[1] Strangio was arrested in Amsterdam on March 12, 2009.[2][3]

San Luca feud[edit]

Strangio was wanted for the Duisburg massacre on August 15, 2007, which made headlines worldwide.[4] He was one of two gunmen that killed six men in front of the Da Bruno restaurant near the main railway station. More than 70 shots were fired. The carnage was part of a long-standing feud between two 'Ndrangheta clans from San Luca in Calabria, the Pelle-Vottari-Romeo and Strangio-Nirta clan.[5][6]

He reportedly belongs to the Strangio-Nirta clan and is a relative of Maria Strangio, the wife of Giovanni Luca Nirta, who was killed on December 25, 2006,[7] in an attempt to kill her husband. The killing revived the lingering San Luca feud that started in 1991. Strangio was arrested at the funeral of Maria Strangio where he appeared with a gun, presumably to kill members of the Pelle-Romeo clan. He was apprehended after a short exchange of fire in which he was slightly wounded.[8] He was arrested and released in July 2007.[6]

Duisburg massacre[edit]

Strangio returned to Germany where he ran "Tonis Pizza" in Kaarst in North Rhine-Westphalia.[9] From his adopted hometown, Strangio allegedly prepared the attack against the rival clan that included Marco Marmo (1982–2007), among its members, and the chief suspect in the murder of Maria Strangio, who was killed in the bloodbath.[5] Strangio quickly became a suspect. His apartment in Kaarst was searched and it appeared that he had left it in a hurry, leaving a large amount of money behind.[9]

On December 18, 2007, four suspects in the Duisburg massacre were arrested, but Giovanni Strangio remained a fugitive until his arrest in March 2009.[10] The second gunman is believed to be Strangio’s brother-in-law Giuseppe Nirta, also wanted for international cocaine trafficking, who was arrested on May 23, 2008.[11][12][13]

Strangio is not to be confused with his namesake Giovanni Strangio, the owner of the Da Bruno restaurant, who, despite his family name, in fact belongs to the rival Pelle-Vottari-Romeo clan. He was arrested on August 30, 2007, in San Luca. His brother Sebastiano Strangio was one of the victims of the massacre in Duisburg.[14][15]

Arrest and trial[edit]

Strangio was arrested on March 12, 2009, in Diemen, a suburb of Amsterdam, where he was living in with his wife and son. His brother-in-law, Giuseppe Nirta, was arrested as well.[2][3][16] He is to be extradited to Italy, not Germany, a Dutch court ruled on May 13, 2009. Italy seeks to prosecute him not only for the 2007 Duisburg killings, but also for membership of a criminal organization. Italy's reasons were more compelling than Germany's. The Duisburg killings had been the result of clashes between rival clans in the Italian town of San Luca. "Therefore the relation with Italy is bigger than the relation with Duisburg where the crime took place," according to the judge in Amsterdam.[17]

The trial against the clans involved in the feud started on April 14, 2010, in Locri. Strangio followed the hearing via video link to his prison cell in Rome.[18] On July 12, 2011, the Corte d'Assise of Locri sentenced Strangio to life imprisonment for the Duisburg killings.[19][20]


  1. ^ (German) Meistgesuchte Personen, Bundeskriminalamt
  2. ^ a b Alleged mafia kingpin arrested in Amsterdam over gangland massacre, The Guardian, March 13, 2009
  3. ^ a b (Italian) Arrestato in Olanda Giovanni Strangio, uno dei boss della strage di Duisburg, La Repubblica, March 13, 2009
  4. ^ A Deadly Mafia Export from Italy, Der Spiegel, August 15, 2007
  5. ^ a b (German) Haftbefehl gegen Giovanni Strangio erlassen, Der Spiegel, August 31, 2007
  6. ^ a b (Italian) Strage Duisburg, la polizia tedesca accusa "Giovanni Strangio tra i responsabili", La Repubblica, August 31, 2007
  7. ^ The Independent, August 19, 2007
  8. ^ (Italian) San Luca, sparatoria ai funerali, La Repubblica, December 28, 2006
  9. ^ a b (German) Die Spur führt nach Kaarst, Stern, September 1, 2007
  10. ^ Arrests show reach of "European mafia", The Seattle Times, December 19, 2007
  11. ^ San Luca clan chief caught, ANSA, May 23, 2008
  12. ^ (German) Ermittler haben zweiten Killer im Visier, Der Spiegel, March 3, 2008
  13. ^ (Italian) Duisburg, individuato l'altro killer, La Repubblica, March 1, 2008
  14. ^ (Italian) I due Giovanni Strangio: San Luca-Duisburg a mano armata, Panorama blog, August 31, 2007
  15. ^ Italian police crack down on 'ndrangheta, USA Today, August 30, 2007
  16. ^ (Dutch) Maffioso gepakt in Amsterdam, Het Parool, March 13, 2009
  17. ^ Italian suspect in German mob killings to be extradited to Italy, Deutsche Welle, May 13, 2009
  18. ^ (German) Mutmaßlicher Drahtzieher steht vor Gericht, Der Spiegel, April 14, 2010
  19. ^ (Italian) Strage di Duisburg, verdetto di primo grado ergastolo a Giovanni Strangio e altri sette, La Repubblica, July 12, 2011
  20. ^ Italians convicted in Duisburg mob massacre, The Associated press, July 12, 2011

External links[edit]