The Brit was in the Netherlands for the Dutch Grand Prix
A Formula One fan from Liverpool was arrested by Dutch authorities after being mistaken for a top Italian mafia boss.
Mark L, as he is named, was wrongly suspected to be Sicilian crime lord Matteo Messina Denaro. The 54-year-old was blindfolded and led away by Dutch police while enjoying a meal with his son in The Hague.
The Formula One fan, who was watching the Dutch Grand Prix on 5 September, was later released according to prosecutors.
Denaro, 59, is described as “Europe’s most wanted man” and is linked to the 1993 bombings that killed 10 people and injured 93. He is also referred to as Diabolik and has featured on Netflix’s World’s Most Wanted.
Mark’s lawyer Leon van Kleef said the Liverpudlian “had anger and disbelief and laughter because it is ludicrous”.
He added: “Imagine one moment you are having a bite to eat and the next you are sat in a maximum security Dutch prison.”
Van Kleef described it as a “nightmare” for his client. He continued: “He is a normal Formula One fan. I was always convinced he was not it. It would have been a genius of an Italian to have such a strong Liverpool accent.”
Denaro has been on the run from authorities since 1993 and is wanted for 50 murders. He is considered the boss of all bosses in the Sicilian mob world after the arrest of top mafia bosses Bernardo Provenzano in 2006, and the arrest of Salvatore Lo Piccolo in 2007.
A spokeswoman for the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office said Mark L stated he was an English citizen and protested his innocence, with the outcome of the investigation returning “negative” resulting in the release of Mark.