Vito Roberto Palazzolo, 64, sentenced in absentia by an Italian court in 2009 to nine years in jail for being the treasurer of godfathers Toto' Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, was arrested in Thailand on March 30.
Palazzolo, who is now in temporary custody in Thailand, was stopped by Interpol at Bangkok international airport while he was trying to leave the country, reported Italian daily La Repubblica.
Palazzolo is a native of Sicily who emigrated to Switzerland as a teenager. He then moved to South Africa, where he changed his identity by acquiring South African nationality and living under the name Robert von Palace Kolbatschenko. African authorities have always refused his extradition to Italy.
The Italian Mafia man recently moved to Hong Kong and then, in the last weeks, to Thailand. According to Italian daily La Stampa, police and Interpol followed his movements through confidential reports and through Palazzolo and his relatives' Facebook profiles.
It is not clear if Palazzolo will be extradited to Italy. According to La Repubblica, Italy requested his extradition, but both Palazzolo's lawyers and the South African ambassador in Bangkok contacted local authorities urging them to deny the request and to deport him back to South Africa.