Domenico Rancadore, 64, is said to be a high-ranking member of the Italian organized crime network Cosa Nostra. Rancadore was arrested earlier this month at his home in Uxbridge, England, and he told the arresting officers, “I’m not going back, they will kill me,” reported British media, including the Daily Record on Thursday.
The statement was recounted at a court hearing.
He is wanted in Italy to serve a seven-year sentence. Prosecutor Aaron Watkins said there were “overwhelming grounds” to believe Rancadore would have fled if he had been granted bail, according to the Record.
The BBC reported earlier this month that Rancadore tried to leave by the back door when he was being arrested. He had moved to the UK in 1993. In 1999, he was convicted in his absence in Italy for his involvement in extortion, racketeering, and drug trafficking as part of Cosa Nostra.
Rancadore ran a travel agency in London.