Dell'Aquila is wanted on extortion, robbery and money laundering charges [AFP]

Italian police have arrested Giuseppe Dell'Aquila, a suspected mafia boss, in a fortified villa near the southern city of Naples.

Dell'Aquila, who has been on the run for nine years, narrowly evaded capture in August 2009 by jumping into the sea and swimming away when police raided his luxury yacht in the Gulf of Naples.

He was arrested on Tuesday in Varcaturo, 30km northwest of Naples.

Dell'Aquila had been on a list of Italy's most dangerous fugitives and is seen as an influential behind-the-scenes player in the Camorra crime syndicate who helped pioneer an alliance between different rival mafia clans.

He is wanted on extortion, robbery and money laundering charges and is accused of being the leader of the powerful Mallardo clan, police said.

The clan has major assets in several small towns on the coast between Rome and Naples and it wielded a powerful role in the construction sector.

The Camorra is based mainly around Naples but has a vast international network that generates billions of euros in profits from drug trafficking, counterfeit goods, waste disposal and construction.

Source: Agencies