Dutch police mistake Formula One fan from Liverpool for Italian mafia boss

Matteo Messina Denaro is one of the world's most wanted crime lords and has been on the run since 1993. Credit: Liverpool Echo / Italian Police

A Formula One fan from the North West was blindfolded and arrested after he was mistaken for one of the world's most wanted crime lords.Referred to only as 'Mark' by his lawyer, the Liverpool man was arrested in a restaurant in Hague, in the Netherlands, by armed police, according to Dutch public broadcaster NOS.Suspected of being mafia don Matteo Messina Denaro, he was arrested and blindfolded by officers who reportedly had their weapons drawn.Denaro, 59, is suspected of several murders - including that of two judges - and has been on the run since 1993.Italy has issued a European arrest warrant for the mafia boss who remains one of the most wanted criminals in the world.An old picture of what the suspect could look like has been widely circulated by both Italian and Dutch media outlets.Following the arrest, the detained 'Mark's' lawyer said it had been a case of mistaken identity.He argued that his client was a 54-year-old Formula One fan from Liverpool (now living in Spain) who was planning to attend the grand prix in Zandvoort.The man was detained in a high security prison while investigations into his identity were carried out.It has now been established that the man is not the wanted Italian fugitive and has since been released, according to the public prosecution service in the Netherlands.