’s fears of being discovered were soon realized. Due to a series of events, some caused by Luciano
’s own indiscretion, the New York newspapers reported his presence in Havana
. In February, Harry Anslinger (Luciano
would always refer to him as `Asslinger`) sent a letter to the Cuban
government formally demanding that it deport Luciano
to Italy. When the Cuban
government balked, Anslinger went to President Harry S Trum
an and was told to take whatever steps were necessary to force Cuba to deport Luciano
Anslinger went public and announced that until Luciano
was sent packing the United States would put a halt to all shipments of medical supplies to the island. Lansky
met with Luciano
and suggested that he leave the country voluntarily so the Cuban
officials would not be forced to deport him. Luciano
refused, feeling that his position as the leader of the American underworld would be threatened. He hired an attorney who concocted a plan to counter the United States medical-supplies embargo by having Cuba cut off sugar
shipments to the United States. This plan of action never materialized and Luciano
was arrested on Feb. 23, 1947.
After receiving house arrest for a few days to settle personal matters, Luciano
was placed in an immigration lockup while his fate was decided. A last effort by the Cuban
government to allow Luciano
to seek sanctuary in Caracas, Venezuela was voided by Anslinger who was adamant that the mob boss be shipped back to Italy.
In early March, Luciano
was placed aboard the S. S. Bakir, an old Turkish cargo steamer. Traveling through bad weather it took the boat over a month to reach Italy. The boat docked at Genoa on April 11, 1947, and Luciano
was immediately arrested.
It would be fifteen years before Luciano
would finally get his wish and return to the United States. The journey this time would be in a coffin aboard a Pan American Airway’s cargo plane after his death on January 26, 1962. Luciano
’s remains were claimed by relatives and interred in the family vault at St. John’s Cemetery. Ironically, seven years later, Vito Genovese would be buried in a vault just one hundred feet away. Even in death, Luciano
could not escape the `greedy bastard` who betrayed him.