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Police nab top Italian mafia leaders

Two Italian mafia bosses were arrested by police after they had been discovered "living like animals." The two have been described by police as the most active, richest and most powerful mobsters in all of Europe.

Giuseppe Crea, 37, and Giuseppe Ferraro, 47, were arrested Friday in the southern region of Calabria, Italy, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said in a statement.

Alfano added that the two leading mobsters were featured on "Italy's list of most dangerous fugitives" and are part of the

'Ndrangheta mafia,

which is centered in Calabria.

The local police who captured the mafia leaders said the two were living in an underground bunker with machine guns and a "full-scale arsenal" of weapons, had dirt floors and slept in bunk beds. However, the bunker was also described by police as having satellite TV, despite being deep in the ground and covered with undergrowth.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano at the start of an EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg, 16 June 2015.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano

"They were living in a concrete bunker hidden by dense bushes and trees," prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho told reporters as he described the bunker in the mountains.

"They were living like animals, a cold life cut off from society," but ruled on gang matters when necessary, Cafiero De Raho added.

Avoided capture for years

The local police said the two had long eluded capture, with Crea on the run for 18 years and Ferraro for 10 years.

Crea was given a 22-year jail sentence last year for charges related to mafia association and extortion.

"The capture of Crea was important because his clan was turning Rizziconi (a town in the province of Calabria) into an important criminal hub," a local policeman said.

Ferraro was convicted of murder and mafia association in the 1980s, when a bloody clan feud left more than 20 people dead. He now faces life in prison.

smm/bw (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)

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