By NICK PISA
A gangster is believed to have been fed alive to pigs by rivals as part of a bloody sixty year feud between warring members of an Italian crime syndicate, police have revealed.
The horrific details emerged after officers released tapes that had been used to gather evidence against gang members as part of an ongoing operation.
Police believe Francesco Raccosta was beaten with iron bars by mobsters before being thrown - still alive - inside a pig sty where he was eaten by the hungry animals.
The murder was allegedly carried out by Simone Pepe, a member of the 'Ndrangheta crime family which holds a fierce grip on the southern Italian region of Calabria and is said to be more powerful, ruthless and wealthier than the Mafia on the neighbouring island of Sicily.
According to wire taps recorded by police, Pepe was boss of the Mazzagatti clan, in Oppido Mamertina near Reggio Calabria.
He was one of 20 people held in the operation which also resulted in police confiscating millions of Euros and property in the area and in Rome.
Raccosta disappeared in March 2012 along with fellow mobster Carmine Putrino, who police believe was murdered at the same time and also possibly fed to pigs as no body has ever been discovered.
In the wire taps, Pepe is chillingly heard saying of Raccosta: 'It was so satisfying hearing him scream, mamma mia he could scream.
'I didn't see a f****** thing left. People say sometimes they leave something, in the end there was nothing left. Those pigs could certainly eat.'