Italian Mafia boss found hiding in bunker hidden behind wardrobe

One of Italy's most wanted Mafia bosses has been arrested after five-years on the run when police found him hiding in a secret bunker in his own home.

Video footage shows Antonio Pelle crawling out of from behind a wardrobe while at least a dozen police officers wait for him to emerge.

The 54-year-old - known as "Mamma" - built the secret fortress between the bathroom and his son's bedroom.

Pelle emerges from behind the wardrobe. Credit: Polizia di Stato

Pelle, who was on the Italian interior ministry's list of most dangerous mob fugitives, was serving a 20-year prison sentence for Mafia association and arms and drugs trafficking when he slipped out of hospital in the town of Locri in September 2011.

According to Italian media, he had been taken to hospital to be treated for anorexia.

He is considered the boss of the Pelle-Romeo clan of San Luca, in Italy's southern Calabria region.

The clan's long-running feud with the rival Nirta-Strangio family erupted in a bloody vendetta in Germany in 2007 when a gangland massacre at an Italian restaurant left six people dead.

Police officers help Pelle down. Credit: Polizia di Stato

The carnage drew international attention to the reach of Calabria's 'ndrangheta mob, which is considered more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia and has become one of the world's biggest cocaine traffickers.

Reggio Calabria police chief, Raffaele Grassi, said Pelle was the last of the "strategic protagonists" of the long-running San Luca feud.

"With his capture and the trials under way, each piece of the mosaic has been put in place," Mr Grassi said.

Pelle is led away by police. Credit: Polizia di Stato

The San Luca feud cooled between 2000 and 2006.

But it erupted again when Maria Strangio, the wife of one of the presumed heads of the Strangio clan, was killed on Christmas Day 2006.