Two Canadian mafia bosses were killed in a hail of bullet and their bodies set on fire in a remote part of the Sicilian countryside as part of an international mob war, Italian police have said.
An anonymous caller tipped off the carabinieri that the charred bodies of wanted mobsters Juan Ramon Paz Fernandez, aka Joe Bravo or the Dancer, and his associate Fernando Pimentel were buried in a dump near a farmhouse in Casteldaccia outside the city of Palermo.
Police said the pair were lured to the isolated spot and gunned down.
Fernandez, 57, and Pimentel, 36, were wanted in connection with a huge international mafia investigation codenamed Operation Argo that has led to the arrests of 21 people and the seizure of €30m (£25m) in assets in the Sicilian city of Bagheria.
Canadian police famously described Fernandez as the "perfect gangster" and believed him to be a right-hand man of Montreal mafia boss Vito Rizzuto.
Martial arts instructor
Born in Spain, Fernandez was arrested in Canada in 2002 on drug trafficking charges and sentenced to 10 years.
On release, he was expelled and moved to Sicily, where he started working as martial art instructor in the mafia stronghold city of Bagheria.
Canadian and Italian authorities believe that was a cover for coordinating cocaine and heroin smuggling operations from Latin America to Canada on behalf of the Rizzuto clan in cooperation with the local Bagheria clan.
Pimentel, from Mississauga, Ontario, another Rizzuto clan affiliate, joined him a few weeks ago.
The Rizzuto clan has been involved in a bloody mob war since the godfather's son Nick was killed in Montreal in 2009.
Italian police hinted that the order to kill Fernandez and Pimentel came from Canada. Two Italian-Canadian mobsters have been arrested for murder.
Pietro and Salvatore Scaduto, 49 and 51 respectively, were taken into custody when they were picked up reportedly trying to sell a Rolex watch belonging to Fernandez.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police believe the Scaduto brothers also worked for the Rizzuto clan in Canada, until Pietro was expelled over a shootout in Montreal.