Italian police bust two Nigerian mafia gangs, arrest 32
In a massive operation on Tuesday, some 32 people were arrested in Puglia, Sicily, Campania, Calabria, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and, abroad, in Germany, France, Netherlands and Malta.
The report by ANSA, Italian news agency did not indicate whether the 32 are all Nigerians and whether there were European collaborators arrested with them.
Those probed are suspected of conspiracy, trafficking, making slaves of women, extortion, robbery, bodily harm, sexual violence and exploitation of prostitution, police said.
The probe was led by Bari anti-mafia prosecutors and coordinated by the central operational service in Rome with the help of Interpol.
The investigation was carried out by the Bari flying squad.
The two clans were the Supreme Vikings Confraternity and the Supreme Eye Confraternity, better known as “Reds” e “Blues”.
The gangs operated with the slogan “the three Ds”, referring to “donne, denaro e droga” (women, money and drugs).
Some 49 people were placed under investigation, all Nigerian nationals.
Investigators said the women, most of them trafficked and subjected to physical and psychological violence, also via voodoo rites, were forced to become sex workers.
The proceeds of the prostitution rackets were sent to Nigeria via couriers or ‘hawala’ systems, or reinvested in drug trafficking.