Italian Police Bust Nigerian Gang Forcing Ladies into Prostitution

Sex trafficking
File Photo
  • Italian Police smash Nigerian gang forcing ladies into prostitution

  • Cagliari police detained 40 persons as part of the investigation.

EKO HOT BLOG reports that a Nigerian organized criminal gang that forced scores of young women into prostitution and begging on the streets of Italy was busted by Italian customs officers on Monday.

They then transported millions of euros in illegal profits to Nigeria, concealing cash in suitcase handles and pasta packets.

Italian Police Bust Nigerian Gang Forcing Ladies into Prostitution
Napoli 19/07/2000
Operazione della poliza di Napoli.
Fermate decine di prostitute Nigeriane che in giornata saranno riportate in patria in aereo da Capodichino.
Ph. Ciro Fusco

Raids were carried out in towns across northern and southern Italy, as well as on the island of Sardinia, according to the police.

Cagliari police detained 40 persons as part of the investigation.

They are also accused of using voodoo rites to control women and money laundering.

They placed 120 people under investigation.

Italy’s Nigerian mafia specializes in prostitution and trafficking women.

It has grown almost as rich and powerful as the country’s three main home-grown mafias, ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria, Cosa Nostra from Sicily and the Camorra from Campania, police say. (ANSA).

Helping spark the investigation was the complaint of a Nigerian woman, brought illegally into Italy, that her fellow countrywomen were taking on debts as high as 50,000 euros ($56,000) to arrive, only to be forced into prostitution for the syndicate. While prostitution is legal in Italy, the exploitation of prostitutes is illegal.

The police in a statement said while the Nigerian crime syndicate was based in Italy, its operations extended to Germany, Libya and Nigeria.

“Forty-one young women (were) assigned to prostitution, while nine were forced to beg,” the statement said.

To discourage the women from turning to authorities for help, they “were mistreated, put under control and put into a state of psychological vulnerability” by the use of macabre voodoo rites to guarantee they would pay off their travel debts, police said.

In recent decades, other Nigerian women forced into prostitution into Italy told authorities and social workers that the voodoo rituals made them feared that defying their criminal handlers would cause bad fortunes for their families.

According to Italian investigators, the crime organization employed a variety of means to reinvest their ill-gotten gains in Nigeria, notably in real estate.

According to the police, the crooks deployed 11 teams of cash couriers who hid wads of cash under the retractable handles of baggage or inside pasta packets to avoid screenings at Italy’s airports.

Italian legal actions, according to police, assisted the young victims in breaking “the links of physical-psychological compulsion that connected them” to their exploiters.

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