The Italian police, together with the Interpol have arrested two Nigerian mafia clans that traffick women for sex.
In a sting operation carried out on Tuesday, 32 arrests were made in several European cities. The places included the Sicily, Calabria, Lazio, Puglia, Campania, Abruzzo, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Germany, France, Malta the Netherlands and Veneto.
In July, a similar arrest was made, where 19 Nigerians were implicated in several criminal offenses ranging from sex trafficking to violence of various forms – from sexual assaults to sexual exploitation, prostitution, and physical assaults. The report from ANSA, the Italian news agency did not indicate if all 32 suspects were Nigerians.
The Bari anti-mafia prosecutors led the operation, and the central operational service coordinated the sting with Interpol.
Politicians in Italy praised the efforts of the two police teams, with the leader of Brothers of Italy Giorgia Meloni saying “we must extirpate this cancer!” League MP, Rossano Sasso said the probe emphasizes the need to clamp down on the massive CARA asylum seeker center in Bari. The place is allegedly home to most of the drug dealing and trafficking.
Minister of Interior, Luciana Lamorgese said: “today’s international operation attests to the attention and hard work of the investigators and police forces to combat on the whole national territory all the various ramifications of the Nigerian mafia”.
However, the office of the Bari prosecutor warned against using it as an avenue to discriminate against all Nigerian migrants. “Let there be no exploitation of this affair. The Nigerians who have been arrested are persons who committed crimes, exactly like we do with people of any colour, race or country. “Then there are very many Nigerians who asked help in the forms laid down by the law, asking the Italian State, that is, to intervene to restore order and justice”.