Italian police said Monday they had arrested 30 Nigerian mafia members in 14 provinces of the country.
The head of one of the largest Nigerian mafia gangs was arrested during the operation, police said It has “arrested the head of a large organization,” said the police.
Operation Black Ax was aimed at the Nigerian mafia in Italy and comes from an investigation in L’Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.
Police said those arrested were charged with Mafia association, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, prostitution, “romantic fraud”, internet fraud and money laundering.
They face nearly 100 charges, police said.
The most recent arrests come about five months after a large-scale operation in which police arrested and alleged 74 members of the Nigerian mafia for arresting the group leader. The 50-year-old Emmanuel “Boogye” Okenwe.
About 200 officers turned against Boogye’s gang in Turin and Farera. The self-proclaimed “King of Ferrara” led the gang known as “Arobaga Vikings” or “Norsemen Kclub International”.
Turin has been the center of the Nigerian mafia in Italy for over a decade, Sergio Nazzaro, an Italian journalist , Writer and advisor to the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission, said:
Nazzaro recently published a book about Nigerian criminal organizations that have taken root in Italy. In some areas, these groups have even grown strong enough to eradicate indigenous Italian crime groups such as Camorra, Ndranghetta and Cosa Nostra.
The Nigerian Mafia often controls everyday street crimes, while the more established Italian groups are dealing with corruption and white-collar crime employed on a larger scale.
Boogyes gang The Vikings were known to deal primarily with prostitution and drug trafficking. Turin or Ferarra have built a wide network of individual cells that are used in cities across the country as “decks” are known.
While there is organized crime in Nigeria, Nazzaro stated that the Nigerian Mafia is a unique Italian phenomenon.