Thursday, October 18, 2007

Italian Police Break Up Alleged Nigerian-Run Mafia

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ROME — Police have broken up an alleged Nigerian-run mafia — complete with blood-drinking initiation rites — accused of running prostitution, extortion and fake credit card scams in northern Italy, officials said Thursday.

Five Nigerians were detained in Brescia and in the southern town of Aversa, near Naples, police said. A sixth Nigerian already jailed in Turin for other crimes was served an additional arrest warrant, police said.

The six suspects comprise the "cupola," or the top decision-makers, of the "eiye" mob group, said Carmine Grassi, the Brescia police official in charge of the operation.

Like their Sicilian counterparts, the mobsters protected their territory by striking back violently at other Nigerian-run criminal organizations, police said.

Police displayed an ax and knife they said were used against rivals, sometimes to amputate body parts.

Initiation rites included drinking blood as part of a "blood pact," Grassi said. Members also had to wear blue hats and blue shoes, and used slang and hand gestures that distinguished them from other gangs, police said.

Grassi said the alleged leaders met while attending university in Nigeria.

1 comment:

zen said...

A lot of people have a stereo-typical view of Nigerians that they are fraudsters, liars, and not to be trusted. There are many people in Nigeria who take offense at such views. However the reality of the situation is that there are many Nigerians who fall into this stereotype, such as this article on the Italian-based Nigerian mobsters proves. However there are over 150 million people in Nigeria and every country has its "bad eggs," therefore I do not think it is fair to brand all Nigerians with a bad mark. Awareness of such illegal activities is beneficial though.