The Italian customs police have nabbed no fewer than 40 members of a Nigerian organised crime syndicate that compelled dozens of younger girls into prostitution, Mail Online studies.
The gang members arrested on Monday had been additionally accused of constructing weak girls beg on the streets of Italy, as nicely smuggling out hundreds of thousands of euros in ill-gained revenues to Nigeria, with money hidden in suitcase handles or pasta packages.
According to studies, the police raided cities in northern and southern Italy in addition to on the island of Sardinia to apprehend the felony gang.
The suspects are being held for investigation of alleged cash laundering, facilitating unlawful immigration, human trafficking, placing individuals into slavery and exploiting prostitution.
It was stated that the investigation was triggered based mostly on the grievance of a Nigerian girl, who was introduced illegally into Italy, and reported that her fellow countrywomen had been taking up money owed as excessive as 50,000 euros ($56,000 roughly N23million) to reach, solely to be compelled into prostitution for the syndicate.
It needs to be famous that whereas prostitution is authorized in Italy, the exploitation of prostitutes is unlawful.
The police in a press release stated whereas the Nigerian crime syndicate was based mostly in Italy, its operations prolonged 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 “had been mistreated, put below management and put right into a state of psychological vulnerability” by the use of macabre voodoo rites to guarantee they would pay off their travel debts, the police said.
In recent decades, other Nigerian women forced into prostitution in Italy told authorities and social workers that the voodoo rituals made them fear that defying their criminal handlers would cause bad fortunes for their families.
The crime syndicate used a combination of methods to pump their ill-gained revenues back into Nigeria, mostly in real estate there, Italian authorities said.
The criminals used 11 teams of cash couriers, who sometimes hid wads of money inside the retractable handles of luggage or inside pasta packages to elude searches at Italy’s airports, the police said.
The police said measures by Italian judicial authorities helped the young victims break “the ties of physical-psychological coercion which stored them certain” to their exploiters.