There are dozens of Nigerian couriers who daily transport drugs around Italy using trains, buses, taxis, bicycles, or simply walking around urban centers.
In the majority of cases they are “employees” of the various cults with a mafia connotation who have settled in many Italian regions. At the beginning of 2020 there were about 110 thousand Nigerians legally residing in our country, of which just under 7 thousand were registered in the capital.
The manpower of the street shop is, in general, entrusted to Nigerians who do not have residence permits but there are cases of asylum seekers or people already in possession of subsidiary protection permits.
Thus, in recent days, in Arezzo, the police arrested a forty-year-old Nigerian asylum seeker while he was giving doses of heroin to an Italian woman. Arrest who tried, in vain, to avoid another Nigerian who in Florence, at the sight of the policemen, tried to swallow the eggs with the heroin he was holding in his mouth, risking suffocating. Another arrest, in L’Aquila, of a 23-year-old Nigerian intent on peddling at the bus terminal while in Florence, at the airport, a Nigerian ended up in handcuffs after 65 eggs containing cocaine were identified in the intestine.
In Ballarò, Palermo, a district historically controlled by the Cosa Nostra family of Palermo Centro of the Porta Nuova district , the police stopped thirteen Nigerians (some beneficiaries of citizenship income) who were selling drugs with the collaboration of two Palermo people.
The belief on the part of the Nigerian mafia of its strength and the ability to operate independently in territorial areas in which Italian mafias notoriously play an important role, was also revealed in the course of investigations on Maphite (a brotherhood present in twelve in Emilia Romagna and Piedmont) so much so that every agreement between these and groups of Italian mafias has been “annihilated (…) we do not need them to operate in Italy: we can operate alone (….) we do not need them to the moment and if we have it we will be able to reconsider the registration in the future “(from the order of the Gip of Turin on the occasion of the operations” Maphite-Bible verde “and” Burning Flame “).
Since the beginning of the year, the police forces have arrested about a thousand Nigerians for trafficking / drug dealing, a number far lower than the 1,942 in 2019 and the 2,148 in 2018 (DCSA data) and this is partly explained by a slowdown in the action drugs and, above all, for the restrictions on the mobility of people – with road checks in some particularly incisive periods – which characterized (which still characterize) 2020 for the well-known pandemic.
However, drug trafficking is not the only criminal activity carried out by Nigerian organizations located throughout the country and “with an important presence also in the major islands (Sicily and Sardinia), in particular in Palermo and Cagliari) but also in Lazio, especially in the Capital “(see rel. DIA, 2019).
Among the fields of action of the Nigerian mafia are the trafficking of human beings, the exploitation of prostitution, forced begging, extortion, especially to the detriment of African citizens who manage commercial activities, the falsification of documents, monetary counterfeiting, scams and computer fraud, crimes against the person and property.
Perhaps there is still time to try to neutralize the Nigerian mafias but a vigorous and extensive repression activity throughout the country would be necessary even if the information obtained by the DIA, especially in the last few years, is particularly harmful if you think, for example , to the spread of these criminal associations throughout the country with presences (the Maphite ) also in Canada, United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, Malaysia and Ghana.
The numerous investigations carried out by the police forces in Italy have highlighted the role of the Black Ax which in terms of number of adherents would be the second Nigerian mafia organization present “in almost all regions” but with important “cells” in Piedmont and Sicily, mainly in Palermo (rel. DIA, cit.).
An association which, writes the Gup of the Court of Palermo in the sentence of 21 May 2018 against Nigerian defendants for mafia-type association “has a first place replicated not in a small way but on a world level, the organization of a state indeed of a Confederate State (..) equipped with elaborate statutes of legislative and executive authorities of judicial bodies a sort of courts called to settle disputes within it, of its own law enforcement agencies or guards who are entrusted with the task of keeping the order and to restore it by inexorably executing the punishments ”.
A true anti-state on which to converge the best investigative resources without further delay and underestimation. Before it’s too late.