Italians Cry out - say Nigerian cult has taken over their streets

Nigerian cult are blamed by Italians for the crime sweeping through their streets.
The Nigerian cult has been suspected of promoting a life of prostitution and drugs in Italy’s dark and narrow alleys; from the north in Turin to the south in Palermo.
The Washington Post writes that “Italian investigators say the Nigerian syndicate meets the definition of a mafia, rather than a criminal gang, because it has a behavior code and uses the implied power of the group to intimidate and silence”.

According to the Italian intelligence agency, the Nigerian mafia has become “the most structured and dynamic” of any foreign crime entity operating in Italy.


The birth of the Nigerian mafia
The Nigerian mafia began making its presence felt across Europe in the 1980s, according to reports. In recent years, however, the Nigerian mafia has not only expanded its operational territory, it has also pushed into the one Italian territory where no foreign mob had dared to go. The Italian city of Sicily was raided by Greeks, Byzantines and Normans. The Cosa Nostra—which specializes in racketeering, gambling and killing-- used to be the most famous Mafiosi in Italy. Not anymore. The Washington Post writes that the Nigerian cult, complete with their ritual handshakes, color-coded blue and yellow outfits—have become lords of the manor in Italy's crime scene.

 “Today’s Sicily is different. Cosa Nostra is hobbled. Its leaders have been imprisoned, one after the next. The group has grown quieter, less openly violent, and over the past decade, a new wave of people has come — hundreds of thousands of Africans, arriving in Sicily, Italy’s de facto front door for migrants until Salvini closed ports last year. Many of the migrants have moved on to other parts of Italy, and even Europe. But some have stayed.
“Investigators say they first saw signs of the Nigerian mafia presence here in 2013 with an uptick in violent assaults. Two years later, evidence emerged that the new group might be cooperating in the drug trade with Sicilian mafia: A taped conversation showed two Cosa Nostra higher-ups describing the Nigerians as “tough young’uns” who are dangerous but know their place. That peace between the groups has held ever since.
“Authorities say that may be because the Nigerian mafia has built much of its business on the one thing Cosa Nostra has never shown an interest in: prostitution”.

Keeping the mafia in check
The Nigerian mafia’s Palermo hub is described as a neighborhood of dilapidated buildings, tight alleys, food vendors and motor scooters zipping by.
Italy’s far right political parties have been trying to shut out migrants for years because of the Nigerian mafia.

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s most prominent politician, says the “African crime bosses pose a growing threat that needs to be eradicated immediately.”
However, Pope Francis thinks it is wrong to blame Nigerians solely for the crime on Italy’s inner city streets. “It was not Nigerians who invented the mafia”, Pope Francis says, “the mafia is ours, made in Italy”. In any case, the Nigerian mafia continues to be accused of building Italy into a European hub of cocaine smugglers from South America, heroin dealers from Asia, and trafficking women by the tens of thousands from Benin city in southern Nigeria.

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