Italian police bust Nigerian mafia gang, leader Okenwa, 72 others arrested

No fewer than 73 members of a Nigerian mafia organisation in Italy, including their leader, 50-year-old Emmanuel Okenwa aka ‘Boogye’, have been arrested.

The operation was carried out by more than 200 Italian policemen in Turin and Ferrara.

Italian newspaper ANSA said Police made dozens of arrests against the Nigerian mafia organization called Arobaga Vikings or Norsemen Kclub International.

It is organized into local cells called Decks and present in many Italian cities.

National leaders of the mafia, which deals mainly in prostitution and drug trafficking were arrested.

They included Boogye’, an AfroBeat DJ andthe self-styled “King of Ferrara”.

In all, 31 people were arrested in Ferrara.

A further 43 were taken into custody in Turin, including several women who allegedly ran prostitution rackets.

Bologna preliminary investigations judge Gianluca Petragnani Gelosi said the Vikings’ criminal plan was to “violently annihilate” other Nigerian crime outfits and take over their turf.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said the police guard against criminal organizations and their illegal trafficking was high even amid the COVID emergency.

In a related development, the Italian police also cracked down on the multinational Ndrangheta mafia.

The police on Thursday seized 50 million euros in goods and property from three businessmen in Reggio Calabria, linked to the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia.

Antonino Scimone, 45, Antonino Mordà (51) and Pietro Canale (41) are suspected of close links to noted Calabrian clans, police said.

The three were among 27 people arrested in February 2018 in a major operation against usury and fraud that seized 51 companies, 18 pieces of real estate, and froze accounts worth some 100 million euros.

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