At least 16 people were arrested by Italian police on Tuesday after breaking a Nigerian mafia drug ring in the northern city of Trento, the ANSA news agency in Italy reported.
Police said in the report that they carried out 20 raids in the regions of Trentino, Veneto and Lombardy, codenamed ‘Underground’. According to police, the gang controlled the drug trade in Trento.
However, police were at the back of a Nigerian ethnic store in the city of Venona in Verona, police said – while the drugs were stored in another city in Veneto, Vicenza.
Police said the detainees were allegedly ‘commuting’ by train to and from Trento and Verona.
The report added that the drug trafficking and distribution was allegedly managed by a Nigerian woman, Agho Isoken Tina, or Mama T. She is allegedly assisted by her son and sister-in-law.
The gang allegedly used the proceeds of prostitution, one of the Nigerian mafia’s main businesses, to buy the drugs.
Tommaso Niglio, commander of the Trento Flying Squad, who led the team that crushed the gang, said many of the pushers were poor asylum seekers, adding that they would often swallow the doses and risk their lives rather than risk to be arrested.
Police seized half a kilogram of cocaine and heroin during the raid.