Italian police officers have arrested 30 Nigerians said to be connected with the Nigerian Mafia organisation, Black Axe.
The arrests were carried out in raids in 14 provinces. Police said 25 searches were executed. Among those arrested was the head of the gang, who is yet to be identified.
The police said:
We have apprehended the leader of a major organisation.
The Black Axe operation stems from a probe in L’Aquila, the capital of the Abruzzo region.
Reports said that those arrested have been charged with mafia association, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, prostitution, ‘romantic fraud’, Internet fraud and money laundering by buying and selling Bitcoins.
According to a report by the leading wire service in Italy ANSA, police said that they face almost 100 charges.
It was the second raid against the Nigerians in few months.
Italian Mafia investigators have recently conducted several large-scale operations with dozens of detentions.
The news agency further reported that 99 arrest warrants were executed on Monday in the southern city of Bari as part of an anti-Mafia operation.
The suspects were leaders and associates of the Strisciuglio Mafia clan, according to the police.
They face charges including extortion, drug trafficking and Mafia association, among others, ANSA reported.
Police had already staged raids targeting the same clan on similar accusations in March.
The majority of those arrested were to be placed in custody.
Police were set to release further details later today.
In January, a massive trial of more than 300 suspected members of the ‘Nrdrangheta Mafia organisation began in the city of Lamezia Terme.