Italian police have arrested 19 suspected members of a Nigerian mob, reports AFP news agency.
The arrests came in a raid across nine cities following a two-year investigation into prostitution rings and the drug trade, AFP adds.
Police are quoted as saying they have destroyed much of the “Maphite” cult – a Nigerian criminal gang whose acronym stands for Maximum Academic Performance Highly Intellectuals Train Executioner.
Maphite developed into an organised crime group in the 1990s, police said.
Paolo Borgna, deputy prosecutor in Turin, said the foreign mafias “are born and develop by giving protection to their countrymen and developing a kind of parallel, ruthless and criminal justice”.
“It is a characteristic shared by all mafias: protection is offered, compensation is requested, protection is imposed and, finally, those who do not accept it are punished,” he is quoted by AFP as saying.
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