Members of a notorious Nigerian drug ring have been apprehended by the police in Italy.
The drug cartel members arrested in Italy
At least 16 persons have been arrested after police in Italy smashed Nigerian mafia drug rings in Trentino, Veneto and Lombardy on Tuesday.
According to ANSA News Agency of Italy, about 20 raids were carried out by Italian police in the regions in the operation, codenamed 'Underground'.
Police said the gang-controlled the drugs trade in Trento.
However, it was based in the back of a Nigerian ethnic goods store in the Veneto city of Verona, police said – while the drugs were stored in another Veneto city, Vicenza.
The police said those arrested allegedly 'commuted' to and from Trento and Verona on the train.
The report added that the drugs traffic and distribution was allegedly managed by a Nigerian woman, Agho Isoken Tina, aka Mama T. She was allegedly assisted by her son and sister-in-law.
The gang allegedly used the proceeds of prostitution, one of the Nigerian mafia's staple occupations, to buy the drugs.
Trento Flying Squad Commander, Tommaso Niglio, who led the team that smashed the gang, said many of the pushers were poor asylum seekers, adding that they would often swallow the doses, risking their lives rather than face arrest.
It was gathered that the police seized half a kilogramme of cocaine and heroin in during the raid.