Tuesday, April 27, 2021 9:52 am
Police in Italy have arrested 30 suspected members of Nigerian Black Axe mafia syndicate over alleged involvement in drug and people trafficking, prostitution and internet fraud.
The Police accused members of the syndicate of using Bitcoin cryptocurrency to carry out clandestine financial transactions on the dark web.
Black Axe that emerged from Nigeria in the 1970s has been accused of involvement in rape, mutilation, and ritual murders.
The cult group later moved on to establish a powerful international network.
The Police in Italy say it has evidence that members of the cult it arrested have connections with the Nigerian gang as they use the same vocabulary, symbols and affiliation rituals.
The Police accused the suspects of, among others, using Bitcoin to buy details of cloned credit cards, which they have been using for massive online shopping on the dark web.
The suspects, arrested across 14 provinces in Italy include an alleged Black Axe leader in Italy – a 35-year-old man living in L’Aquila, in the central Abruzzo region, according to Reuters news agency.
“This is a proof of the ability of the judiciary and police forces to fight against old and new mafia groups trying to extend their criminal reach and expand their business,” Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said in a statement.