A teenage girl who was forced into sexual slavery by the Nigerian mafia in Italy, but who managed to escape, recently testified that the organized crime outfit has forced girls as young as twelve into prostitution.
The 15-year-old Nigerian girl, who was sold to local Mafia under threat of voodoo rites, told Italian prosecutors that she was then smuggled from Africa to Italy where she immediately forced into sexual slavery in the city of Ferrar, Il Giornale reports.
Often, young Nigerian women or underage girls who are forced into sex slavery are placed under the control of so-called “Maman” – older women and former prostitutes who are tasked with keeping the sex slaves under control. Such was the case with this teenage victim.
Wiretapped phone calls between Maman and another woman revealed that organized criminals in Nigeria prefer to bring young girls to Europe by boat instead of by planes.
“There are too many controls on the plane, better by land. Then if the boat in the Mediterranean overturns, they can always swim. The sea is deep, but it is a risk that must be taken,” the Maman said during a recorded phone call.
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The news comes just days after six Nigerian migrants were convicted of gang-raping a 25-year-old woman at the CARA asylum center in the city of Bari.
In recent years, Nigerian organized criminal networks have proliferated throughout Europe. The group called the Black Axe – a Nigerian organized crime outfit known for human trafficking, drug running, fraud, and using bizarre occult rituals to scare its victims into submission – has gained footholds in all of Sweden’s major cities. The group has also put down roots in Canada, Italy and elsewhere in Europe.
Earlier this month, in a joint operation between authorities in Italy, France, the Netherlands Germany, and Malta, 32 Nigerian mafia members were arrested in cities across Italy.