Two Italian police officers in Naples are among several alleged members of a criminal gang helping to smuggle illegal migrants into Italy, discovered by wiretaps.
A total of seven people, including the two officers, were arrested this week by police following an investigation that used wiretaps to track the dealings of the gang, who allegedly offered forged residency permits with the help of the officers, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.
According to the investigators, who performed a number of raids along with the wiretaps, the gang were using a retired former police inspector as a go-between to contact the officers working at the immigration office in the Naples police, and would offer them 50 euros for basic information and as much as 3,000 euros to help them forge residency papers for the illegals.
The investigation originated from another prior investigation into illegal migration and connections to radical Islamic terrorism — but, following the trail of the gang, the investigators found they were focused on illegal migration in general, with one of the members bragging over an intercepted phone conversation that the gang had brought in “thousands” of migrants.
Former Jihadist Reveals Network Smuggling Islamic Radicals to Europe as Illegal Migrants https://t.co/Ki3hkx8q3U
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 10, 2019
The arrests are not the first of human traffickers this year. In January, police arrested 15 suspects accused of smuggling radical Islamic terrorists into Italy under the guise of asylum seekers. The investigation and subsequent arrests were sparked by a tip from a former jihadist.
Among the many gangs associated with human trafficking in Italy is the Nigerian mafia. In February, five members of the Nigerian mafia were arrested across Italy, accused of helping to smuggle young women into Italy and then using various tactics, including threats and religious rituals, to force the young women into sexual slavery and prostitution.
Italy: Nigerian Mafia Bust Reveals Sexual Slavery, Voodoo Rituals https://t.co/l9VGeXtztg
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 16, 2019
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com