Five African migrants have been arrested in Rome this week after turning a local church into a headquarters for trafficking and stockpiling large amounts of heroin.
The five young migrant men, four of whom were from Gambia and the other from Mali, used the church in Rome’s Torre Angela area on the Via delle Amazzoni as a place to store and sell drugs after seeing a large number of mostly Nigerian worshippers visited the church on weekends, Il Giornale reports.
Italian police officers raided the church this week and as they did so, the members of the drug gang attempted to hide around two pounds of heroin while other members kicked and punched the officers trying to get into the building.
Italian Teen Raped By Migrants Accuses Friend of ‘Selling’ Her For Drugs https://t.co/IfhowmXAV0
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Following a brief scuffle with the migrants, the officers were able to subdue them and found two of the gang members in the toilet of the church where they were attempting to hide some of the heroin they had been selling.
A judge is holding all of the young men in custody, and they will also face charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police.
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Italian populist deputy prime minister and minister of the interior Matteo Salvini has been vocal in his stance against migrant drug dealers, often advocating for their swift deportation from the country.
In April, following the arrest of a Pakistani heroin dealer, Mr Salvini wrote: “A Pakistani ‘asylum-seeker’ has been arrested, caught in Pesaro by the police with 180 doses of heroin! DISGUSTING! All-out war on death dealers! #zerotolerance, get these delinquents OUT of Italy!!!”