African Migrants Turned Church Into Base to Deal Heroin

Norway to test free heroin for drug addicts

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.

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.

Migrant drug traffickers have been involved in several high profile cases in Italy in the last few years, including the brutal murders of Italian teens Pamela Mastropietro and Desirée Mariottini.

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!!!”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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