Italian Police: Nigerian Mafia Being Radicalised by Islamist Influences

This Friday Oct. 31, 2014 image taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, center, has denied agreeing to any cease-fire with the government and said Friday more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls all have converted to Islam and been married …
Video Image/AP Photo

According to a new report, members of the Nigerian mafia are at risk of radicalisation as the influence of groups like Boko Haram spreads among members.

The report, released by the Italian Anti-mafia Investigation Directorate (DIA), claims that members of the Nigerian mafia have constant contact with individuals in their home country.

The DIA added that there is a real risk of Islamic radicalisation and advocated for strict monitoring of mafia members in Italian prisons, Il Giornale reports.

The various methods used by the Nigerian mafia in their criminal enterprises are also documented, including the use of advanced technology mixed with ancient practices, such as Voodoo rites, which have been used to control and threaten prostitutes and others.

Members who try and leave the Nigerian mafia are also dealt harsh punishments, often being killed by other members. One group in Bologna is said to have threatened to torture and then burn members alive if they broke the group’s rules.

In 2016, one member of the Nigerian mafia decided to co-operate with Italian authorities and told them, “When I entered this organization, the things I saw were horrible and made me unhappy. You can stop being part of it only with death.”

He described his initiation into the mafia, saying, “They told me to undress, to stay in my underwear and kneel down. They started brutally beating me, with kicks and punches for twenty minutes.”

After the beating, the group burned a piece of paper containing their symbol in his hands.

The Nigerian mafia are known to be particularly brutal, according to Italian criminologist Alessandro Meluzzi, who claimed that members would often indulge in cannibalism after committing a murder.

“It is a routine to cut victims into pieces and, in some cases, to eat parts of their bodies,” he said.

“In the Nigerian mafia, ritual cannibalism is not an exception, but a rule. These are normal things for them, but here nobody talks about it, out of fear of being called racist. We should get used to these things: this is just the tip of an iceberg destined to grow larger,” he warned.

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


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