Italy: Nigerian Mafia Forcing Girls as Young as Twelve Into Prostitution

Prostitutes leave an hotel in Benin City, capital of Edo State, southern Nigeria, on March

According to testimony from a teen girl who escaped sexual slavery at the hands of the Nigerian mafia in Italy, the organised crime syndicate has forced girls as young as twelve to become prostitutes.

The testimony comes from a 15-year-old Nigerian girl who told prosecutors in the city of Bologna that she had been sold to the mafia by her father in Nigeria and smuggled illegally into Italy through the Mediterranean migrant route, Il Giornale reports.

One in Italy, the young girl was put under the control of a so-called “Maman”, an older woman who has often been a former prostitute themselves.

Intercepted phone conversations between a Maman and others revealed that the Nigerian mafia prefers to use illegal migration to bring in young girls rather than air travel due to the lack of oversight and regulations.

The woman, who is said to be 26, also claimed that she knew of a 12-year-old girl who had been forced to prostitute herself.

She later complained about the 15-year-old who ran away to Italian authorities, telling the young girl’s father, “I bought her a 300 Euro phone too, but nothing has changed. She doesn’t respond, she’s unruly.”

The report comes just weeks after dozens of Nigerian mafia members were arrested across Europe in a joint operation between police in Italy, France, Germany, Malta, and the Netherlands.

The two main groups of Nigerian mafia that operate in Italy are the Supreme Eye and the Black Ax and are linked primarily to prostitution and to drug trafficking.

The organisation has expanded dramatically in recent years and is now actively competing with local mafia groups ion various Italian regions for dominance over illegal drugs and prostitution.

The group is also known as being ruthless by many criminologists such as Alessandro Meluzzi who labelled them, ” the most ruthless mafia in the world” and added than cannibalism was a routine practise among members.

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



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