Moroccan Migrant Drug Gang Accused of Cutting Off Ears, Torturing Victims

close-up of man holding knife smeared with blood and still dripping.
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A gang of Moroccan illegal migrant drug dealers in northern Italy has been accused of carrying out brutal acts of torture, including cutting off a man’s ear and beating him for seven hours straight.

The illegal migrant drug trafficking gang is said to operate in wooded areas of the northern province of Varese and has become known by local Italian law enforcement for their particularly brutal behaviour, including acts of torture, violence and threats.

There have been two notable incidents of violence in recent months linked to the Moroccan drug traffickers, including one incident in which a 25-year-old, also from Morocco, was tied to a tree and whipped for seven hours, the newspaper Il Giornale reports.

According to the newspaper, the Moroccan also had his ear cut off by the gang, whose leaders also broke both of his arms before local Carabinieri officers saved the 25-year-old.

Another man, a 40-year-old Italian national, was also allegedly tortured by members of the gang and was suspended from a tree for three hours after being violently assaulted and threatened with death by a member of the gang who allegedly brandished a gun.

Captain Alessandro Volpini, commander of the Carabinieri Company of Luino in Varese, commented on the situation in the area saying, “It’s been like this for years. We note the increase in violence, which also raises the level of danger from these people.”

Last Friday, three of the alleged bosses of the Moroccan gang were taken into custody by police who found them in the province of Pavia, just south of Milan, which is where the gang is believed to be headquartered.

Investigators say the three are under suspicion of several crimes, including attempted murder, attempted extortion, drug dealing and torture but did not rule out that there may be more suspects involved in the case.

Migrant drug trafficking gangs have been operating in Italy for many years, with Nigerian mafia gangs becoming prominent in Italy’s drug trade, sometimes taking over entire towns, such as the resort town of  Castel Volturno north of Naples.

Nigerian gangs have also been accused of recruiting migrants in asylum centres in Rome to act as drug couriers.

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


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