Source AP ©

Nigerian mafia broken up in Italy

A Nigerian-run mafia –having initiation rites and color-coded clothing – has been broken up in Italy. The criminal organization is accused of controlling prostitution rings, extortion and fake credit card scams in northern Italy , officials said.

Police in Brescia advised six Nigerians already in jail that they now stood accused of mafia association with the aim of extortion, favoring prostitution and other crimes, police said in a statement.

Authorities said the mob controlled lucrative illegal immigrant activities, including prostitution, drug trafficking, extortion and making fake credit cards.

Like their Sicilian counterparts, the so-called "eiye" mobsters protected their territory by striking back violently at other Nigerian-run criminal organizations, the statement said.

Initiation rites included paying EUR600 (US$850) and drinking blood, the ANSA news agency reported. Members also had to wear blue hats and blue shoes, and had particular slang and hand gestures that distinguished them from other gangs, the statement said.

The money was used to pay for weapons and logistical support for the group, the statement said.

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