Italian police have carried out raids across the country, arresting some 30 people suspected of operating for the Nigerian mafia syndicate.
Police say they face about 100 charges including drug and people trafficking, prostitution and internet fraud.
The gang allegedly used the Bitcoin cryptocurrency to carry out clandestine financial transactions on the dark web.
emerged from Nigeria in the 1970s, where they carried out rape, mutilation, and ritual murders.
They went on to build a powerful international network.
Inside Nigeria’s deadly and secretive campus cults
“There is evidence that the members had a direct connection with the Nigerian gang, drawing on the same vocabulary, symbols and affiliation rituals,” Italian police said.
hose arrested are accused of using Bitcoins on the dark web to buy the details of cloned credit cards, which were used for online shopping sprees.
The arrests took place in 14 provinces across the country and included the ‘s alleged leader in Italy – a 35-year-old man who lived in L’Aquila, in the central Abruzzo region, Reuters news agency reported.
“This proves the ability of the judiciary and police forces to fight against old and new mafia groups which are trying to extend their criminal reach and expand their business,” Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said in a statement.
Who are the ?
They are one of the most notorious secret societies to have emerged from Nigeria.
The surfaced in the 1970s and were originally known as the . Its founders said the group’s aim was to “liberate” the black race.
But at universities, the group no longer seems to be driven by any political ideology. Instead, members are accused of numerous killings and sexual attacks.
Other Nigerian secret societies, also referred to as confraternities and campus cults, have names like Vikings, Eiye (a word in the local Yoruba language for bird), and the Buccaneers.
The world of Nigeria’s sex-trafficking ‘Air Lords’
They have a chain of command similar to militia groups, use code words and have insignia bearing the favourite weapon of the cult, along with its colour.
Members are promised protection from rival gangs, but it is mostly about power and popularity.
These secret societies are banned in Nigeria, and hundreds of members have been arrested and prosecuted over the years. Nevertheless, they continue to operate in the country, especially on university campuses, where they still attract new members.
Israel-Palestine Conflict: Rockets fired from Lebanon land off Israeli coast
Three rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel on Thursday, raising fears that violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip could spill over into other parts of the region.
The Israeli military announced that the rockets landed into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Israel. No casualties were immediately reported from the strike.
The attack raises the risk of the violence expanding to two fronts as violence between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip shows no signs of abating in the near future.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attack, and Lebanese officials familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that it was unclear which group launched the rockets or precisely where they landed.
South Lebanon is the power base of the Shiite organization Hezbollah and other armed groups that have clashed with the Israeli military in the past, including during a brutal war in 2006.
The launches from Lebanon come as the Israeli military builds up its presence along the border with the Gaza Strip, with Israel not ruling out a ground offensive into the enclave to stop the rocket attacks.
An incursion would be the first since 2014, when dozens of Israeli troops and thousands of Palestinians were killed during the most recent war between Israel and Hamas, the armed group that controls the Gaza Strip.
Israel has launched a string of punishing air strikes on Gaza after Hamas and other groups fired a barrage of rockets across Israel. In a sign of the escalating violence, Hamas made the rare move of targeting Jerusalem and sending a flood of rockets to Tel Aviv, Israel’s major metropolitan area.
The violence was sparked after a now-suspended case in Israel over whether Jewish settlers could evict Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Clashes between residents and police escalated when Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the waning days of the holy month of Ramadan.
U.S. Colonial Pipeline Pays N2.043b In Ransom To Hackers
U.S. Colonial Pipeline has paid a ransom close to $5million, about N2.043 billion to hackers, who disrupted its gas supply to America’s east coast.
According to Bloomberg, the company paid the Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting earlier reports that it did not plan to pay.
Colonial Pipeline paid in cryptocurrency that was not traceable just hours after the attack, two sources with knowledge on the matter told Bloomberg on Thursday morning.
Upon getting the payment, the hackers provided Colonial Pipeline with a decrypting tool to restore the hacked network, according to the sources.
The FBI believes that the crippling cyberattack was orchestrated by a Russia-based criminal group.
The company said it started resuming operations Wednesday evening and by Thursday morning, product was flowing to most of the markets it services.
Israel And Palestine Conflict: Israeli Forces Hit Hamas Military Intelligence Centre, Many Feared Dead
Israeli Forces Hit Hamas Military Intelligence Centre, Many Feared Dead
The Israel Defense Forces has reported that it has just conducted an airstrike on a Hamas intelligence facility with dozens of operatives inside.
Moments ago, IDF jets and aircraft struck Hamas military intelligence offices in Gaza.
Before the strike, we warned civilians in the building & allowed sufficient time for them to evacuate the site.
We are continuing to strike terror targets in Gaza.
Israel Defense Forces
These are the faces of some of the top Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and terrorists.
They were responsible for the rocket attacks against Israel in the last 72 hours.
They will never plan another terror attack again.
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