Camorra, that’s who are the new “Casalesi”

10 April 2017

(translated from Italian using Google translator)

The so-called “Nigerian mafia,” which in Italy, in Castel Volturno in Caserta, one of its main operating bases, and similar to any other organization Camorra-mafia, such as the Casalesi clan, and therefore its members they are liable to prosecution for criminal association (Article 416 bis of the penal code). This was established by a decision of the first of its kind in Italy, the Naples Court of Review has issued arrest warrants in jail for six members of the African Mafia, belonging to the group known as that of “Eye”, or of “Neo Black Movement” or the “Black Axe”; in the cell, for criminal association, they ended character of the criminal organization first floor which has its headquarters in Nigeria and branches in other African States and several European and non-European countries. Those arrested, residents in Castel Volturno, are not Nigerian, but originating in Ghana and Liberia, two countries where the Nigerian mafia and ‘present and where they come from many immigrants in the town of Caserta coast are gone join the organization. The decision of the Review and ‘also a “victory” of the DDA in Naples – substitutes Alessandro D’Alessio and Ilaria Del Sasso Worm coordinated dell’Aggiunto Giuseppe Borrelli – who already’ in 2016 I try ‘to challenge the Mafia group Nigerian; I can not find legal quell’impianto ‘agreed the magistrate of Naples ordered that’ the arrest of 22 members of the group but not of the Camorra crime. The investigative office appealed the Review and proved him right. The investigations conducted by the police of Grazzanise Station and the Society of Santa Maria Capua Vetere led by Emanuele Macri ‘, and’ found that the various components of the association had a clearly defined role in relation to various activities’ illegal, often committed to damage compatriots in dense communities ‘African Castel Volturno, along the lines of “Italian” clan, which impose their control primarily on where they live: there was, cos’, who took care to manage the prostitution racket , who that trafficking and drug dealing, who provide false documents or doing robberies and extortion, often at the expense of fellow countrymen.

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Cult clash claims 3 lives in A/Ibom

May 15, 2017

Three persons suspected to be cultist members have been killed in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State following a bloody clash between two rival cult groups in the area.
The incident was among series of such incidents in the area even as the Nigeria Police recently announced the existence of over 24 cult groups in the state.

The Oracle Today gathered that the clash was between the Clansmen and the Black Axe Confraternities resulting in the shooting and hacking down of the victims.
This is coming on the heels of recent public renunciation of cultism by scores of students of the University of Uyo.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that one of the victims was hacked to death while two others were gunned down.
The incident had caused serious tension in the city of Eket as armed mobile policemen have taken over major streets of the oil city to forestall a further breakdown of law and order.

A source, who pleaded anonymity, said that one of the victims simply known as Dela met his untimely death while returning from watching a football match along Hospital Road in Eket.
He said one was killed at Salvation Army Road and the other along Eket-Oron road in Eket.
The current cult war is the second in three months that had claimed scores of lives.
Mr Bassey Edoho, a resident of Eket, said that the cult war might not end soon because of the fear that there would be further reprisal attacks.

He said that those killed were members of the Clan cult group.
Reacting to the development, the Akwa Ibom Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), ASP Ogechukwu Ikechukwu, confirmed the incident.
“One guy was cut to death in a suspected cult fight that took place in one of the streets in Eket,” he said.

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Ikechukwu Amadi, allegedly linked to Nigerian Neo-Black movement Black Axe crime group, and accused of romance scams on widows in Canada and US, granted bail by Toronto judge

September 5, 2017 by Kayla Kuefler

Breaking Fraud Cases from Canadian Courts

At Canadian Fraud News, we report on decisions issued by Canadian Courts related to fraud, that are not reported in the main stream media, and that contain legal issues the Canadian public and fraud recovery experts should be aware of. The following is one such story.

On July 4, 2017, the Ontario Superior Court released its decision in the bail hearing of Nigerian Ikechukwu Amadi. This decision addressed the issue of when serial fraudsters may be released on bail by Canadian Courts. The decision was not released by Canadian legal publishers to September 3, 2017 – almost two full months after Amadi was released.

The Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

On October 7, 2015, the Toronto police executed search warrants on his home and seized a number of electronic devices. Information obtained from those devices led to Mr. Amadi’s arrest on October 7, 2015 for laundering proceeds of crime.

On October 20, 2015, Mr. Amadi was released on bail related to the money laundering charges. His sureties were his wife, Chanda Lockhart-Amadi, and his friends, Imohini Ahonkhai and Shaheen Hemraj.

On October 22, 2015, the Toronto Star published an article entitled Toronto Police Link Romance Scam to $5M Money Laundering Scheme in US. The article contains a video of the Toronto Police press conference – see: The Star.

The video of the Press Conference provides information on the Nigerian Black Axe and Nigerian organized crime, as well as the nature of romance scams.

On November 25, 2016, Mr. Amadi made a variation application to, among other things, allow him to travel to Nigeria. The variation hearing was to be heard on December 14, 2016. However, on December 8, 2016, Mr. Amadi was arrested in Toronto pursuant to a U.S. extradition warrant.

Mr. Amadi, while a Canadian citizen, grew up in Nigeria and has strong ties to Nigeria. It hardly seems a coincidence that Mr. Amadi was attempting to travel to Nigeria at this time.

The U.S. charges involve a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving amounts somewhere in the range from 8.8 to 15 million dollars. Mr. Amadi is charged along with a number of associates with conspiracy to commit international wire and mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

The associates include Lineo Molefe, 31, of Toronto, and Akohomen Ighedoise, 41. Toronto police would like to speak to anyone who has interacted with a person or online profile named Martin Acker or Martin Acker Jr., an alias they say was used by Ighedoise.

The fraud involved setting up bank accounts for fraudulent funds and forging financial instruments, identification documents, passports and travel documents. Mr. Amadi is alleged to have used numerous aliases, phone numbers and email accounts.

Bail Attempt No. 1 – Denied

Mr. Amadi’s first bail application on the extradition warrant was heard by Morgan, J. of this Court on December 15, 2016. By decision released on December 20, 2016, Morgan, J. denied release.

Mr. Amadi had two sureties on the application before Morgan, J., his wife Chanda Lockhart-Amadi and his friend Imohimi Ahonkhai. The plan of supervision involved Mr. Amadi residing with his wife, a curfew and a total pledge of $45,000 by his sureties.

Ms. Lockhart-Amadi and Shaheena Hemraj offered to increase the total pledge to about $220,000. However, it was not clear to Morgan, J. where these funds were going to come from.

In denying bail, Morgan, J. was concerned about Mr. Amadi’s weak roots in the community, as well as his insufficiently restrictive plan of supervision, the insufficiency of financial terms, the lack of documentary support for the proposed pledges and the seriousness of the U.S. charges.

Morgan, J. found the international nature of the crimes, as well as the identity theft and passport forgery charges pointed to a substantial risk on the primary grounds.

Bail Attempt No. 2 – Denied

Mr. Amadi’s second application was heard by Clark, J. of this Court on January 11, 2017, and, by decision dated January 13, 2017, release was denied.

In the hearing before Clark, J., Mr. Amadi proposed the following as material changes in circumstances:

  1. an increase to five sureties;
  2. more substantial financial documentation;
  3. a proposed change in the residential surety to an additional person,
  4. his cousin Daniel Ahana, who is retired and will supervise Mr. Amadi on conditions amounting to house arrest;
  5. the other additional surety, David Shellnut, a long-time friend and a lawyer called to the bar in 2013, practicing with a prominent Toronto law firm; who pledged $25,000 of the equity in his condo, a loss of which he stated would exact a financial toll on him in view of his sizeable law school debt;
  6. from the proceeds of sale of their home, Mr. Amadi and his wife paid a security deposit of $22,800 to secure a two-year lease on their rental apartment; the five sureties together were willing to pledge about $330,000; and
  7. a proposal of full-time electronic monitoring.

Clark, J. was concerned that Mr. Amadi lacked sufficient roots in the community, that is, a sufficiently permanent connection to Canada particularly in view of the sale of his home. Clark, J.’s view was that the amount of the investment in the lease is paltry when set against the seriousness of the crimes and the length of time he stands to serve if convicted in the U.S. He was also concerned that the sale of the house suggests that he divested himself of property as part of a plan to flee the jurisdiction. There is evidence that Mr. Amadi knew of the U.S. charges pending against him when he did this.

Clark, J. also pointed out that the proposal for an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet was insufficient as the application lacked evidential support for the implementation and enforcement of this monitoring method. Clark, J.’s view was that even were there sufficient evidentiary support for this method, electronic monitoring has only at best a deterrent effect. It would not prevent flight. For those reasons, Clark, J. found the proposal for ankle bracelet monitoring does not represent a material change in circumstances in the context of the flight risk in this case.

Bail Attempt No. 3: Granted

Mr. Amadi’s third application was heard on June 29, 2017 by Allen, J. In the hearing before Allen J., Mr. Amadi proposed the following as material changes in circumstances: a sizeable increase in the amount of surety pledges – the five sureties offered pledges in the total amount of $529,500; and additional information related to an electronic ankle bracelet – Mr. Amadi provided an undertaking, by way of an affidavit from the proprietor of a company that offers this service, to supply the bracelet and provide monitoring services; materials describing the nature of the service were also filed.

Based on the change of circumstances, Allen J. granted interim release to Mr. Amati on the following terms:

  1. Mr. Amadi’s sureties shall be his wife, Chanda Lockhart-Amadi, Shaheena Hemraj, Imohimi Ahonkhai, Daniel Ahana and David Shellnut.
  2. The sureties shall provide security for their pledge in the following amounts:

(i) Chanda Lockhart-Amadi – $101,500

(ii) Shaheena Hemraj – $134,00

(iii) Imohimi Ahonkhai – $20,000

(iv) Daniel Ahana – $199,000

(v) David Shellnut – $75,000

  1. Mr. Amadi shall reside with his wife in the family home at 94-5260 McFarren Boulevard, Mississauga, Ontario. He shall notify the Toronto Police Fugitive Squad at least seven days prior to any change of residential address;
  2. Mr. Amadi shall not leave his residential address except when accompanied by one of his sureties and except in medical emergencies involving himself or his children;
  3. Mr. Amadi shall remain within the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, Ontario;
  4. Chanda Lockhart-Amadi shall supervise Mr. Amadi in the residence at times when she is not at work. She will obtain the support of Shaheena Hemraj, Imohimi Ahokhai, or Daniel Ahana when available to assist with supervision. One of Mr. Amadi’s sureties shall be in contact with Mr. Amadi on a daily basis during the time Ms. Lockhart-Amadi is outside the home;
  5. Mr. Amadi shall allow the installation of an ankle monitor and sign any required agreements with Discovery Science Corporation and abide by any contractual terms. The bracelet shall be installed at the Detention Centre facility before his release;
  6. Mr. Amadi shall not possess or apply for any passports or travel documents;
  7. Mr. Amadi shall report forthwith upon release to the Toronto Police Fugitive Squad at 2440 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto and thereafter on every Monday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.;
  8. Mr. Amadi shall not have access to the internet or any computer, phone, tablet or mobile device. The internet may only be accessed on a television for the purpose of entertainment;
  9. Mr. Amadi shall abstain from communication with his co-accused, Akohomen Ighedoise, and all co-conspirators listed in the Record of the Case; and
  10. Mr. Amadi shall have his extradition hearing within six months of the date of his release.

Anyone with information of Mr. Amati being in breach of his bail conditions should contact Toronto Police.

Mr. Amadi faces a possible 15 to 20-year sentence in the U.S. if found guilty.


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In Osogbo, Woman Hires Cultists To Kill Her Husband

July 18, 2017

A 39-year old housewife has been arrested by the police in Osogbo, Osun State capital for conspiring with others to kill her husband by stabbing him to death with a knife.

According to Olafimihan Adeoye, Commissioner of Police in Osun,  who addressed  journalists on Monday while parading a suspected accomplice in the killing, police detectives deployed to the scene of the murder  found inscription “No Price,  No Pay,  Aye Axe and Forgiveness is a sin,’’  written on the wall of  the house of the deceased.

The inscription is believed to be the slogan of Black Axe confraternity.

He said police investigation led to the arrest of a suspect, who on interrogation, alleged that the wife of the deceased hired him to kill her husband and also participated in the act.

He said the incident was reported to the police by one Salawudeen Jimoh on May 12.

Adeoye said Jimoh reported that  at about 3:00 am, two unknown men.

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Cross River: 17 feared dead in cult clashes

3rd July 2017

By Judex Okoro

Fifteen persons are feared dead in Cross River State communities over land battle.

This was just as cult war has claimed two lives in Yakurr.

While the communal conflict between Wanikade people and their Wanhihem neighbours in Yala Local Government Area took place at the weekend, the two persons were killed in a renewed cult clash between the Supreme Vikings Confraternity (SVC) and Black Axe on Friday, at Ugep, in Yakurr Local Government Area during a confrontation at the palace of the Obol Lopon of Ugep.

Following the cult war, the personal house of the paramount ruler of Yakurr and  Obol Lopon of Ugep, Obol Ofem Ubana Eteng, was destroyed by a mob protesting the cult war in the area, for over a week.

This occurred barely a week after about four persons were killed in a communal clash between Akampkpa and Ojor communities in Akampka Local Government Area of Southern Senatorial District of the state.

Investigations by Daily Sun indicated that the age-long squabble between the Wanikade and Wanhihem, both in Ukele North of Yala council, over a piece of farm and situated along the boundary of the two communities, have defied solution.

The recent outbreak of hostilities seem to be the climax leading to killing of innocent people and wanton destruction of houses, crops and more farms.

Narrating the incident, Chief Obok Okem, a traditional ruler in Wanikade community, said trouble started when a man from Utolo village, in Wanikade community, cleared his portion of land in readiness for cultivation.

Okem said surprisingly, a man from Wanhihem, a neighbour, claimed the land belongs to him and went ahead to cultivate the piece of land cleared by the Wanikade person, which led to an altercation between the duo and involvement of the youths

“The youths from Wanikade, in anger, moved in and levelled the heaps planted by the Wanhihem people on the piece of land cleared by the Wanikade person. The Wanhihem youths on their own launched a reprisal, which eventually led to a fight.

“The fight, which witnessed use of guns and machetes, lasted three days and subsequently resulted into killings and destruction of property worth millions, which rendered over 3,000 people homeless,” he recounted.

Okem said efforts by elders, on both sides, to stop the youths failed as it led to full-scale war among over five villages, on both sides.

Another witness, James Onah, from Wanihihen, said the fighting raged until Saturday, before soldiers and policemen from Okpoma Area Command could quell the conflict.

“Soldiers have been able to stop the fighting for now after the police could not but, so much destruction has been inflicted on both villages.”

Director General of State Emergency, John Inaku, who confirmed the incident, added: “Security situation between Okpuinya in Ogor clan and Wanhihem and Otulo in Otuka clan in Wanikade  in North Ukele of Yala is very bad.

“So far, houses have been burnt and property destroyed; there is total chaos in the warring communities.

“Refugees moving into Oju, neighbouring Benue State are many and we are moving in to ascertain the number and how to respond. The conflict started since June 25 and raged on till security moved in at the weakened. So, you can imagine the situation we are in. And this clash is caused by struggle for land.”

“So far, about 20 houses have been burnt and about 133 persons have run to Oju in neighbouring community to seek refuge.”

Inaku, who said he could not ascertain the actual death recorded so far, said: “We are trying to work with the chairman of Oju Local Government Area in Benue State and Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA),  Yala, Mr. Ekim Ignatius, to see how we can come to their rescue.”


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Cultist Spotted Walking With Gun Publicly During Funeral Procession Of Their Member

July 8, 2017

The appearance of members of the self-proclaimed “philanthropic” and “peaceful” organization (more accurately: global crime syndicate) NBM aka Black Axe speaks volumes about their true nature.


A cultist has shocked people after he was caught wielding a powerful gun during a funeral procession of their member.

As states in Nigeria continue to battle the spate of cultism, some members of of black axe cult group have allegedly been seen walking freely on the road in broad daylight with their guns.

The photo was shared on social media and the incident is believed to have happened in Benin, Edo state.

According to information gathered, the cultists were seen with the guns during the funeral procession of their member.

The cult members carried out their procession without any disturbance as people made way for them, according to National Helm.

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CORRUPTION: Police accept, commend building donated by ‘deadly cult’ group Black Axe

June 4, 2017

You know that something is seriously wrong with a country when the police have their buildings erected by a crime syndicate that is prohibited by the laws of said country. Corruption of the highest order!


The Nigeria Police on Saturday accepted and also commended a building donated to it by the Neo Black Movement of Africa.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police coordinating police operations in the South-south states, Mr. Emmanuel Inyang, thanked the movement for constructing and handing over the building to the Cross River Police Command.

Inyang who was represented by the Cross River Police Commissioner, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa made the commendation in Calabar during the 13th annual lecture and 40th anniversary celebration of the movement.

He stated that the Neo Black Movement through its philanthropic activities has shown that it was an organisation with good intentions for the development of society.

According to him, the building was constructed with surprising speed and will go a long way to assist the force, which he said, is underfunded with inadequate personnel to effectively police the nation.

He also called on Nigerians to man to assisted the people through provision of working tools and supply of information to enhance their operations.

The Neo Black Movement, also known as Black Axe is regarded by many as a secret cult group which has wrecked havoc in many Nigerian universities.

Many student have been killed and many more maimed for life due to activities of the Black Axe in several crashes with other secret cult groups in the nation’s ivory towers.

The movement had sometime in 2015 dragged the police to a Federal High Court in Lagos for arresting some of its members who were said to be having a meeting at an hotel in Ogba area of the state.

Also, last year, more than 20 members of the Black Axe who were described as a Nigerian mafia gang, were rounded up during raids in Italy.

The suspects were accused of being involved in a catalogue of criminal activities, from prostitution and protection rackets to drug dealing and human trafficking.

Meanwhile, last year, a member of the Black Axe was reportedly killed, and several others injured during a gun fight with policemen in Owerri, Imo State

Operatives were said to have descended on the group allegedly terrorising residents of Egbu community.

The deputy commissioner of police in the state, Dave Akinremi, told journalists that several suspected cultists were arrested during the raid after a gun battle.

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In Palermo, women are slaves to a dark underworld

by Sean Williams

Sicily’s manic, multicultural capital is buckling under the weight of a migrant crisis. Meanwhile, a new criminal enterprise is laying roots in its ancient heart, working with Mafiosi to traffick drugs and women whose lives are being destroyed.


Don Emeka was drinking at a popular Nigerian bar in Palermo’s moldering city center when the attack happened. It was 2014. Three fellow Nigerians surrounded him. At first they were friendly, asking him to join them. But he refused: He knew who they were and, more importantly, which gang they belonged to. Everybody knew the Black Axe and how, over the past year, they had been laying roots in the lawless Ballaro district, selling crack and heroin and women coerced from the West African nation with Juju threats of spiritual damnation.

When the men realized Emeka wouldn’t join them they became angry. One took his glass. Then suddenly he was on the floor, his arm and face slashed wide open. Blood was pouring out. He thought he would die. Only the quick work of emergency services saved his life.

Emeka’s three assailants ran away, but one, Austin Ewosa — known locally as John Bull — was later apprehended. Ewosa faces charges of assault, attempted murder and association with a criminal network, all of which he denies. The attack bore all the hallmarks of the Black Axe, a former Nigerian university campus confraternity that has become a major global crime syndicate. Emeka’s horrendous injuries were a warning to anybody else who might think to question the group’s authority.

When we met last month in Ballaro, a historic, tightly wound web of tenements and churchyards in Palermo’s ancient center, Emeka spoke hesitantly and with a stutter. The attack has traumatized him. His wounds have closed, but the scars that snake down his face and forearm are huge. He has an iron plate in his arm and cannot work in construction, one of the few jobs open to unskilled migrants who have come to Sicily from Lampedusa or Libya. He lives in a flophouse nearby and rarely speaks to fellow residents.

“I have nothing,” he said. “No phone, no life. What can I do?”

Emeka’s experience is particularly horrific and unique in Ballaro. But his sense of despair is not. Barely a week passes without thousands more migrants arriving on Sicily’s southern shores. In 2016, over 150,000 people — most of them Africans — made the potentially deadly journey from Libya to Italy. All are processed through special-made camps. Many then find their way to Ballaro.

That Ballaro is home to thousands of migrants is nothing new. It has been a place of multicultural commerce for over 1,000 years. Its first mention was in the diary of a Baghdadi merchant, and its name, many believe, comes from an ancient Arabic town called Balhara, from where many of its early traders are said to have originated.

Ballaro is also home to Palermo’s largest street market, one of four that have existed since the Norman Empire invaded in the 11th century. Each day before dawn, thousands of traders set up shop under brightly colored canopies, selling everything from fruit and meat to batteries and badminton rackets. During the daytime Ballaro is chaotic and cosmopolitan. Panglossian cries of “Amuni!” (“Let’s go”) or “Bello pre!” (“Good price”) ring out along its crumbling alleyways.

Many of Ballaro’s piazze have street signs in Italian, Arabic and Hebrew — a nod to its past straddling a dazzling array of civilizations. Sicily has been conquered by Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Byzantines, Normans and Arabs, all of whom have left an indelible mark on Palermo. The locals speak an Italian dialect packed full of Arabic and Spanish words. The local food is distinctly North African: In the four days I visited, I didn’t eat a single pasta dish.

In recent years, far-right groups like Lega Nord and the 5 Star Movement have flourished in northern Italy. Not so in Sicily. Its political landscape is dominated by the center-left Democratic Party. Leoluca Orlando, Palermo’s mayor, has been unflinching in his support of migrants. He is known to greet each boat that arrives, telling their passengers, “You are citizens of Palermo now.” Adham Darwarsha, a 36-year-old Palestinian doctor, is the city council’s president. He speaks several languages and is similarly supportive of migrants.

But life for migrants in Palermo is tough. Most are housed first at the Caltanissetta refugee camp, in the center of Sicily, before making their way to the city. There they find lodgings in halfway houses and migrant centers. Many end up in Ballaro.

Documentation can take months, and jobs are scarce. Youth unemployment has leapt from 65 percent to 71.2 percent in the past 10 years. Many migrants are trapped in a cycle of bureaucracy and boredom. I met a 31-year-old Nigerian man for Moroccan stew at Moltivolti (“Many Faces”), a restaurant owned and run by a former Afghan soldier. He has lived in Palermo for 18 months and still does not have resident papers.

“I try to make things happen fine,” he told me. “But the government keeps fighting against me. And I don’t know why. Every time I meet with them they treat me like I’m a criminal. And the funniest point is, when they meet criminals and these guys who take drugs, they don’t treat them in this way.

“I’m trying to discover myself, lead a good life. Honestly speaking, I’m really tired of this country. I don’t know how to do it.”

With its gateway location, Palermo has long been a hub for organized crime — and Ballaro is ground zero. Even by day, when tourists teem along the marketplace, contraband is sold in abundance and illegal parking attendants take €0.50 a vehicle. Mafiosi still levy a protection tax from locals, called pizzo. Each weekend, in a small square, visitors can find the “market of stolen items,” where anything from TV sets to exotic animals are traded under the noses of the local police.

Most of Ballaro’s black marketeers belong to Cosa Nostra, better known as the Sicilian Mafia, which has controlled the island’s criminal industry since the 19th century. Their stranglehold has been vice-like, and brutal; in the Second Mafia War of the 1980s, over 1,000 people were killed. From 1986 to 1992, 475 gangsters were held in a special-made bunker-courthouse during what was coined the “Maxi Trial.” It was the largest mafia trial in history.

Since then, Cosa Nostra’s hold on Palermo has waned a little. But they are still ever-present in Ballaro, having stayed in the neighborhood even when it was destroyed during the 1943 Allied invasion and lay empty for decades after. Some Mafiosi keep illegal race horses tied up in alleys. One Mafia family owns nine funeral homes on the same, small stretch of cobblestoned street just off the market. “It’s a complete solution,” a friend joked. “They do everything from the killing to the funeral.”

In 2015, the Financial Times reported that Cosa Nostra had learned to make money from the migrant crisis, skimming cash meant for migrant housing and daily allowance costing the Italian government up to €800 million per year. “Welcoming migrants has become big business,” an anti-Mafia campaigner told the paper.

Others disagree. “There is no evidence that Cosa Nostra has entered the most lucrative new market, the smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean to Sicily,” writes Federico Varese in his new book, Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime. “Mafiosi do not have the connections in Libya or the expertise to oversee thousands of trips from a war-torn territory.

“It is impossible for Mafiosi to demand protection money from smugglers based across the Mediterranean Sea,” Varese adds. “As most migrants are intercepted at sea, there is no way for the Mafia to charge a ‘landing’ fee. Even if they did, the smugglers could easily change the landing site to an area the Mafia cannot reach.”

But there are many more ways to make a fortune in Ballaro. And thanks to an influx of Nigerian gang members, the district’s black market is becoming more dangerous.

Father Enzo Volpe has been working at the Church of Santa Chiara since 2012. Its shelter has hosted migrants since 1988 — one of the first in Italy to do so — and when I met him, the church’s courtyard thronged with life. Children played soccer and skipped rope as the smell of fruit drifted from the marketplace nearby.

Volpe is a gigantic man, around six-feet-six, with a five o’clock shadow and a beaming smile. As we spoke, children of all backgrounds came up to him for a hello and a hug. He is on the “front lines” of a new crisis, he says. It is his religious duty to care for every migrant that steps onto the Sicilian shore. “This city has always been a place where identities and cultural exchanges have been treasured,” he said. “This interaction was always seen as a good thing.”

Lately, though, Volpe has seen a new trend: Hundreds of young Nigerian women come to Palermo to work as prostitutes for compatriots in groups like the Black Axe. According to police records, 90 percent of Palermo’s sex workers are Nigerian. “Usually after they arrive they’re right away sent to the streets and forced to have sex with clients,” Volpe said. “They’re in slavery.”

Most women are sent to tiny brothels in the warren-like center of Ballaro. I visited one on my last evening in Palermo, located at the back of an alley where Bangladeshi and West African families hung laundry between its apartment buildings, blocking out the early evening moonlight. Up two flights of stairs, I sat and drank beer while Ghanaian hip-hop played on an iPod and German news flickered on a giant flatscreen television.

One madam sat beside the television, receiving guests and selling them drugs from a sock on her lap. In a back room, young men sat and smoked weed at a table, lit only by a dark light and disco ball. On either side, velvet curtains marked the entrance to two small dugouts. “That’s where the girls are kept,” my contact, a Nigerien named Rachid, told me.

After around 45 minutes we left, passing dozens of similarly curtained doorways and windows until we reached Porco Rosso, a bar and social center that helps undocumented migrants. The women are paid around €15 per client, Rachid said, about €10 of which goes to the gang members who hold her captive. According to the Mafia code, Cosa Nostra refuses to deal in prostitution. But they levy pizzo on the Nigerians anyway.

“There are a lot of Nigerian families who work,” Volpe told me. “But there are a lot of Nigerian men who are usually inside these organizations, and other men are drug dealers. They’re very isolated compared to the others. They’re very smart people, but they are more isolated.” He barely speaks to Nigerian men but has helped some Nigerian women pull themselves away from sex slavery.

By day, Ballaro’s market is awash with life and color, a friendly and fantastic assault on the senses. When the market shuts up for the day, at 7 a.m., the district lives a second life. Shutters come down and gangsters come out. Some Italian stores moonlight as African bars each night. Partygoers crowd squares to sit on beer crates, drink contraband alcohol and smoke under-the-counter cigarettes sold for a few cents per stick.

Each street is carefully cleaved between Mafia and Nigerian rule. The drug market has been successful for years. But the Nigerians have begun selling harder stuff like crack and heroin. The criminal gangs have, for the most part, remained harmonious, with a clear hierarchy from the Nigerians up to the Sicilians.

But there have been incidents. Last year, Yusupha Susso, a 21-year-old Gambian, was shot in the head by Emanuele Rubino, a man alleged to have mob ties. On other occasions, homes given by the state to migrants have been torched by Mafiosi angered not to have taken their cut of the welfare. The situation has become so precarious that journalists have flocked to Palermo. Some locals call the craze “Palermo Noir.” The police conduct intermittent raids and arrests. But by and large they keep Ballaro’s underworld at arm’s length.

That may have worked years before. But now, with so many women being held as slaves, authorities must do something to ensure their safety. Many Nigerian women are held as psychological prisoners using Juju: The women are told back home they must pay their debts or suffer spiritual calamity or death.

It is this psychological trauma people like Volpe are trying to fight, to make Nigerian women in Palermo understand they can leave their abusers and live a happy life. It is an uphill struggle. The pull of Juju and an income — however bleak — is strong. And, as people like Don Emeka have found, the Black Axe and its affiliates do not take kindly to acts of defiance.

The time is right for Palermo’s authorities to use force and free these women themselves. Until then, it will be left to church and charity groups to try to save the thousands of women forced into slavery in the city’s ancient heart. As my visit to Ballaro showed, that is tragically far from enough.

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Cult war: Aye killed 12 of our members – suspects

May 24, 2017

Three suspected members of Eiye confraternity Wednesday blamed the Black Axe (Aye) group for the death of 12 of their members at Seriki Village in Ogun State.

A Beninnois, Moses Anthony 20, Kabiru Ajao 28 and Samson Adagu 25, were paraded by the spokesperson for the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone II, Onikan, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent (SP).

According to Badmos, the suspects were responsible for numerous murders in the area including that of the leader of Aye, Lanre Welder.

She said three guns were recovered from the “killer squad.”

Badmos said: “The Zonal Intervention Squad received information that some cultists were always disturbing the peace of Seriki village. They stormed the community arrested three suspects, while others escaped. A search of their houses led to the discovery of ammunition and guns.

“The suspects confessed to have been involved in killings and counter killings. AIG Adamu Ibrahim has directed that investigations be thorough and suspects charge to court. They’ll be charged for murder and cultism.”

But the suspects, who admitted to have killed only Welder, said they did it to retaliate the murder of their members including a 400level Animal and Health Studies student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Olakunle Adekunle alias Carlous said to be their leader.

They claimed that two traction al rulers were sponsoring the cult wars, alleging that one of the monarchs hired Aye members to rid his community of Eiye boys.

Callous was stoned to death by suspected members of Aye. His head was said to have been smashed.

Although the fight between the rival cults groups have been on for many years, Adagu said things got worst with the death of leaders of both groups.

Ajao said: “I didn’t go with the gang on the day Lanre Welder was killed. He was killed this month but Callous was murdered last month. I don’t know why Callous was killed but the killers are working for a certain monarch.”

Adagu, an artisan said: “It was Aiye members that killed Carlous. When his friends on campus heard about his death, they came to Seriki village and joined forces with Eiye members there. They carried out a reprisal and shot Lanre Welder, a member of Aiye, to death. Aiye members are seriously waging war against Eiye members. They have killed more than 12 of our members.”

Anthony, a bricklayer, denied killing anyone, adding that Callous was his brother. He claimed he was in his house when policemen came and arrested him.

He said: “I came to Nigeria in 2010 to work as a bricklayer. A friend initiated me into Eiye. I have never killed anyone. My brother, Callous was killed on the road by Aiye members. They ambushed him. Eight of his friends came from school to avenge his death. They killed Lanre Welder. All the guns belonged to Callous. He brought them from school.”

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Scandal: Meet Nigerian bishop who is a member of Black Axe

May 23, 2017

Just few days ago the photos of a Nigerian bishop identified as, Emeka Andrew, went viral on social media after he was  been accused of allegedly being a member of a dreaded cult group known as Black Axe.

This information was gathered by when a Facebook user identified as Raymond Martins shared the picture post shared by a user identified as Raymond Martins who posted photos of the bishop with members of Black Axe on his Facebook page. In his post, Martins expressed that the bishop is a proud member of the Neo Black Movement of Africa Worldwide (NBM) also known as Black Axe.

It was gathered that NBM is a confraternity founded in the University of Benin in 1977. According to Wikipedia, the Obafemi Awolowo University massacre in 1999 was perpetrated by a squad of 40 members of the Black Axe.

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