Dutch arrests in trafficking gang bust

At least six people have been arrested in the Netherlands and more than 50 taken into custody in Italy as Dutch and Italian police dismantled an extensive Nigeria-based drugs and people-smuggling gang, according to international media reports on Wednesday.

Last October over 20 arrests were made in the same investigation, mostly in the Netherlands.
According to news agency AFP, Dutch police have identified over 100 Nigerian women and girls who were forced into prostitution in west Africa and then sent on to Amsterdam where they were told they would get political asylum as the victims of trafficking.
At least 120 girls have disappeared from Dutch asylum seekers’ centres over the past two years. In October, the public prosecution department said several had been found working as street prostitutes in France, Italy and Spain.
Tuesday’s arrests are ‘the final act in an investigation which began in the Netherlands,’ Tom Driessen, head of the Dutch detective agency KLPD told Wednesday’s Volkskrant. ‘It is unique… the main suspects have been arrested, the line of people smugglers has been exposed right back to its roots.’
Since the arrests last year, only one under-aged Nigerian girl has claimed asylum in the Netherlands, Driessen said. Before then, they arrived at the rate of 100 a year.
Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Pietro Grsso said the arrests had dealt a major blow to a dangerous gang centred on the Nigerian city of Lagos.

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