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Police bust alleged Somali migrant trafficking ring

Suspects include Kenya Italian embassy and WFP employees

15 January, 13:01
Police bust alleged Somali migrant trafficking ring (ANSA) - Rome, January 15 - Police on Tuesday arrested 55 Somali nationals in connection with the alleged trafficking of migrants from the Horn of Africa to northern Europe via Italy. The suspects include Hussein Mohamed Abdurahman, known as 'Banje', a cultural mediator at the Italian embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and Mohamed Sheik Ali Bashir, who works for the Rome-based United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP). They face various charges including assisting unlawful immigration, forgery of documents, illegal financial activities and money laundering. A further 23 people have been reported in connection with the alleged trafficking activities and businesses, bank accounts, money transfer agencies and other assets thought to be linked to the criminal organisation are to be sequestered. The alleged trafficking ring had operational units in Kenya, Libya and Italy, where the illegal immigrants were supplied with false documents at logistical bases in Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence, Prato, Bergamo, Cuneo and Naples before being sent on to Netherlands, France, Denmark, Britain, Norway, Sweden and Finland. The organisation is believed to have had a turnover of 25 million euros a year.