ITA GDF Laundering, Human Trafficking


On Nov. 22, ITA GDF dismantled organization with links to Nigeria.


  • ITA GDF dismantled international criminal organization laundering illicit funds and trafficking with human beings then subjected to prostitution and quasi-slavery.
  • Overview
  • Executed order for personal precautionary measures dismantling criminal organization of Nigerian nationals seriously suspected of crimes of international money laundering.
  • Laundering of illicit proceeds and also abusive exercise of payment service activities.
  • Numerous individuals involved in the investigations also suspected of being part of extensive network involved in crimes of aiding and abetting illegal immigration.
  • Also crimes against individual freedom and exploitation of prostitution, with the aggravating circumstance of transnationality.
  • Investigation involving 122 people, some linked to foreign-born criminal organization EIYE-Supreme Confraternity of Air Lords, developed in 2 parallel investigative lines.
  • Human Trafficking
  • First line per data subsequently corroborated by complaint of woman smuggled into Italy, regarding the existence of extensive network operating between Nigeria-Italy.
  • That forced young Nigerian women, under promises of job opportunities in Italy, to assume each debt, of 25 000-50 000 euros, including the costs of the trip to Italy.
  • Onerous debts that, in practice, victims would have had to pay to obtain freedom in exchange and avoid harmful consequences for themselves and their families in Nigeria.
  • Once recruited and entered to Italy, they were harassed, subdued and placed in state of psychological vulnerability (celebration of macabre voodoo rites to guarantee debt).
  • The investigations made it possible to identify a network structure divided in 3 criminal groups rooted, respectively, in Sardinia, in Piedmont and in Emilia Romagna.
  • With extensive operations in other Italian areas, countries dedicated to cited crimes.
  • Identified victims, 50 Nigerian women, recruited, led by their Nigerian compatriots.
  • Money Laundering
  • In parallel, investigations identified the methods to launder proceeds of the crimes.
  • Mainly destined to real estate investments in Nigeria, implemented via use of suitcase couriers, carrying out of top-ups on prepaid cards or through money-transfer channels.
  • Of particular importance was the capillarity and extension of the hawala system used by the suspects for the informal transfer of money or valuables abroad.
  • I.e. system which migrants usually use to send savings to their families of origin as it allows them to overcome bureaucratic barriers of conventional systems.
  • But also to send funds to isolated areas where bank/financial institutions not present.
  • It is illegal in most Western countries, as it is used by criminals and terrorist groups to finance their criminal activities/conceal proceeds per anonymity and non-traceability.
  • Other Aspects
  • The elements collected, enriched with financial investigations and evaluation of 63 reports of suspicious transaction demonstrated the existence of a criminal association.
  • Dedicated to commission, in transnational form, of money laundering crimes from illegal activities, unauthorized payment services via transfer of money among states.
  • More details of the operation, arrests and seizures provided in the press release.

Regulators ITA GDF
Entity Types Bank; CNSM; MSB
Reference PR 11/22/2021
Functions AML; Financial; Human Rights; Operations; Registration/Licensing; Risk; Technology; Treasury
Countries Italy; Nigeria; Cross-Border
Products Banking; Cards; Corporate; Payments; Wealth Mgt
Regions EMEA
Rule Type Enforcement
Rule Date 11/22/2021
Effective Date 11/22/2021
Rule Id 122106
Linked to
Reg. Last Update 11/22/2021
Report Section AML & Enforcement

Last substantive update on 11/24/2021