Statistics from Italian police have shown that around one-fifth of the total arrests made last year in the country were of foreigners.

The report claims that 5,173 people were arrested by the country’s police force last year and that of those, 990 were foreign-born nationals, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

The police added that Albanians and Nigerians were the largest groups of foreigners represented in the statistics followed by Moroccans, Romanians, and Tunisians.

The number of arrests — around one in five — is in stark contrast to the total foreign population of Italy which sits at just 8.7 percent or less than one in ten, according to Italian official demographic statistics.

Italy has developed major problems with Nigerian mafia gangs in recent years with a bust in February showing one mafia group to have used voodoo rituals and threats of violence to keep trafficked prostitutes obeying their orders.

The group was shown to be part of a much larger network in Nigeria and Libya which would coordinate the trafficking of women into Italy illegally so that they could be forced to work the streets as prostitutes.

Italian criminologist Alessandro Meluzzi also highlighted the brutality of the Nigerian mafia last year after it was revealed that the prime suspect in the murder and dismemberment of Italian teen Pamela Mastropietro had been a Nigerian drug dealer.

“What we have seen in the case of Pamela are the same methods the Nigerian mafia systematically employs in Nigeria and elsewhere. It is a routine to cut victims into pieces and, in some cases, to eat parts of their bodies, ” Meluzzi said.

While the number of arrests of foreigners stood at one-fifth of the national total, the number of crimes thought to be committed by foreigners in Italy is much higher according to a 2018 report which claimed as many as one in three crimes is committed by a foreigner.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)
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