Passports, ID cards, licences and residence permits, scattered around the room and hidden in the mattress. All all around there were stamps and printers. There were hundreds of photo IDs attached to the wall. A raid by the municipal police in Naples revealed the existence of a headquarters for the production of counterfeit documents. 7500 to be precise: inside was a Ghanese citizen, Mohammed Alì Tahiru, arrested while he was leaving his home with thirty documents to deliver. The clandestine printworks was in a slum home in the top floor of the vico Fundaco Vicaria Vecchia, a building in the Garibaldi square area, not far from the mosque on Via Torino. And according to what the investigators have been able to piece together, it is precisely in front of this place of prayer that agreements with would-be purchasers were made.
Stamps of Caserta, Rome and Bologna were also found inside the printworks, and 3,000 euros in cash. Among the fake documents seized there were also one hundred blank identity cards stolen from the municipality of Portici and twenty from the commune of Naples. Attached to the wall were more than three hundred photos, presumably of customers waiting to receive the documents they had ordered. Several documents referred to the same person but with different identities. Mohammed Alì Tahiru – investigators declared –took requests in the morning outside the mosque on Via Torino, promising delivery of the documents in the afternoon.
The investigators said the arrested man claimed he earned 20 euros per piece. At the time of his detention, the Ghanaian resisted, trying to discard documents. In the mattress, the arrested man had hid passports from the USA, Spain and Italy. In a corner of the apartment were found the latest generation of laser printers and three computers.