The largely abandoned former seaside resort town of Castel Volturno north of Naples has been taken over by Nigerian gangs who run drug and prostitution rings.
The town has a total population of around 30,000 people, of which an estimated 20,000 are migrants, French news magazine L’Obs reports.
Many of the Nigerian migrant women who walk the streets as prostitutes are underage, offering sexual favours for as little as 5 to 15 euros along the Via Domitiana by the sea.
The rampant petty crime and violence in the city has led to journalists wanting to write about the town requiring police escorts for their own safety.
The current Italian government, which is seeking re-election on March 4th, has signed a 21-million euro package to increase security in towns like Castel Volturno and offer integration programmes for migrants.
The mayor of Castel Volturno, Dimitri Russo, said that the government’s measures will likely not be enough to stem the rising tide of crime. Russo said that the problem was that the city was no longer dealing with an organised traditional mafia but many gangs of “predatory” criminal migrants.
Even African residents of the town have started to complain about the mass migration of illegals into the town. A resident named Martin commented: “We live in an abandoned place, we cannot accept all these people because we do not have the strength or the means to educate them. We are not in Africa, but in a civilized country, and these people need to be educated.”
It is unclear how many illegal migrants live in Italy, though former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said the number is as high as 600,000. Berlusconi promised to deport at least 600,000 illegals if his party wins the upcoming national election, while his coalition partner and leader of the populist Lega party Matteo Salvini has made a similar promise.
Nigerian criminals have also been a focus of the elections due to the brutal murder of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro, who was killed and then had her body dismembered and left by the side of the road in suitcases, allegedly by a Nigerian drug dealer.