Close to one thousand Nigerian asylum seekers vanished without a trace from Dutch reception centers in 2019, prompting some to believe that many of those who disappeared have been trafficked.
The reports, obtained by Argos and the newspaper NRC Handelsblad from the Netherland’s Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), indicate that many of the disappeared migrants – some of whom are pregnant women – could’ve been trafficked.
Last year, no less than 961 Nigerian asylum seekers staying at Dutch reception centers disappeared without a trace. This January, another 128 Nigerian asylum seekers went missing. Although some are believed to have returned to Nigeria or Italy, which is an important arrival point for Nigerians in Europe, no one knows for sure where these asylum seekers disappeared to or what happened to them.
According to the report from Argos, the amount of disappearances (2,461) are connected to the considerable uptick in Nigerians seeking asylum in the Netherlands in 2019. To put things into perspective, in 2018 the number of Nigerian asylum seekers that disappeared from Dutch reception centers amounted to just 200.
Many of the disappeared Nigerians are believed to have been forced into drug smuggling or prostitution in order to pay off large debts which they owe to people smugglers for bringing them to the Netherlands.
“The women absolutely don’t want to go back to Italy,” an employee at a Dutch reception center said. “They are worried about the trafficker whom they still owe €20,000. He is threatening to come to the Netherlands.”
Nigerian organized crime gangs, which recently have gained footholds throughout Europe, are likely involved in the disappearances of many of the asylum seekers.
Voice of Europe has reported extensively on Black Axe, a Nigerian criminal organization that’s well-known for human trafficking, prostitution, drug running, fraud, and use of bizarre occult rituals to brainwash its underlings.
Black Axe has even managed to gain a foothold in major cities in Sweden like Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and Uppsala, as previously reported by Voice of Europe.
Last December, Italian police arrested 32 alleged members of two Nigerian organized crime outfits during coordinated sweeps in the southern province of Bari. Most of the arrests were made at a reception center for migrants and Cara of Bari-Palease reception center for migrants, Voice of Europe reported.
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Author: Arthur Lyons
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