A police officer outside a migrant reception center in Sardinia, Italy, where a massive drug trafficking operation was managed | Photo: ANSA
A police officer outside a migrant reception center in Sardinia, Italy, where a massive drug trafficking operation was managed | Photo: ANSA

Italian authorities arrested eight people as part of an investigation into drug trafficking managed at a migrant reception center in Trinità d'Agultu on the island of Sardinia.

Italian authorities uncovered a drug trafficking ring operating out of a migrant reception center in the town of Trinità d'Agultu on the island of Sardinia. 

The operation followed a five-month investigation carried out by Carabinieri police in Valledoria with the support of the Sardegna Carabinieri helicopter unit, the Abbasanta K9 unit, and the provincial command of Sassari. 

On May 22, Carabinieri police carried out eight arrest warrants issued by preliminary hearing judges (GIP) at the Court of Tempio Pausania on the request of the head prosecutor of Gallura, which coordinated the investigation into the eight Nigerians between 22 and 36 years old. 

All of the suspects were guests at the La Paduledda migrant reception centre in the town of Trinità d'Agultu. 

An intensive drug-dealing operation 

The investigation began after numerous syringes were found at the reception facility. 

Trailing and observation allowed the Carabinieri to uncover an intensive retail operation of drug-dealing in massive quantities, with mainly Italian clients coming from tourist destinations across northern Sardinia to buy mainly heroin. 

Searches and seizures of heroin and marijuana 

The drug dealers held the prepared doses in their mouths and gave them to buyers after taking money or receiving marijuana in exchange. 

Carabinieri have arrested 15 people in all since the investigation began, reported two and issued administrative citations to many others as consumers. 

In addition to carrying out pre-trial custody orders, the Carabinieri also conducted about 15 searches, which allowed them to seize more than two kilograms overall in heroin and marijuana. 

Among the suspects is a Nigerian citizen who lived in Sassari and provided drugs to the dealers staying at the reception center in the Gallura region.
 

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