A still from a police video documenting the drug peddling in Modena, Emilia Romagna, part of an operation leading to the arrest of 18 unaccompanied migrant minors | Photo: ANSA/POLIZIA DI STATO
A still from a police video documenting the drug peddling in Modena, Emilia Romagna, part of an operation leading to the arrest of 18 unaccompanied migrant minors | Photo: ANSA/POLIZIA DI STATO

Italian police said they arrested 18 unaccompanied migrant minors who had arbitrarily left their shelters and were involved in drug dealing on the main squares of Modena, in the region of Emilia Romagna.

The Italian police conducted an operation aimed at 18 persons who were under investigation for posession and drug dealing in the city of Modena. Ten of them have been placed under preventive detention in prison, police said.

The investigation, launched in March 2021, coordinated by the prosecution, focused on a group of unaccompanied migrant minors, who, as explained by the police headquarters, had arbitrarily left the assistance shelters and were involved in drug dealing on the city's squares.

Minors 'recruited' for drug dealing

The unaccompanied migrant minors, mostly of Tunisian and Moroccan nationalities, had reportedly left the shelter structured they were placed in, and were involved in a drug peddling ring in the specific areas of the city (between the bus station and Novi Sad park).

Hundreds of drug sales were reportedly registered through telephone tapping and videos. It was thanks to some information and alerts to the local police that the mobile squad, coordinated by the prosecution of Modena and Bologna, conducted an investigation leading, on Wednesday (September 28), to a pre-trial detention order for 18 suspects.

For ten of them the measure requires they remain in prison as a precautionary measure and for eight the prohibition of residence, according to the police.

The investigation regards the possible detention and protracted sale of drugs, cocaine and hashish in town between March and September 2021.

€32,000 and 400 grams of drugs confiscated

"The total number of police units used in the operation totals sixty, between local and state police," explained Mario Paternoster, head of the patrol.

"The investigation started from a previous one which had focused on the issue of unaccompanied migrant minors. We noticed how these minors, once they reached Modena, voluntarily abandoned their shelter communities where they were hosted and were recruited for drug peddling," said Paternoster.

The ring reportedly included the key persons who were in charge of buying the drugs and then there was a supply chain who, through the work of these 'phone operators', delivered the drugs to the various clients.

During the search operations in one home, 380 grams of cocaine and €23,000 were found. In total €32,000 and 400 grams of drugs were found during all searches.

 

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