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German police arrest 11 suspected members of Nigerian black axe cult

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German police arrested 11 suspected members of a Nigerian mafia group known as the Black Axe in connection with a large-scale dating scam that targeted victims internationally.

The Black Axe gang, notorious for its involvement in various criminal activities including human trafficking, fraud, money laundering, prostitution, and drug trafficking, had a particularly strong focus in Germany on romance scams and money laundering operations.

During the police raids, which targeted 19 properties including homes and refugee shelters, authorities seized evidence implicating the suspects in the illicit activities of the gang.

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All 11 individuals arrested are Nigerian citizens, with most of them having resided in Germany for several years. The alleged gang members range in age from 29 to 53.

The police said that the dating scam was a “modern form of marriage fraud…. Using false identities, the fraudsters for example signalled their intention to marry and in the course of further contact repeatedly demand money under various pretexts. ”

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“The money was subsequently transferred to Black Axe in Nigeria “via financial agents.”

The Black Axe gang, with an estimated membership of around 30,000 worldwide, operates under the guise of the Neo Black Movement of Africa, ostensibly a charitable organization. However, police assert that this serves as a cover for the gang’s criminal operations.

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In Germany alone, the gang’s dating scams resulted in significant financial losses, with 450 reported cases in Bavaria in 2023 amounting to €5.3 million ($5.7 million).

The fraudsters employed elaborate schemes, creating fake profiles on social networks and dating platforms to deceive victims into sending them money.

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