In Marseille, justice got its hands on a gang known for its ultraviolent methods. Ten years in prison were requested Monday in Marseille against nine members of the Nigerian criminal gang “Arrow Baga”, designated as perpetrators of gang rapes of prostitutes. Fifteen defendants in total have been on trial since November 6 for their membership in one of the Nigerian mafia gangs which established a foothold in the Marseille city a few years ago. They resort to extreme violence as part of rivalries between these former student brotherhoods but also within their own organizations.
Identifiable by their red outfits, the “Arrow Baga” are today widely established in France’s second city, like their compatriots and enemies of the “Black Axes” (the blacks) or the “Eiyes” (the blues). “Trials of this magnitude are rare”, underlined in her indictment the prosecutor Marion Luna, who called on the court to be very firm after having detailed for four hours the activities of the gang, mainly pimping and aid to the entry and stay of migrants. “You are not going to eradicate the Nigerian mafia in Marseille but this investigation has slowed their progress. You must tell others, those who are not there, that such organizations are prohibited,” she argued.
The most serious facts concern rapes – which the investigating judge penalized as sexual assaults – suffered over two hours by four Nigerian prostitutes on March 30, 2020. In an apartment in a very degraded condominium transformed into a squat, around twenty men had burst in to demand money from these women who had stopped prostituting themselves on public roads due to confinement. For two hours they will rape them then rob them of hundreds of euros, under threat of knives and a pistol.
Only one of these four victims testified in court. On the first day of the trial, another young woman also recounted her ordeal, after having been the victim a year earlier of the same gang rape in an abandoned villa in the northern districts of Marseille serving as a meeting place and initiation to “Arrow Baga”. ” THE cults “Nigerians have a method of breaking prostitutes with rape and beating them to keep them in their service,” said Ms. Luna, emphasizing that, for them, “rape is a punishment, a weapon of domination.”
For the prosecutor, these women who accused and named their rapists are telling the truth: “Do you think the victims would put their lives at risk? Because if they arrest just one german (name given to the members of the gang), death awaits them! “, she argued. Sentences ranging from four to nine years in prison were requested against six other defendants, tried for pimping or aiding illegal stay. The prosecutor also asked the court to find all the defendants guilty of criminal conspiracy.
An arrest warrant has been requested against Dammy Adenekian, one of the three leaders – called Doctor One – of the “Arrow Baga”, on the run in Italy, as well as against David Ofeiwu, alias J-Boy, one of his “henchmen”. The latter had himself been a victim, in February 2020, of violence which does not spare gang members. The young man survived a fall from the sixth floor of a squatted building, after being deliberately pushed.
The prosecutor also asked the court to order a permanent ban from French territory for twelve of the fifteen defendants. It is now the defense’s turn to plead for two days.
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