In Marseille, the judiciary has caught a gang known for its ultra-violent methods. Ten years in prison were demanded on Monday in Marseille against nine members of the Nigerian criminal gang "Arrow Baga", named as perpetrators of gang rapes of prostitutes. A total of 6 defendants have been on trial since November <> for their membership of one of the Nigerian mafia gangs that gained a foothold in Marseille a few years ago. They resort to extreme violence in the context of rivalries between these former student brotherhoods but also within their own organizations.
Identifiable by their red outfits, the "Arrow Baga" are now widely established in the second city of France, like their compatriots and enemies of the "Black Axes" (the blacks) or the "Eiyes" (the blues). "Trials of this magnitude are rare," said prosecutor Marion Luna, who called on the court to be very firm after detailing the gang's activities for four hours, mainly pimping and aiding the entry and stay of migrants. "You're not going to eradicate the Nigerian mafia in Marseille, but this investigation has slowed down their progress. You have to tell others, those who are not there, that such organizations are banned," she said.
The most serious facts concern rapes - which the investigating judge corrected as sexual assaults - suffered for two hours by four Nigerian prostitutes on 30 March 2020. In an apartment in a very dilapidated condominium transformed into a squat, about twenty men had burst in to demand money from these women who had stopped prostituting themselves on the public highway because of the confinement. For two hours, they raped them and then robbed them of hundreds of euros, at knifepoint and a gun.
Only one of the four victims testified in court. On the first day of the trial, another young woman also recounted her ordeal, after being the victim of the same gang rape a year earlier in an abandoned villa in the northern districts of Marseille used as a meeting place and initiation for the "Arrow Baga". "Nigerian cults have a method of breaking prostitutes with rape and beating them to keep them in their service," Luna said, stressing 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 on the line? Because if they arrest a single Germain (the name given to the members of the gang), death awaits them! " she argued. Sentences ranging from four to nine years in prison have been sought against six other defendants, who are on trial for pimping or aiding illegal residence. The prosecutor also asked the court to convict all the defendants of criminal association.
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An arrest warrant has been requested for Dammy Adenekian, one of the three leaders - known as Doctor One - of the "Arrow Baga", who is on the run in Italy, as well as David Ofeiwu, alias J-Boy, one of his "henchmen". In February 2020, he himself was a victim of violence that 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 impose a permanent ban on French territory for twelve of the fifteen defendants. It is now the turn of the defence to present arguments for two days.