A West African criminal network that’s known for human trafficking, drug running, fraud, and using bizarre occult rituals and torture to brainwash prostitutes is spreading throughout Sweden.
Police fear that Black Ax, an international criminal organization based out of Nigeria, is beginning to gain a foothold in Uppsala after already establishing itself in cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, SVT Nyheter reports.
“They are mainly involved in human trafficking,” says Uppsala police spokesperson, Jale Poljarevius.
“They are holding women hostage, and through voodoo, they are tricking them into believing they will end up badly if they leave the job. But they are also involved in selling cocaine and heroin,” Poljarevius added.
So far, Black Axe has put down roots in Italy, Canada, Sweden, and elsewhere in Europe.
Authorities in Sweden are worried that the introduction of another criminal network in an already crowded field could result in an uptick of violence. According to a report that was released earlier this month by Swedish police, at least 50 organized gangs are operating in the city of Stockholm – up from 39 in 2015.
“You can only speculate on that, but it’s not that the gangs will say, ‘Oh, here comes Black Ax – welcome into the game’ – it’s pretty crowded already,” Poljarevius said
“There is a lot of cocaine but not so many users, so the market is quite saturated. It would lead to violence rather than cooperation,” he added.