- Nigerian organized crime
Nigerian organized crime, or Nigerian OC, may refer to a number of fraudsters, drug traffickers and racketeers of various sorts originating from Nigeria. Nigerian criminal gangs rose to prominence in the 1980s, owing much to the globalization of the world's economies and the high level of lawlessness already in the country.
Criminal organizations from Nigeria typically do not follow the mafia-type model followed by other groups. They appear to be less formal and more organized along familial and ethnic lines, thus making them less susceptible by infiltration from law enforcement. Police investigations are further hampered by the fact there are at least 250 distinct ethnic languages in Nigeria. Other criminal gangs from Nigeria appear to be smaller-scale freelance operations.
Nigerian criminal groups are heavily involved in drug trafficking, shipping heroin from Asian countries to Europe and America; and cocaine from South America to Europe and South Africa. The large numbers of ethnic Nigerians in India, Pakistan, and Thailand give their gangs ready access to around 90% of the world's heroin. In the United States, Nigerian drug traffickers are important distributors of heroin, from importing it into the country to distribution level and selling it to lower-lever street gangs.
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