South African and US law enforcement agencies have arrested at least six members of the Nigerian Black Axe mafia syndicate in Cape Town, TimesLive news website reports.
The group, believed to be behind hundreds of thousands of “romance scams”, were reportedly arrested in a raid in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Black Axe is also alleged to have scammed companies millions of cash through cybercrime involving business email compromise fraud.
The group emerged in the 1970s in Nigeria where they carried out rape, mutilation and ritual murders. They went on to build a powerful international network.
It has a strong presence in Italy. Several of its members were arrested there in April and faced about 100 charges including drug and people trafficking, prostitution and internet fraud.