No fewer than 50 Nigerian nationals have been arrested by the police over alleged prostitution and drug trafficking in the Hamitköy region of Lefkosa, Northern Cyprus.
It was gathered that the 50 Nigerians were arrested in a three-bedroom apartment rented and supposedly occupied by three Nigerian women.
According to Cyprusnews247, in the last two years, the number of Africans entering the country from Ercan – a primary civilian International Airport of the unrecognised de facto state of Northern Cyprus, has exceeded 97,000.
Official statistics of the Ministry of Tourism state that there is a remarkable increase in the number of Africans entering Northern Cyprus from Ercan Airport.
While the number of Africans who came to the country in 2021, mostly Nigerians, was 39,000, the figure increased to 58,000 in 2022.
It was reported that African-origin “visitors”, who started to work in different business lines after enrolling in any university in the country, ranked first including crimes drugs, violence, and theft, while citizens of the country said nobody knew the number of people living in apartments rented by two people in some areas.
Cyprusnews247 reports that information showed that the intervention of the police, especially in drug crimes, was strongly responded to, as special forces went to the specified address.
On Thursday, an incident took place in the Hamitköy region of Lefkosa when loud noises came from the apartment rented by three Nigerian women.
It was gathered that citizens who warned the police about ‘prostitution and drugs’ said that they had been unable to sleep for months as a result of noise that emanated from the three bedroom apartment.
During the arrest on Thursday, more than 50 Nigerians came out of the flat where the police raided instead of the three people who rented the apartment.
It was reported that the 3-person police team that went to the scene had difficulty in collecting more than 50 Nigerians from the apartment which they had reportedly turned into a club.
Cyprusnews247 quoted a resident of the area as saying, “We have all been devastated for months. We were unable to sleep, and we often did not get a response to our complaints. If more than 50 people leave a small apartment, it is not difficult to understand what kind of business is going on here. Our government should take this issue seriously and find a solution.”
“Believe me, we are considering leaving the country in the face of this situation,” the resident added.