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Italy, Nigeria sign immigrant patrol pact

Feb. 17, 2009 at 5:40 PM

ROME, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Italy and Nigeria Tuesday agreed to carry out a joint policing effort to combat human trafficking and illegal immigration, government officials said.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said a one-year pilot program will be launched in which joint Italian-Nigerian patrols will be deployed not only at Italian borders, airports and seaports, but also in other parts of the country where there is a significant Nigerian community, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

"I am very pleased with this accord which represents a step forward in combating illegal immigration and human trafficking," Maroni said in a statement.

Italy's national police chief, Antonio Manganelli said the patrols are part of a bilateral accord he has signed with Nigerian police authorities, telling ANSA, "Evidence shows that one out of three crimes in Italy is committed by an illegal alien and in some parts of northern Italy the ratio is two out of three."

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