by Giovanni Giacalone
On Tuesday March 7, 2023, a 23-year-old Moroccan citizen identified as Abraham Rasi, illegal on Italian soil, wounded six people (three women and three men) in a series of armed robberies in the Milan Central train station. Two of the wounded were brought to the hospital in serious conditions but their lives are not at risk. The attacker was under the effect of alcohol and drugs.
According to the reconstruction provided by the Italian media the first attack occurred shortly after 5:30 pm in the Mortirolo underpass behind the Station where the individual threatened a 39-year-old Italian woman and stole her cell phone. The assailant then quickly moved to via Gluck, where he attacked a 58-year-old Salvadoran woman and took her smartphone and Atm card. Shortly after, at 5:39 pm, he attacked a 34-year-old Spanish woman in via Sammartini, taking her cell phone and 20 euros. The criminal then moved to viale Brianza where, at 5:47 pm, he attacked a 23-year-old woman, taking away her purse; during the assault, he stabbed the victim’s boyfriend and two men (57 and 68 years of age) who tried to stop him. The attacker then fled to via Vennini where he tried to attack and rob a 44-year-old woman before being blocked and arrested by motorbike police.
As reported by Il Giornale, Rasi has been in Italy for no more than five-six months after illegallyItaly, crime, law and order reaching the country on a boat in July 2022 on the island of Lampedusa. He then moved to Bochum, Germany, where he requested international protection.
The Italian police had already reported Rasi, accusing him of theft by snatch. On February 6, the Moroccan had been stopped by Polfer in Rogoredo, on the Lodi-Saronno regional train, after he had stolen yet another mobile phone in Milan from a 37-year-old Italian on board a line 90 bus. The individual had attracted the attention of the police because he was molesting the passengers and that’s when they found the stolen cell phone on him.
The “war bulletin” around the Central train station did not end there. On the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, at 2:32 am, a 33-year-old Bangladeshi citizen called the police and said that he was beaten and mugged by two assailants described as North Africans, right in front of the Station.
A few minutes later, at 2:52 am, another man, a 31-year-old citizen of Cameroon, was surrounded in via Napo Torriani by three men, two foreigners and an Italian, who smashed a glass bottle on his head and robbed him of 250 euros.
A few thoughts
Milan’s Central Station is one of the main drug-selling posts in the city. A downgraded area where brawls and violent attacks now occur on a daily basis. The people who camp there, mainly illegal immigrants from Africa and Asia, are in desperate conditions. Many of those who hang out in the area are addicted to all kinds of drugs and live off of muggings and robberies.
This situation isn’t new to the citizens of Milan and to those who frequently transit through the station as the problem has been ongoing for years. As a matter of fact, if we search the news on google for assaults in this area, there are plenty of cases that come up.
Additionally, it’s not just a problem of Milan, because other train stations in the large Italian cities are more or less in the same situation, for instance, Rome’s Termini train station. The area surrounding it has become a no man’s land and it is worth mentioning the work done by Italian boxers Simone Cicalone and Mattia Faraone, who have been constantly video reporting on the disastrous situation in Termini and not without putting their own safety at risk. (You can view some of their videos here: Termini 1, Termini 2, Termini 3, Termini 4, Termini 5, Termini 6 ).
On December 31st 2022, an Israeli student was severely wounded at Rome Termini train station by a man carrying a knife. The attacker reached her from behind and stabbed her three times while she was busy consulting the ticket machine. Funny enough, Termini station is just 500 meters away from the Italian Ministry of Interior affairs, which is in charge of public security on a domestic level.
Indeed, Rome Termini shares the exact same problems as Milan Centrale, they are both hubs for drug trafficking centers and, as we very well know, where there are drugs, there is anti-social behavior, there are violent crime and additional illegal activities.
We saw a similar script in the United States, for instance in New York between the 70s and 80s, especially in areas such as the Bronx, Harlem, Yonkers. More drugs, more crime, progressive and rapid degradation of the areas involved.
Today, other parts of the country that are deeply submerged in drugs and degradation, such as the Kensington area in Philadephia, or Skid Row in Los Angeles have a similar problem.
In Italy’s case, there are a series of factors that contributed to this disastrous situation: firstly, the uncontrolled flow of illegal aliens being let in without the possibility of providing them decent living conditions. It couldn’t have been otherwise indeed; we cannot expect to see millions of immigrants move to Europe without such an outcome. Secondly, international drug trafficking has been on the rise and authorities are having a hard time contrasting it.
As if it wasn’t enough, those policies that led to the reduction of law enforcers, their defunding and the lack of proper laws that keep criminals in prison and means to deport illegals who engage in crime only make things worse, as the authorities do not have the instruments to respond.
There have also been complaints about the lack of CCTV surveillance cameras throughout the cities; while this can indeed be a useful instrument for investigation, it does not have a direct impact on crime, for two simple reasons: firstly, because when we resort to CCTV, it means that the crime has already been committed, hence it has no use on a preventive level. Secondly, most of criminals do not care about being spotted because they know that they will unlikely go to prison and even if, they will only be locked up for a very short time. As if it wasn’t enough. Many of them see Italian prisons as “hotels” compared to the prisons back in their home countries.
In conclusion, the provincial secretary of the autonomous union of Sap Milan police, Massimiliano Pirola is correct when he claims: “We continually hear that ‘the civilization of a country is measured by the conditions of its prisons’ (attributed to Voltaire). For us, the civilization of a country is measured by the safety of honest citizens“.1
Unfortunately, the situation in Italy isn’t looking good and that’s a pity not only for its citizens, but for tourism as well, since they are an important calling card for the country.