26 August 2008

Al Qaeda Masters Terrorism on the Cheap

Excellent Washington Post piece on how al Qaeda bypasses "the global financial dragnet".

22 August 2008

This enemy is media friendly and has a bewildering array of allies and rivals

Jason Burke has written a background piece for the Guardian, spelling out just how complex the picture is in Afghanistan, including "criminal gangs" as well as insurgents. A thoughtful piece of writing.

21 August 2008

Fraud Case Judge Attacks Targets Culture

Bloke defrauded the NHS by inventing people he had cured of smoking! £45 per "success"! Involved the Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust. Ah entrepeneurship!

MI5 Report Challenges views on terrorism in Britain

They're not mad, they're not bad, they're not particularly religious and they arent demographically identifiable either. There is no profile. The red tops, surprise surprise, are wrong. Guardian article, summarising report. keep an eye open for the full text.

20 August 2008

Kenya ex-graft czar urges amnesty

What on earth is a graft czar? Ah. The head of anti-corruption who fled the country after exposing the Anglo-Leasing scandal which involved several ministers [allegedly]. We will hear more from John Githongo now he has returned to Kenya under a new government.

Canada Extradites alleged Mafia boss to Italy

Giuseppe Coluccio, suspected 'Ndragheta drug trafficker now back in Italian jail. Few other details in this piece.

15 August 2008

Cocaine Use Trebles in a Decade

Cocaine and ecstasy up, cannabis down and heroin and crack stable with user population ageing. Department of Health resarch with comments from Drugscope and Transform. Cocaine will probably come down if there are job losses in the City as the "recession" bites: that's my prediction, not the report's!

Online Consumers at Risk and the Role of State Attorney Generals

Report from the American Centre for Progress [ http://www.americanprogress.org/] working with the Centre for Democracy and Technology [http://www.cdt.org/]. Few people being prosecuted for online fraud. Paedophilia a bigger priority.

How Safe is Your area? Met Launch Electronic Crime Mapping Trial

The problem's in the headline. Its a tool for insurance companies and estate agents. There isn't actually very much you can do about it yourself. It will raise fear of crime and is unlikely to prevent crime...But we shall see if anything changes. Truth is, there arent all that many resources available to shuffle around. Policing is responsive, not proactive and will continue to be until someone works out how to change the relationship between control room and constable.

14 August 2008

Bogus email hits scams watchdog

Latest spam/417 email purports to be from Trading Standards Central offering "prizes".

11 August 2008

FATF Best Practices Paper on Trade Based Money Laundering

More boxes to tick for all you bankers out there!

Mexican Cartels Running pot farms in US National Forest

Thanks Monty, I missed this. This is Sequoia National Forest, California and again illustrates the complexity of illicit business. This time Mexican cartels are alleged to be using illegal immigrants to cultivate the plants. But closer reading reveals these people are family or close family friends, brought in illegally, not just any old illegal immigrant. Which fits in with the van Duyne von Lampe picture of "organised" crime.

Drug Dealers buy Washington state vineyards to hide pot

All this going on in Yakima Valley. Sounds like a double bonus for them: money laundering through property and double cropping marijuana plants among the vines.

Italy Holds Five on Terror Charge

But also of interest is the charge that they committed insurance fraud to finance their operations. Police in Bologna allege the group was recruiting suicide bombers

Three Jailed for Drug Gang Death

Vietnamese cannabis factory in South Wales. Sounds as though there is some very unpleasant competition going on.

08 August 2008

British Crime Lords Rule £40 billion underworld

ACPO has a map...what ever happened to SOCA? Crime in the UK still controlled by Brits! It would be good to see the whole overview. A few snippets in here to tantalise, like: Bradford is the money-laundering capital of the UK!

Australian police bust international drugs ring

Very brief CNN story about seizure of 5 tons of ecstasy shipped from Italy, allegedly.

06 August 2008

Former mob boss Gotti held

The Guardian article seems to be suggesting that the arrest is part of an ongoing FBI campaign to disrupt what remains of the Gambino family.

Russian Gang Hacking PCs in vast scheme

Also from New York Times. Gang using administrator level passwords to get into networks and create botnets.

US cracks "biggest ID fraud case"

11 charged with theft of credit card details, but only one of them in custody at present. For UK readers, this is the TJMaxx case. New York Times article at: http://tinyurl.com/6z8wus

04 August 2008

Jury Fails to Reach Verdict in July 7th Case

hadn't been following this one, I must admit. Jury couldn't agree.

How Karadzic Stired Global Terror

Good Lord! Is there something the Times can't hold Gordon Brown responsible for?? Massive oversimplification as usual, but one for Americans to read. The enemy of my enemy isnt always my friend! Supporting jihadists in the name of overthrowing "Communism" [remember it?] was never a great policy, wherever it was tried. But a nice argument here that bin Laden and Karadzic were effectively an unholy alliance. Robin Harris squares some fascinating circles in this piece. but read it critically, my children.

Shop man Kaleem Akhtar's Secret Life as Gun-runner

Story from the local Liverpool papers. Apparently the gang caused a "spike" in gun crime figures, selling Russian Baikal pistols converted from firing blanks to firing bullets.

Latest on the BoNy arguments in the Moscow Court

Moscow Times article, giving some colour to proceedings in the Moscow Court of Arbitration. Is RICO internationally applicable?

Spanish Banknotes Carry Heaviest Cocaine Traces

Sorry, having trouble with blogging because have fallen over and broken glasses. Can read the headlines, but not much of the text. This seemed to be a relevant article, though, even if only to wonder how these guys get grants for this sort of research. Apologies for spelling mistakes too. No opticians appointments til Thursday! So it will be a couple of weeks before normal interaction is resumed.

03 August 2008

Deal with Shia Prisoner Left Basra at Mercy of Gangs, Colonel Admits

Hmmm. I would like to see the full interview with Colonel Iron. They will be discussing this deal in Staff Colleges for years to come. Same as the deal over Musa Qala.

01 August 2008

Gods and mobsters: the story of an East End "enforcer"

Story of a man who changed his life around. Maybe a film coming,