31 December 2009

Al Qaeda wants 7 million dollars for freeing 3 Spanish hostages

Story in Le Monde, quoting el Mundo http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2009/12/31/espana/1262226162.html there are other conditions too, including the freeing of several Al Qeda of the Maghreb militants held in prisons in Mauretania. You can read the story in French or Spanish.

Former Liverpool drug dealer to take his crime-cutting ideas nationwide

Unusual piece of good news from Liverpool. Man heads the Criminal information Bureau, providing mentors and support for criminals when they come out of jail.

Republican threat forces 20 police officers to move homes

This is very depressing news. 3 dissident Republican groups targeting PSNI officers and being joined by disillusioned ex-Provos. Gives a timeline of incidents during 2009.

Iran's involvement in British hostages' kidnapping

Guardian claims that Peter Moore was installing IT equipment in Ministry of Finance that would have discovered Revolutionary Guards siphoning off money for militias allied to it.

30 December 2009

Flores drug indictment gives clues to Mexican cartels' networks in the US

The story of how the cartels moved and distributed their narcotics in the US, exposed by betrayals consequent upon Calderon's attack on the established groups in Mexico.

Shoplifters? Studies say keep an eye on workers

Employees nick more than shoplifters by abusing the gift card system...and the Banks? and the executives? Weve been here before. Crime is what the lower classes do, neber the bosses. Id like to see a study which shows clearly who loses a company what each year, not a statement of "theft" defined in a particular way. "loss" not "theft", dum-dum!

U.S. had early signals of a terror plot, officials say

Same paper. Actually, the information was available but agencies failed to share it in a way that would have activated the red flags. Twas ever thus. Rest of article about the domestic politics of security in the US. Basically Obama has to blame everyone he can and then be seen to be doing something about it...which will mean more time standing in queues at airports. Oh and more pressure on the Uk to do something...anything!

Terror Enquiry looks at suspect's time in Britain

Odd article from the New York Times that seems to blame the UK for America's failure to share intelligence...."That view, if confirmed, would offer a stark reaffirmation that Britain, the United States’ closest ally, poses a major threat to American security. Critics say the British security forces have failed to adequately monitor and restrain the Islamic militancy that thrives in the vast network of mosques that serve the nation’s 1.5 million Muslims, and on university campuses across the country where nearly 100,000 of the 500,000 students are Muslims, including many, like Mr. Abdulmutallab, from overseas." Out of the woodwork come the Londonistan brigade. Yet hidden in the article is the admission that no-one can recognise a trigger point in radicalisation..a point at which a young Muslim moves from fundamentalist to fighter.

29 December 2009

HMIC Report on the policing of the G20 demonstrations

Contains an overview of the principles, political legal and practical of policing protest in the UK. Excellent piece of work.

Bob Quick's Evidence to the Parliamentary Committee on the Issue of Privilege

Fascinating statement by Bob Quick on the Damian Green affair. Worth close study.

Shoplifters take "hobby" online

Moscow Times piece on a community of shoplifters on LiveJournal. As some criminologists have argued, they do it for the "buzz". An obligatory priest is wheeled out to comment...

ETA preparing to kidnap a prominent person

Warning given by Rubalcaba, Spanish Minister of the Interior at meeting with Basque Minister for the Interior. Spanish article from El Pais.

28 December 2009

Europeans see corruption as major problem

Eurobarometer survey just out. Makes for depressing reading.

Eurojust Chief Quits over power Abuse Scandal

Portuguese prosecutor Jose da Moto resigns. The allegations against him don't enhance the reputation of the european judiciary or of Eurojust.

Al Qaeda group in Yemen gaining prominence

Good background piece from Washington Post on AlQ in the Yemen, where the alleged Christmas day bomber is supposed to have trained. Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula [AQAP] is a merger of Yemeni and Saudi operatives and may have attracted jihadists from several countries. Bin Laden's father was originally from the Yemen.

Black Economies Shore up States says Study

Report is by Deutsche Bank. Sounds like Machiavelli. Either be totally honest or totally dishonest to benefit.

27 December 2009

SOCA under fire by MPs

The Serious and Organised Crime Agency is being criticised for the rise in cocaine use in the UK, which MPs claim is against the trend for the rest of Europe

The British connection: Italian mafia finds Britain good for doing business

Group within Camorra using Uk for money-laundering and as a refuge for members on the run. Guardian article.

26 December 2009

Civilian, military planners have different views on new approach to Afghanistan

Washington Post article on the implementation of Obama's strategy for Afghanistan, which it says is being interpreted differently by civilian and military personnel. If true, it reads like a recipe for disaster. The problem is that the US military has a long tradition of ignoring the civilian politicians...and of maverick generals. Worth pinning on the wall and rereading over the next two years as matters develop.

Chinese border town emerges as new front line in fight gainst human trafficking

Washington Post article on Ruili on the China-Burma/Myanmar border. Allegedly, the traffic is two way.

Muslim leaders try to counter radicals' influence on youths

This is a follow-up story to the arrest of a group of 5 youths from North Virginia in Pakistan. Allegedly they were recruited via the Internet.

Italy Tax Amnesty nets 80 bn euros

You may have to register to read FT articles. At the moment it's still free. The attitude of Swiss banks to this amnesty is worth noting as is the Itlian refusal to say whether any money has been repatriated.

"al Qaeda links" suspect probed over plane "attack"

Early days on this story. Suspect is a Nigerian studying at UCL, the story alleges and was on a suspects list but not on a no-fly list. Explosives strapped to upper leg. More airport hold-ups to come.

21 December 2009

La France va remettre les fichiers voles a HSBC a la justice Suisse

A rare example of the Swiss demanding to know something in order to prosecute someone.My French is inadequate, but if the French dont tell them, they [the Swiss} wil discontinue their [a]greed cooperation against tax fraud. This is aimed at Herve Falciani who is a whistleblower who left France with the details of many tax evaders stored on his laptop. The Swiss want the data back...but the clients are clients of HSBC...Now let me see...If you dont give us back the information on tax fraud, we wont cooperate with you on tax fraud...Ah! It all makes sense immediately! The Swiss are just being consistent!

19 December 2009

US arrests three Africans in "al Qaeda cocaine sting"

Intriguing story. Americans pretending to be FARC [so that proves theyre drug smugglers] approach three guys from Mali, who are suuposed to be associates [whatever that means] of al Qaeda's Northern African branch [whatever that is] [and which will be used to prove that al Qaeda smuggles drugs]. Its a good one. None of it needs to be true but it will be used by academic/journalists as "evidence" of all sorts of stuff, like organised crime terrorism and financing are all interlinked. We shall see what happens in the trial.

17 December 2009

Russia: Shift to the shadows

Nice piece in the FT on the role of the silovki under Putin and Medvedev. Turns out to be based on an article in post-Soviet Affairs: “Putin’s Militocracy”, by Olga Kryshtanovskaya and Stephen White. Post-Soviet Affairs 2003, 19, 4

16 December 2009

Ministers creating an army of private police

The Independent's spin on yesterdays post includes the fact that lots of council emplyees have been given powers to confiscate property along with private security sneaking unannounced into traditional polcie roles....We're all coppers now! Dont you go taking any photographs without my permission!

Met was dysfunctional says Commissioner

Some interesting comments on the state the Commissioner found the organisation in when he took over. Radio interview for the Today programme.

15 December 2009

Unease as security groups take police roles

Interesting that this is in the Financial Times, so it must be a business matter. Private security running cells at demonstrations and also getting into investigation work. ACPO untroubled...well, theyre looking for retirement jobs themselves arent they? Lots of retired officers getting into the sector...Could it be that theyre retiring too early???

14 December 2009

Europe moves towards single area on justice and home affairs

Details of the Stockholm programme for the next five years

13 December 2009

Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor

Bit of a tabloid presentation by the Guardian. Under the hype, it emerges that the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime thinks a lot of money was laundered durimng the crisis. Must find the original text of his speech.

09 December 2009

Top 5 security trends of the next decade

Conclusions of data security firm, Imperva. Pretty much what's already going on...no massive insight as yet as to what might be new!

08 December 2009

Lancashire police shut down roads into the county fom Merseyside to stop travelling ciminal gangs

Other police forces breathalyse people. Lancashire have their firearms teams out and blockade all roads from Merseyside and Manchester. You couldnt make it up! Nicking posh cars to attack cash in transit and speed off down the motorway!

05 December 2009

Warning over sheep poaching gangs

In deepest darkest Devon, gangs of poachers are using cross-bred lurchers to hunt meat to order for their customers. Wonder who these customers are?

04 December 2009

New edition of our Newsletter out!

In this special issue, dedicated to the SGOC?s First International Summer School on Organized crime (ISSOC), you will find:

* An overview of the first ISSOC in Catania 2009, with:

- Short summaries of the lectures of all keynote speakers;

- Three papers written by participants, presenting a very interesting insight into organized crime related problems dealt with from various cultural and professional backgrounds. Their work reflects perfectly the international and multidisciplinary atmosphere of the first ISSOC;

- Some pictures that bring the ISSOC to life for those who weren?t there.

* A preview of the next ISSOC in Leuven, July 2010: confirmed speakers, an insight into the program and links to some additional information.

03 December 2009

Police close scam websites

What on earth is an Ugg boot anyway? 1,200 websites offering cheap goods closed down. Run by Asian gangs and not a good idea to hand them your credit card details.

Police not spending more time on patrol

A piece on the government's white paper on policing and the police response to spending cuts. Suddenly, ACPO wants mergers. But mergers didnt happen last time because the Treasury refused to foot the costs. Mergers are not a short-term solution and short-term savings are the requirement of the day. Wake up anmd smell the coffee ACPO!

30 November 2009

Bank data transfer deal with US reached

US anti-terrorist officials have access to European bank accounts for another 9 months

29 November 2009

Kazakh Bank Lost Billions

But was there fraud? The guy under scrutiny is an opponent of the regime and therefore a good guy...sound familiar? But did he break any laws? isn't that for the Kazakh courts to decide? US is getting itself into knots here...Where has all the money gone? well, don't worry, The Manhattan D.A.'s office is bound to do the legally correct thing...isn't it?

25 November 2009

Police protest training in chaos, report finds

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary wrote it, so it's a serious critique. Ive chosen the Times rather than the Guardian, because the Guardian is usually critical of the police. Note that at the end of the article the Times continues the Tory attack on ACPO. Guardian defends the right to demonstrate. Times and Telegraph attack ACPO. Those are the not so hidden agendas, that should be borne in mind. Both, may of course, be correct.

Goldmine of black market in Russian data

If you're the government or the police and you keep data on people, rest assured, someone will sell it. There is no such thing as secure data. Discuss

24 November 2009

"Police targeting people for their DNA"

DNA database rules in England and Wales encouraging police to arrest individuals to get their DNA onto the database. This story is in all the papers today. Ive gone for the Independent in the hope that its relatively calm in its reporting. The quqotes in the article are from the chair of the Human Genetics Commission, the government watchdog on the use of DNA.

23 November 2009

The police are wrong to gear up for a fight with David Cameron's Tories

Telegraph opinion piece that follows President of ACPO's attack on Tory plans for elected police commissioners. Sets out some of the Tory critique of the police.

16 November 2009

Britons killed in car crash during Dutch police chase

Alleged group of ATM raiders, mostly from Liverpool. Gang alleged to have had prised cash machine from wall

09 November 2009

Secrets from Ulster

Boston University's Irish Insttute has been interviewing ex-IRA and former protestant paramilitaries. First set of accounts "Voices from the Grave" about to come out. Prick up your ears academics everywhere. This from the Belfast Telegraph via the Independent.

04 November 2009

Town halls set to lose surveillance powers

Sub editor as usual not bothered to read article. No they arent going to lose them at all. The Home Secretary is just saying "tut tut. Naughty!"

Piles of stolen airport bags found at US couple's house

Well, if you still have faith in private enterprise, read this and weep. Phoenix airport stopped checking passengers baggage claim tickets 10 years ago as a cost-cutting measure. I'm not quite sure what this means, but the spokesperson "said passengers should avoid putting critical medications or expensive items in checked luggage, clearly mark their bags, and pick them up as soon as possible after landing". Bizarre stuff, but its from the New Zealand Herald, so sense may have been lost in translation. Just goes to show, you can prevent crime if youre prepared to...doesn't it?

03 November 2009

Three held as massive tobacco hauls seized

Van and people carrier stopped in separate incidents at Poole ferryport

30 October 2009

Financial Times explains Galleon insider trading allegations

Not sure whether FT allows you to link to its articles. You may have to register and go to its interactive section yourself, but this is just too useful not to draw to your attention....honest...and there's a list of other articles linked at the foot of the graphic.

Haapy clicking!

27 October 2009

"Furious" Met chief abandons plans for armed patrols

Wow! Lets see if a Labour council can get away with calling the cops to account once the Tories are in power. But the principle matters and if Boris J establishes it for all council-police relations we will be creeping back towards democratic accountability in the UK

26 October 2009

48 violent or sex offenders under supervision charged with further offences

Problems managing serious offenders on release

Police in £9 million scheme to log "domestic extremists"

Plod seeks to record dissidents and deviants as usual. Pretending that they are potential terrorists, presumably. All this nopnsense set up by ACPO, which used to be a Chief Constables' Trade Union and is now apparently a private company [go check its web site and weep!] It sells services commercially. Could that be why the police prioritise business and the state above the citizen taxpayer, who actually pays their wages?
There is no legal basis for an offence of domestic extremism and therefore no basis for invading citizens privacy. Just who is it in the police who hates democracy this much? I think we should be told!

Dutch Disease

Interesting tale of a Dutch bank and banker who had lots of fun, made lots of friends in the political class and then went bankrupt. Crimes of the powerful? How many more are there to go phut?

20 October 2009

Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anyone into prostitution

Analysis of the figures for those arrested during Operation Pentameter 2. Actually, there were 5 people jailed for coerced prostitution, but they had been arrested or inquiries had begun before Pentameter. More people are coerced into work than into prostitution. This was a huge operation, too. So have we been conned by NGOs with an interest in exaggerating the phenomenon? id like to see the police report rather than a newspaper account.

15 October 2009

Rich List tycoon Trevor Baines convicted of £111 million Wall Strret share fraud

In an Isle of Man Court, astonishingly

Commons protest as Trafigura gag lifted

Carter Ruck withdraw attempt to prevent newspapers printing a parliamentary question, probably to prevent their action being tested in court and thus being prevented from trying it on again. Ethics? Nah, we're solicitors. We dont have ethics.

Haliburton plumbs new depths

This has to be read! These companies are denying employees access to the courts as well as using the courts to prevent us finding out what they get up to. Trafigura's disgraceful behaviour this week...or should that be Carter Ruck's? is actually taken even lower by the behaviour of Haliburton as described here. Have lawyers suddenly lost their ethics? This is criminal behaviour by a group of people, a company even...so it must be organised crime. Allegedly aiding and abetting rape is what this amounts to.

OLAF doesnt want independence from the Commission

OLAF is the EU anti-fraud unit. It struggles! The EU Observer article reviews the arguments about its role, powers and supervision.

13 October 2009

Detectives must act "without fear or favour" in pursuit of M.Ps

As long as theyre Labour M.P.s! From the Torygraph, which reminds us that it was wrong to search Damian Green's office.

Soaring CCTV cameras are "costly, futile and politically motivated"

A Scottish academic speaks to the Times about CCTV

12 October 2009

Gang tries to torch Merseyside police helicopter

Eh dear. The Liverpool criminal. These guys actually entered an RAF base and set the police helicopter alight.

Army of Mavericks Lays Down its Arms

INLA declares the armed struggle over and is in talks about decommissioning

Sordid story of building contractors and the Peoples Party in Madrid

Piece from el Pais in Spanish. 7 construction firms paid lots of money to get favourable planning decisions...awfully familiar story around the world. Lot of details about the accusations in this piece. Leads to top levels of Peoples Party

11 October 2009

Gun murders linked to North London Turkish gangs in heroin war

Good article, linking violence to the decline of the Baybasin clan after key members jailed and a falling out with the PKK. Repeat of a recognisable pattern. Who is in charge of policy after a gang has been broken up? Betcha nobody is...

Stars caught up in alleged £219 million tax "scam"

HMRC taking Vanitis executives to court over tax avoidance scheme. Going to be an interesting case. the revenue hasnt had a lot more luck than the SFO with its prosecutions, so we shall see...

Two Wrongs Make Another Fiasco

Opinion piece, suggesting that the idiots who got us into this mess [Afghanistan and Iraq] still successfully dominate the debate. Hey, man, over here in Yurrup we noticed! We are still fighting the enemy that doesnt exist rather than the more complex and divided enemy that does in such a way that they have no choice but to work together. My friends, the secret of counterinsurgency is simple. You make it more attractive not to be fighting then to be fighting. That is not the same thing as saying you make it so painful to be fighting that you give in...More carrots, less high-level bombing..ah me. How do we get rid of Doctor Strangelove's hold on Americas thinking processes?

A Dogged Taliban Chief Rebounds, vexing U.S.

New York times piece on Mullah Omar...but not really. It harbinges the coming debate about negotiating NATO out of Afghanistan. More important is the link to McChrystal's assessment of the insurgency.

10 October 2009

"Godfather of Russian Mafia" dies from July attack wounds

Death of "Yaponchik" one of the "thieves in law".

07 October 2009

Army braced for imminent attack in Northern Ireland

Mortar attack expected. article also charts recent activity by dissident groups

Fears grow for safety of police on streets of Northern Ireland

Actually from the Belfast Telegraph, though printed in the Independent. May be part of Unionist v sinn fein dispute over policing, but there clearly is a growing threat to police personnel from dissident republican groups.

Drugs baron guilty over £1 million plot

Curtis Warren found guilty of planning to flood Jersey with cannabis. Warren hails from Liverpool and even in jail in Amsterdam is still considered to be a major player.

06 October 2009

Plea bargaining your life away

Scary opinion piece on Russia's new plea bargaining law and how it gives the silovki even more power.

Radical Animal Activism Gains in Popularity

Animal rights organisations emerge in Russia. They support the work of British activists, if you scroll down through the article and have picket British businesses in Moscow. Ameican activist Steven Best has visited them. The things you learn in the Moscow Times!

Crimespotting: the new way to make money on the Internet

This cant be true...can it? You can sign your CCTV camera up to "internet Eyes" and punters score points for spotting suspicious activities....It's starting in Stratford on Avon, of all places.

"Terrorist financier" suspect named in Supreme Court's first ruling

Farewell then
House of Lords...
The court is dead,
Long live the Supreme Court

E.J.Thribb [after Private Eye]

Cage fighter jailed over £53 million cash robbery

This is the 2006 robbery at the Securitas depot in Tonbridge Kent. Alleged main player still in Morocco, from where a request for extradition has been refused. £20 million so far recovered.

Hackers hit more email accounts

This story started with the publication of hotmail account usernames and passwords on a website. Here, the BBC claims that it goes much further than that.

Ousted South African police chief's corruption trial begins

His defence is that this is all a conspiracy cooked up between organised crime and the prosecutors. Some lurid tales will be coming out in this trial then!

05 October 2009

Cocaine drug of choice for under 25s, NHS figures suggest

I'm sorry, but that isnt what the figures say. 2,692 people sought help for cocaine addiction in 2007-8, while 9,632 sought it for crack and heroin. The figures showa decline in crack and heroin abuse and a rise in cocaine abuse, but there were still more than 3 times as many crack and heroin users seeking help. The headline writer needs to read the article him or herself.

More on German recruits to terrorist group

Telegraph article on same story as previous post. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has been recruiting in Germany. Story apparently goes back as far as May this year.

Video raises alarm in Germany

I should really be quoting from a German newspaper, but this is from La Reppublica, suggesting a group of converts to Islam of German origin has been seen on video training in al Qaeda camps. The videos are linked from the article.

French Government begins anti-drug education campaign

There are some stats in this piece from Le Monde [in French, of course]. 40% 0f 17 year olds have smoked cannabis at least once. Cocaine use has risen from 0.9% to 3.3% and and amphetamine use from 1% to 2.7% between 2000 and 2008. Price data given too.

Muslim Groups hit out over"funding with security strings attached"

Is this the legacy of Ruth Kelly or Hazel Blears? Remember the past two community secretaries? On the other hand, what is wrong with "building resilience to violent extremism". Someone in the article suggests it is difficult to measure compliance...Hmmm. Not beyond the wit of person, I surmise! All funding maybe shouldnt be under the "Prevent" agenda, though. There should be some funding for the alleviation of derpivation under other programmes...and surely there is?? Dont worry, the change of government will be sweeping all this stuff away shortly.

90% of US bills carry traces of cocaine

Thanks again to Monty for this...Just when was the war on drugs won, exactly?
Note that in 2007 Chinese bank notes carried no traces, but in 2008, traces were found. This will make iy difficult toprove where drug traces on a defendant actually originated.

Australian police bust hacker ring only to have it backfire

Hubris....but I'm sure we shouldnt giggle...

Judge faults freezing of assets in terror cases

Thanks Monty.
Northern Ohio trumps Texas and Manhattan here. Reasserts Fourth Amendment and attacks colonial British seizures! All about Treasury campaign against charities, mostly linked to Hamas.

Jack Straw backing down on on the spot fines

Article finishes by stating that the Magistrates Association thinks police will abuse such powers. In any case, only 50% are paid "on time", whatever that means. Needless to say, magistrates want cases to come to court. In which case, the court system needs to speed up.

Britain offered Ghadaffi £14 million to stop supporting the IRA

As usual, not sure that the headline is borne out by the article. These were issues in the 1970s. The UK government was trying to stop discrimination against British companies in trade terms. It was also trying to get the Libyans to understand the nature of the Northen Ireland conflict. The Libyan government had claims for compensation. So did the British government. Alright, all these things were part of the same negotiations, but the headline, though irresistible, is ingenuous.

04 October 2009

CIA at work in UK, anti-terror chief tells M.P.s

Given American abilities to screw up anti-terrorist work, this is bad news, but that 12-13% of the prison population is Muslim is much more disturbing. We have to rethink prison policy in the light of the risk of radicalisation there.

Still not tired

Piece on "terrorism" by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. Four good points made. Read them!

Another alleged Camorra boss picked up by carabinieri

Article from La Repubblica. Ah, "latitante" means hiding or on the run.As I readit theyve picked up three key players in a week. Another "improve your Italian" posting.

Tel Aviv court charges Gaidamak

Article from Moscow Times on Israeli-Russian businessman. Didnt his son own Portsmouth footbal club? He is charged with money-laundering. The French are also after him for involvement in arms dealing and "Angolagate". The Israelis wouldnt extradite him to France. In addition, there is no extradition from Russia. Its unconstitutional.

BAE Systems ready to admit guilt over corruption allegations

Sunday Telegraph report..actually it says company and its lawyers want to read evidence against it before agreeing deal with the SFO. Where is the Manhattan D.A.s office when you need them? The article actually presents BAEs point of view. Not an objective word in it, journalists. You're so lazy!

How criminals communicate

Oh Wow! Laurie Taylor talks to Diego Gambetta about criminal communication codes! In the radio 4 Thinking Allowed series. First time I've found these, so it may disappear to an archive area.

Government to retreat from "super-fraud" strategy

Plans to create a National Fraud Reporting Centre scrapped. grand plan to coordinate and share informatio0n between agencies in tatters. Are we surprised? Er...no! another victory for the City...but of course, there's no money to fund it...and investor confidence in the UK? Caveat emptor, old boy!

John Gotti Jr Trial: best friend of mafia boss turns informer

There really is no honour among theives, it would appear. Lurid tales.

Up to 64,000 women in UK "are child sex offenders"

Lucy Faithfull Foundation estimate...but remember these groups have an interest in giving a high figure. Anyone out there have figures for other European countries? They suspect 320,000 paedophiles in UK, but there are only 32,000 names on sex offenders register. Newspapers love this sort of stuff. Classic moral panic. How are figures estimated? There are 56 female offenders in custody. It may be true it may be not, but until we see the methodology, it is difficult to comment.

03 October 2009

Barbarians within the Kremlin gates

Its far too long since I posted one of Yulia Latinina's pieces. I'll let you read it for yourself

Scotland crime level falls to lowest for 29 years

Makes you wonder, innit? Crime falls, so Tory Press attacks the police. Just like Labour, not in power in Scotland, claim it's not doing as well as rest of the UK.

Jail for gangsters girlfriends who stash guns

Independent says black teenagers being targeted. Part of operation Trident aiming at crime in six London priority boroughs.

RBA company "bribed Nigerians"

Courtesy of kelly Yip's daily postings:

Article from the Age, an Australian newspaper. The srticle names UK politicians. A Reserve Bank of Australia company called Securency is named. This will be in Private Eye, perhaps, but there are a lot of injunctions being used in the UK to stop stories coming out.

Ingushetia's cycle of violence

Consequences of spillover from Chechnya, over authoritarian security services and vendetta mentality.

Mexico makes record drugs seizure

Actually its a seizure of precursor chemicals for making methamphetamine.

MI5 kept file on former Prime Minister Harold Wilson

I think we knew all this, and there is some astonishingly selective use of material here by the BBC. Times and Telegraph give the new book a more objective treatment. A bunch of paranoid obsessives [sorry people with Cold War mentality] in the Secret Service were seeing communists in every bed and ignoring paramilitaries, the book also says.

The judge who lost her head over perfume

A loose translation! Continuing the theme of using as many different ssources as possible, here's an odd one from el Pais. A magistrate has been suspended for allegedly abusing her position to obtain favourable treatment [again, loose translation]

New Lithuanian President regrets naming of country as CIA prison collaborator

Lithuania, Poland and Romania, eh? What a trio? One president done for organised crime, another with a very odd couple in charge and finally, one of the two most corrupt countries in Europe. Whose side were the CIA on exactly?

EU homeland security policy lacks democratic oversight says watchdog

The companies who make money out of European security contracts are the very ones who design them. Surprise, surprise! This is a long and excellent piece about the bodies involved in security policy making and the issues involved. Well worth a read. I read a piece on the French attitude under Sarkozy. Must find it and link it in. Its in a Belgian online journal.

Police spend less than 6 hours a week on the beat

Daily Telegraph sustain the Conservative Party campaign for change in the British police. Your blogger is stil trying to understand the agenda. Researchers have known all this for years, but the Home Office has been happy to have a police sevice for the government and business and not for the public, because that's what politicians have wanted. You can bet that we arent going to get a locally accountable police service back. Presumably the Tories want a police that deals with the "dangerous classes" and not the respectable ones. We shall see. Thats an article from each of the broadsheets just to be as objective as possible!

The Facebook Paedophile Ring

Paedophile groups are neglected in studies of organised crime, but the methodology here is important. As far as we know, these people never met. Loose networking via the internet. Other criminal enterprises are using similar methods.

Brown stands back as BAE faces prosecution over bribes

This case seems to me to disqualify Tony Blair from ever being President of the EU. The way he stopped prosecution of BaE over the Saudi case was essentially an abuse of power. Although he didnt benefit personally from his action, it was interference with the judicicial process for political reasons [Discuss].

Allegations that US paid Lockerbie witness

Your blogger has been struggling with his new laptop and will now attempt to catch up on lost posts, starting with this one. I have read another today that argues that all angles of this case have been political and makes some serious allegations about political interference in the original trial. Lots of issues here.

21 September 2009

Centralised policing has betrayed the vulnerable

Nice piece on the state replacing the local community as the main driver of policing priorities. Not sure what on earth its doing in the Torygraph. Appears to be taken from Clive Elmsley, who has a new book out: "The Great British Bobby"...I'd better buy it and read it. Clive is an excellent writer.

08 September 2009

Jet plot "vindicates" UK security

5 webpage article from the BBC which hits all the bases. Plotters found guilty in second trial.

23 August 2009

Pinochet's Lost Millions: the UK Connection

Chilean police say British authorities and financial sector connive at concealment of Pinochet's "frozen" laundered millions. Long article worth reading to show just how dishonest the City of London can be.

£41 million fraud hits Building Society

Chelsea building society suspects it has been defrauded on buy-to-let loans. Investigation ongoing. There are, of course, other explanations. The authorities have not yet been informed, so for now this is more alibi than accusation...Discuss

Gangs import children for benefit fraud

Sunday Times article suggesting Romanian gangs are trafficking children for benefit fraud...although if they claim the parents are complicit, is that trafficking? Met operation caleed Operation Golf is targetting Romanian gangs.

19 August 2009

How active is the Real IRA

One o the Independent's "Big Question" pieces. good background to the trial in Lithuania blogged yesterday.

"Terrorist facebook! the new weapon against al Qaeda

Nothing new about it at all. Its just Ana capa analysis repackaged. the real problem is that using it against criminals requires evidence, too. in the hands of the security services, it replaces evidence. Once you're placed in a network, because you once met someone, that's evidence of guilt.
This is a good article lower down the column.

Tobacco Smugglers to make a packet from customs Blunder

oops...the wrong people have had assets confiscated. although not as many as the opening of the article suggests. Customs have spread the definition a little too widely. Only masterminds and smugglers can have assets confiscated, not associates. That's a relief then!

Met police turns on charm ahead of climate protest

Oh, oh...they arent going to get heavy with the Climate Camp. Theyve sent the hard men to Notting Hill carnival instead! But it's OK, Luke...they will be on Twitter, so it's all cool really.

DNA could be faked by criminals new study claims

If criminals can fake DNA evidence, so can the police and other state and big business interests. The threat isnt that criminals will hide their identity. It is that the techniques exist to enable the usual suspects to frame you. if you are innocent you have even more to fear.

18 August 2009

US man "stole 130 million card numbers"

Albert Gonzalez and two unnamed Russian co-conspirators charged with hacking into retailers computer systems. BBC version omits the more lurid details included in some newspaper accounts.

Vilnius "Real IRA" trial to open

Michael Campbell, brother of Liam, held for allegedly trying to buy arms off people who turned out to be Lithuanian intelligence officers. Liam was recently held responsible, with others, for the 1998 Omagh bombing as the result of a civil action.

16 August 2009

has Surkov given the Game away in a novel?

Surkov is the Kremlin's first deputy Chief of Staff. is "Close to Zero" a novel about corruption, his work, published under a pseudonym and if so, what does it all mean?

EU bank data move ignored legal advice

Murky stuff. here comes the US Treasury equipped to data mine EU banking. Who should take part in the talks? Its all about terrorism...of course! Yeah right. Get them tax-dodgers, Marshal Dillon!

Catholic Church worried about equal rights

The bishops of England and Wales worry that they might have to calm down some of their stranger attitudes...? or am I misreading this curious piece in the EU Justice and Home Affairs section of EUobserver?

Hijacked? Missing ship

Calm account from EUobserver. British press a bit over the top so far to make it possible to choose a particular account.

Special report on drug War in Mexico

Washington Post site collecting links to articles about the Mexican conflict, including an interactive map.

For Hamas, Challenges may be Growing

Issues raised by the shoot-out in Gaza this week. A reminder of the limitations on Hamas and the more extreme threats that exist.

Iceland: what ugly secrets are waiting to be exposed int he meltdown?

Interesting piece on the investigation into suspected criminal activity at Kaupthing Glitnr and Landsbanki, the Icelandic banks that crashed in 2008. Well, they wouldnt ever appear in a British court, but an Icelandic one?...That might be more serious.

The heist: britain's Biggest gems robbery

I wonder if the Independent has been taken over by a bunch of over-excited public school interns for the Summer Holidays? Breathless piece on this week's jewel robbery, plus a paragraph on the alleged Russian arms dealer on trial in Thailand and the "hijacked" Russian cargo ship. what subeditor let all these stories be conflated?

Shock! horor! downloaders to be criminalised! panic!

Independent article seems to be saying 7 million people to be criminalised...so let's all vote for the Pirate party! a fairly confused article, that manages to attack Mandelson, Labour marginals and puff the Pirates. Sounds like it must originate in Conservative central office. Cui bono, old chap, cui bono?

The Nouveau fakes: Rusian avant-garde forgeries

lots of Russians around with lots of money. Little documentation for Russian art because of the Revolution and its aftermath..."Yippee!" shout the forgers!

10 August 2009

Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2008

Awful report in Times at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6789564.ece Ive decided to make the link to the full report. Times; shock horror....security services, police and local councils made 504,073 requests lasyt year [actually down from 519,260 the previous year]. Of this only 1,500 made by councils, but you would get the impression from the Times that almost all of them were from the councils. I cant wait for the Telgraph article. spluttering comment from a token liberal democrat.

OK, I think that it's far too many, but sensationalising it doesnt help either. let's read the full report rather than the spin.

08 August 2009

Convicted Yemeni cleric to be deported

Final outcome of yet another of the terrorist finance trials that came in the aftermath of 9/11. Instead of being found guilty of financing Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Mohammed al-Moayad and his "bodyguard" plead guilty to providing material support to Hamas and are to be deported...

07 August 2009

Internet attacks targeted lone Georgian blogger

Known as Cyxymu...now if only we could get cyxymuicide as a Scrabble word! The name is an attempt to Cyrillicize [another great scrabble word] Sukhumi, the georgian town. This is a new take on the apparent Denial of Service attacks on Twitter, Google, Facebook and even LiveJournal yesterday. Cyxymu criticises both the Georgians and the Russians, so it could be either of them or their "friends" whodunit. Apparently lots of the spam mentioned Cyxymu by name, so could have been aimed at discrediting him/her. Hell hath no fury like an adolescent geek scorned!

06 August 2009

China suffers largest suspected bank fraud

Ft article on the arrest and trial of the former chair of Canton Properties for obtaining illegal loans from the Bank of Communications in which HSBC has a minority holding.

04 August 2009

Shotgun Owners warned over thefts

Hmmm...is the Met at it again? We did some research on this, years ago, for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation [shotgun owners lobby group]. If only the Met would give regular figures for the provenance of shotguns, handguns and firearms used in crime, we could get an accurate picture of changes. It may be that things have changed, but we just have to rely on "spokespersons" rather than time series data. ah well...who cares about truth, bias and validity in these dumbed down days?

Death of the Big Green Gathering

George Monbiot often irritates the hell out of me, but this is a classic example of bureaucrats behaving in a stalinist fashion. Conspiracy or cock-up? Not enough evidence to help us decide...but it's another tightening of the screw against dissent and activism. We'll all be back in ties and sports jackets soon [and twin-sets and pearls for the female gender] as the bureacrats reimpose the 1950s...yippee!

"Key Mexico drug trafficker" held

Miguel Beraza, known as "the Truck" was allegedly in charge of transporting crystal meth for La Familia.

Australia detains terror suspects

linked to Somali based al-Shabab group. Allegedly planning suicide bomb attack on Australian military. Seven-month investigation.

Suspicion of UDA link to attacks leads to call for block on funding

Uda accused of links to resurgence in sectarian attacks on Catholics. "Loyalist" ie protestant extremist groups in North Antrim and Londonderry have withdrawn support for the police and may be about to break away from the main organisation which has begun to decommission arms...or has it?

03 August 2009

Criminal trials from 18th and 19th century go online

You might like to look at the first comment. Some friend of democracy wants to reintroduce the death penalty for being drunk under the age of 18...and then would like to do the same for being a member of the Labour party. The moderator of the Times has permitted it to remain.
Otherwise, good news for researchers n historical criminology and ancestry, I think.

CRB errors lead to hundreds being wrongly branded criminals

If youre innocent, youve got nothing to fear...yeah, right. Criminal Records Bureau wrongly gave 1,570 people a criminal record, or gave people who had a record a clean bill of health, or got something else wrong [this is the Telegraph, I'm afraid] last year, up from 600+ the year before. The Home office gives us good old Stalin-style figures...They were 99.6% accurate, compared with 99.8%...oh go clap yourselves, apparatchiki!

Force faces "dire" cash shortage

Policing and crime remain news in Scotland, whereas they have hit the back burner in England where "terrorism" and immigration make bigger headlines. I am willing to wager that the cash shortfalls faced by Strathclyde will be faced elsewhere in the UK before the year is out.

The propaganda war between the Taliban and the Pentagon

The original title of this BBC World Service piece is more than a little loaded. It's all reminiscent of the Chinese and Vietnamese Liberation Wars. Once you have the nationalism card in your hand, foreigners can't win. End of story.

Israeli Police Recommend corruption Charges against Avigdor Lieberman

I've chosen the Guardian article because it includes a list of previous cases against Israeli Ministers. Now if only we had an attorney general that prosecuted politicians rather than declaring it not in the national interest! We shall see what happens in this case, however. Russian-originating organised crime that links to israel and new York must be worth a book by somebody. Go look at Misha Glenny's recent publication.

02 August 2009

Should Police take a new approach to drug crime by relocating dealers?

Debate-style article from The Independent following on from the news that most agencies involved in anti-drug work in the UK see it as unlikely that they will eradicate drug markets in the near future. Article throws in a programme on the Wire about the effect of moving drug markets in Baltimore.

female officers in Rio's anti-drug squad

Video clip

Charles Manson Follower ends her silence

Linda Kasabian interviewed about the deaths of Sharon Tate and others. She was the member of the family who turned State's evidence, o whatever the US term is. Apparently there will be a programme on Five shortly. Odd business Manson's Family. was it terrorism, petty criminality or what. Compare Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army, almost at the same time.
There are resonances with contemporary charismatic figures in jail for Jihadist acts and their influence on Muslim and other petty criminals.

22 July 2009

UK Fraud Cases at 21 year high

KPMG regular Fraud barometer report. Investors worst hit, then government, then financial institutions. Worth getting hold of the full report, if white collar crime is your bag...[is the previous post a case of white gown crime? Just a thought?]

Foreign brides and Grooms held in marriage scam swoop

Slovakian brides, Nigerian grooms, Bradford and Manchester...all swooped on by Yorkshires new immigration Crime team made up from the Border Agency and seconded Yorkshire Police officers. I can just hear fat Andy Dalziel's comments...Well, its organised...and its crime, but not quite as we know it, Jim!

The 'ndrangheta and the Cafe de Paris in Rome

Hmmm...if I read this correctly, the authorities in Calabria have ordered the seizure of the cafe de paris, as they claim that the 'ndrangheta have invested loads of money in the historic centre of Rome in general. we shall see! the Italian prosecutors tend to be as excitable as Italian drivers and all disappears in the "Court of Fogs". But those of you attemding the recent Summer school in Catania will be interested to see that the 'ndrangheta does in fact get everywhere....allegedly!

20 July 2009

Police "not using CCTV properly"

DCI Neville of the Met says too much spent on kit, not enough on people and processes. Some of the problem hinted at lower down...it's local authorities who run CCTV and they are putting them where residents are pressing for them, not where research suggests they might be useful. But who cares, some company has just "found out2 that there are a million fewer cameras in the UK than previously thought...I know its a mere journalist, but how do the methodologies compare between the private company and the academics who did the research in 2002? Its all on Newsnight tonight. sadly the piece is a puff for the programme and exaggerates in order to get punters to watch...Its yur summer homework on reliability of sources, students!

19 July 2009

Gun culture sweeps through Sheffield estates as postcode gangs do battle

A rare peek into the odd things going on in UK cities. Russian guns in Sheffield, probably brought from Manchester.

A right Royal fraud; the £3m fraud that fooled Palace police

The case has just finished and a member of SO 14 the Royal Protection Unit, has been found guilty of involving fellow officers in a fraudulent investment scheme. the tabloids have had a field day, apparently.

"Countdown thieves" puzzle police

they're stealing letters from shop signs. Police are worrying about what the letters spell. Wouldnt they be better engaged working out just how the thieves intend to make money out of them?
Mind you, it is happening in Norfolk...

Police uncover £80m Ponzi scheme

But the investors refuse to believe them...

18 July 2009

Brussels Outlines Justice priorities for next 5 years

Mostly calls for closer cooperation, but is aware of Member States reluctance to pass any power in this area to the Commission. This document is the Commissions contribution to the Stockholm programme....to which we had better find a link!

Pepper spray for South African cash machines

Something else for World Cup fans to worry about! exploding ATMs and random pepper sprays for tamperers.

Why are public perceptions of crime so at odds with official statistics?

There are two obvious answers: The media keeps trying to panic the public, as with swine flu...or the government/police are falsifying the statistics in some way. but this is the British Crime Survey, which is not under the control of either! the article is not of first year essay standard, which is a bit disappointing, since the independent is supposed to be for reasonably well educated people....Ah me!

Four Million British identities are up for sale on the Internet

Times article. Ex-cop has gathered all the data available for sale on the internet into a single database and proposes charging people to look and see if their details are on it...Presumably this is a trailer for a follow-up article?

15 July 2009

Experts: cyberstrikes originated in britain not North Korea

What?! It was all our fault??? as the last paragraph says, just because the attacks can be traced to a British server, doesnt necessarily mean that this was where they all really started.

13 July 2009

30,000 involved in organised crime in UK

Joint report by Cabinet Office strategy unit and the Home Office. Better find the original.

10 July 2009

Gangsters launch fire bomb attack on Liverpool prison

Liverpool organised crime never seems to get into the national news. "Masked thugs on a scrambler bike" who fled in an off-roader. Burnt a van and poured petrol over staff cars....

09 July 2009

Six charged in US with "boiler room" fraud

Six former executives at Sky Capital, which used to be listed on AIM, charged with $140 million fraud

MyDoom virus hits key sites in US and South Korea

New version of MyDoom virus on the loose...but was it a cyber attack by North Korea, or just another hacker playing with code? Update your virus defintions quickly!

Paris Hilton Sued in fraud case

Seems an appropriate link to begin with. The links are tenuous, but American lawyers will go to any lengths to get publicity. underneath all this, though are allegations about yet another Ponzi scheme that has absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Hilton.

Return of the Blogger

Your blogger is back from the first Standing Group on Organised Crime Summer School in Catania and can report that it was excellent. You should have been there! I will try to catch up over the next few days on the stories I missed while I was away.

28 June 2009

Fraud Inquiry into government jobs Scheme

A4e, just awarded £100 million contract and employing David Blunkett, fined for staff making false claims of getting people into work...

25 June 2009

Drug Cultivation plummets in Afghanistan as demand falls

Publication of UN World Drug report [http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2009/June/world-drug-report-2009-released.html ]

21 June 2009

Dollar compared to Sean McGowan

The article starts with a story about which I would like to know more. two Japanese arrested on the Italian-Swiss border with $134 billion in US Government bonds. the bonds were forgeries, and the article rambles off into another strange discussion as to whether the dollar is doomed.
But I want to know more about these guys and who they were trying to scam!!!!

16 June 2009

The Wahhabi rule Dagestan

our old friend Yulia Latynina arguing that Jihadists have set up a protection racket and are now well-funded and well-armed in Dagestan.

Russia leads Europe in reporter killings

Moscow more unsafe for journalists than Chechnya.Report from the International Union of Journalists.

13 alleged Mafia members arrested in Trapini

From la Reppublica. names, ages, indictments. Allegedly those arrested include the Mafia boss of Trapini, Matteo Messina Denaro. Quite a lot of information, including stuff on the olive oil racket.

There's so little in the British press about organised crime that I'm back to other sources, I'm afraid. anyway, its good for your foreign language skills!

15 June 2009

Pakistan orders Manhunt for Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud

Army to go into South Waziristan, where al Qaeda leaders are also supposed to be. Mehsud is supposed to be behind suicide bombings in Pakistan.

14 June 2009

The Dark Side of Shopping

Piece from the magazine on women and shoplifting. There's a book about to come out by Neal Lawson, author of this piece, which is accompanied by 5 interviews with shoplifters.

13 June 2009

A Mexican Cartel's Swift and grisly Climb

La Familia Michoacana, drug cartel and messianic cult, "promises to protect the poor while meting out "divine justice" to its enemies, including rituals in which executioners carve cryptic initials in their victims' foreheads." [Quotation from Washington post article.] the effect of the counter-narcotics strategy has been to change the nature of Mexico's drug cartels, rather than to eliminate them.
la Familia is new, as is Los Zetas, a group of rogue special forces personnel. But the article also hints that there is a political side to the anti-narcotics campaign, with mayors who oppose the governing party being arrested.
La Familia is establishing civil society and support networks. there is, of course, a piec on this in this month's Newsletter.

12 June 2009

How a Black Ferrari Snared the £1 bn Drug barons

This is really the story of the investigation, not of the organisation. that will make a nice book for some speed writing journalist in the not too distant future.
The Hanna family and their associates. A very cautious group of operators, allegedly.

10 June 2009

Plying the Pacific, Subs Surface as key tool of Drug cartels

A third of cocaine smuggled into the US now travels in submersibles...and theyre trying to make radio controlled ones now!

09 June 2009

Criminal gangs target car buyers

Fake ads on real websites, with another website to take your money but claiming to "hold" it until the deal is complete.....

05 June 2009

Organisation of Crime Stream at APROS Conference Mexico December 2009

Dr. Daniel Tschofen and Professor Stephan Laske are organizing a conference stream on
the organization of crime. The title of the stream is 'organizing
crime'. The stream will be within the Asian-Pacific-Researchers in
Organization Studies (APROS) conference in December 2009 in Mexico.

Concepts of criminal organizations are directly relevant to your work
and a collaboration of academics researching crime and those focusing on
organization theory might provide a substantial contribution to both

Given the relevance of the stream to your field of research, would it be
possible to circulate the call for papers through your mailing list?

Kind regards,
Daniel Tschofen


Dr. Daniel Tschofen
Institut für Organisation und Lernen
Universitätsstraße 15
6020 Innsbruck

New Edition of Newsletter now out!

Clicking on the title will download the newsletter in .pdf format. details of next month's Summer school on Catania and several fascinating articles:
Stefano Becucci on Nigerians and Prostitution in Italy
Jean-Louis Briquet and Gilles Favaret-Garrigues "Socio-Historical Analysis of Politico-criminal Configurations"
Peter Klerks: exposing Criminal nodes through social network analysis
Bill Tupman: Civil Society and Organised Crime
Daniela Irrera: a Literature Review of Political Corruption

29 May 2009

Iraq faces the mother of all corruption scandals

But life is so much better than it was under Saddam Hussein [says Tony Blair]....60% of all Iraqis depend on the food rationing system and it is within this system that the corruption is happening. The Independent claims 1,000 officials are to be arrested...

All figures for piracy made up

the article claims that all figures for software piracy are "educated guesses" [ie made up by the business lobbyists]. Article appears to be talking about software piracy, but its a bizarre journey it has made. To the Independent from New Zealand and originating in Canada.

28 May 2009

Hamza's sons jailed for car scam

Dont leave your luxury car in a long stay car park! Abu Hamza's sons will get the DVLA to transfer ownership to them...unbelievable tale.

Ecuadorian Town a hub for drug-running rebels, Colombia says

The 48th Front of FARC and the "Fatman" Oliver Solarte, who makes the money that runs the rebellion. the story is disputed and complex, but is a rare article on drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism

19 May 2009

MI5 "too stretched" before July 7th

BBC report of Intelligence and Security Committee report. Different newspapers spinning this in different ways. The significant statement is at the bottom. it was decided that Khan, Tanweer and Khyam of the fertiliser bomb plot] were involved in planning financial fraud rather than a terrorist attack...perhaps we should be devoting more resources to "small" frauds? No link from article to actual report. i will try to put it on here if it turns up. None of the papers has linked it yet.

18 May 2009

Trade in illegal medicine exposed

Ever wonder why people can sell stuff in shopping malls, but the minute you try to take a photo or a video....Shazam...here comes security person!
The BBC story doesnt ask that question. This is a puff for a programe they will be showing later. Counterfeit drugs on sale in car parks.

Less than 1 in 10 terrorism arrests leads to conviction

i think I missed blogging this story last week. All the figures for the post 9/11 period.

Labour has fought phoney war on drugs

Centre for Policy Studies not the most objective reporters, and Telegraph not the most middle of the road newspaper...but its always good to have another side to the argument!

Rise in use of drug tests to sack staff

Report from Release, the drugs charity on calls to its emergency service from employees...and the lack of calls from employers suddenly.

CCTV makes "modest" impact on crime

Home office spinning this report the other way. It works well on crime in car parks, but not a lot else. Very little has been properly evaluated. Which goes for just about all crime prevention work, after all.

15 May 2009

Eurojust chief embroiled in Portuguese Corruption Scandal

Not what Eurojust needed. All allegations at the moment but the Portuguese general prosecutor has begun disciplinary proceedings against Jose da Mota, the head of Eurojust. Worth a read and a follow-up around the web I suspect. EU Observer being cautious about the story.

Te-SAT 2009 EU terrorism situation and trend report from Europol

Finally found the full text. the link from EU Observer didnt work the first time, so a tinyurl link should work better, I hope.

14 May 2009

MI5 linked to arest of Britons in Syria

I missed early reports on this, but include it because there have been allegations involving transmission of funds to al Qaeda. We shall see.

12 May 2009

Two charged over Northern Bank Robbery

Tom Hanlon and George Hegarty arrested in Cork. breaking story.

Tracking Cyberspies Through the Web Wilderness

Great title for New York Times article on Ghostnet and the Tibetan exiles. Doesnt come up with final answers, but its still a fascinating story.

Italy arrests "al Qaeda plotters"

Two men originally arrested for organising illegal imigration now being held on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks in the long term.

SOCA claimsworld cocaine market "in retreat"

Well, I hope theyre right, but I would be rather surprised, since other authorities were telling us there was still over-production. The claim is that SOCA has been making life difficult for dug traffickers so the wholesale price is going up, while the quality on the street is going down. Other sources wonder about the fall in the purchasing power of the pound...
On the other hand, there is clearly better coordination with other European countries now over intelligence and joint operations. Expect a change of approach by organised crime in response.

06 May 2009

Police to severely curtail use of stop and search powers

section 44 powers. Well, surprise, surprise, use against blacks rose 322%, use against Asians rose 277% and whites 185%...When you think stop and search was already used disproportionately against the black community, you can see this is about harassment, not counter-terrorism....and Asians will include Chinese, of course....and in the previous post, we learned just how huge the threat from Islamist terrorists in Europe is [n't]. Ah well...anyone who had bothered to read any of the research already knew this, but not our increasingly weird politicians. What does becoming Home Secretary do to a person's brain, I wonder? Never mind...wee Wullie Haig is coming...no surely not, he's destined for Foreign Secretary isnt he? Ian Duncan Smith then?

515 planned terrorist attacks in EU in 2008

397 by separatist movements. There was only ONE attack carried out in 2008 by "Islamists": the one in Exeter. You would never know that from the media and the government in the UK, now...would you? Better check this report.

Revealed: 77 trafficked Chinese children lost by care home

Report leaked to Guardian. Chinese children arriving at Heathrow, being placed in care home then vanishing. Organised crime suspected.

04 May 2009

Review of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics in New Zealand

Link is to the report, but there is a wealth of statistical data elsewhere on this site. if you ever wanted to know something about new Zealand, here's the opportunity. "A rich source of data" It says!

Six jailed for election fraud

Former Conservative candidate Raja Khan and associates. He has since been expelled from the party.

DNA database profiles of innocent people to be removed

Note that the detailed proposals arent in the public domain yet. This is pre-announcement spin.

GCHQ denies Internet spy plans

Apparently the Sunday Times alleged that despite the Home Secretary's scrapping of plans for a centralised database, GCHQ was forging ahead with plans to monitor all communications.

28 April 2009

Trio not guilty of helping of helping 7/7 london bombers

Useful links to a couple of other articles. Not guilty of helping 7/7 bombers, but two of them convicted of conspiracy to attend a place used for terrorist training.

27 April 2009

A Perfect Storm of Cybercrime

Quote from CEO of McAfee, via the Murdoch Times. The article admits that the purpose of the conference is to get us all to buy antivirus software. Bit short on analysis, but thats journalism, folks!

Torture? It probably killed more Americans than 9/11

Sort of book review of "How to Break a Terrorist". Applying police interview techniques rather than sadistic spook methods. Its an interesting article, suggesting that torture is counter-productive in many different ways.

Climate change protestors target Tesco with paint campaign

"We're the spikier version of climate rush"...one of those quotes that has to be here to stay! Apparently Tesco's was offering air miles for energy efficient light bulbs...who runs their marketing department? Jeremy Clarkson?

Brothels cut prices to beat the recession

Included because article has some estimates of revenue in it. Murdoch Press will sensationalise it tomorrow, I expect!

17 April 2009

11 fully funded PhD scholarships in security and crime science

This just turned up on my gmail page. I hope I have readers out there who might want to find out more! Deadline 31st May

15 April 2009

Car theft victims find bandits online

This is Russia...lose your car, go to the police, get laughed at, go to a website supposed to be run by thieves, get scammed. There was a similar website for stolen property in the UK, but I dont know what happened to it. The media never followed up the story...

14 April 2009

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello. PC Porkiepie is on the case again

Rod Liddle, normally a Jeremy Clarkson soundalike has a bash at the Met. What interests me is this adoption of the left liberal clothing by commentators who are normally "vox populi". The comments are reasonably fair, and suddenly Blair Peach is a martyr too, even though back then the Rod Liddles were totally with the police. Why have they changed sides? How does it further the attack on Gordon Brown?

Hamas comes out of hiding

This from the New York Times.

Two held over 1 million euros drug seizure

Good old fashioned news from the Irish Times. No speculation, just the facts.

Obama Team Mulls aims of Somali Extremists

To attack al Shabab's camps in Southern Somalia or not to attack?

Child trafficking into Britain accelerating

Figures obtained by Guardian under Freedom of Information Act. Argument appears to be that more children are being taken into care and more are going missing from care. Not sure that the argument hangs together, but 957 "picked up by local authorities", 400 from Afghanistan and 200 from Africa, in the last 8 months of 2008. Journalism in this piece a bit sloppy.

Were police spies behind mass arrest of activists?

This is one of those events that make me uncomfortable. Have to see what pans out, but the great fear always was that these "terrorism" powers would be used against dissidents and on behalf of industrialists/private enterprise. Looks awfully like that in this case, but let's see who gets brought to court and for what. At least they aren't going to disappear....yet.

You are being lied to about pirates

Johann Hari continues a series of think pieces challenging orthodoxy.

09 April 2009

Scotland Yard's top troubleshooter faces his biggest challenge

Some interesting thoughts about the tensions between the cultures of the Met, the former Special Branch and the intelligence services. Seems to suggest that "Counter Terrorist Command" has retained much of the old SB separatism, too. Doesnt get to grips with the intelligence services desire to be the lead agency. Times and Telegraph will give the intelligence services side shortly, I suspect!

Police feared "Al Qaeda terror attack" was planned for Easter

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester lets some information out, and denies most of the press speculation, but does say most of those arrested are Pakistani nationals in UK on student visas.

Serial Killers Working as Lorry Drivers Have Murdered 500 Women Across the USA

FBI has launched a Highway Serial killings database and found a pattern.

G20 Death. How Can We Trust the Police Now?

I was just thinking, better to run a critical piece on the police from the Telegraph rather than the Guardian...but it's not true any more. There's a Conservative dissatisfaction with the police that needs analysis. There's a hint towards the bottom. The experience of the Countryside Alliance demo in London left the shires in no doubt that the police are violent towards demonstrators. But there also seems to be a feeling that ACPO have got above themselves.

Liverpool Terror Alerts: Police foil Major Bomb Plot

From the Liverpool Echo. lots of pictures ans links to more. Probably the most exciting thing ever to happen at and in a University Library. Lots of anonymous officers around the country talking about plan for a big explosion. Poor old Bob Quick. It would have been his hour of glory!

Swiss hold "$150 million Nigeria bribes"

Nigeria's justice minister on bribery by Haliburton, the results of a US case, and the lack of prosecutions of the bribe-takers in Nigeria.

Police Chief quits over blunder

There have been coordinated raids on properties across the North of England and a number of arrests. Bob Quick, senior police officer in charge of counter-terrorism was photographed getting out of a car with a document visible giving details of the raids. He has now resigned, but the story goes off at a number of tangents. The most important one will be whether the raids had to be rushed and mistakes made as a result. Equally important is the question of whether a major al Qaeda inspired operation has been thwarted. Then there is the problem of the rights of photographers and media publishing of material, which will bring up the hoary old D-notice system. Finally, the Boris Johnson question will also arise. Who do senior Met officers give their resignation to? The Home Secretary or the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority? There is also the question of why relations are so bad between senior police officers and the Tories, but that wont get a lot of discussion...

06 April 2009

Somali pirates seize more vessels

5 vessels seized in quick succession

Gangsters guilty of wake murder

Gangsters here meaning "members of gang". Unpleasant story of murders, torture and drug dealing.

Relief matched by dismay as Zuma cleared

All to do with "the timing of the charges". Yet again, no court case...and thus no confidence in the judicial process or the will to bring corruption to court. Mind you, not many trials for corruption in the UK either...are there...

Net tightens on Insider Trading

We'll see. Its only the FSA that claims to be making enquiries...But to be fair...they just won their first case [yup, first ever]

29 March 2009

Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries

Controlled by the Chinese Government? Or by freelance hackers? Or a set-up by Western Intelligence Agencies? Report from the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. There doesnt seem to be a link to it in the New york Times article.

26 March 2009

DNA "bungle" haunts German police

German police may have been hunting a non-existent woman for 15 years. Hmmm...and DNA is "infallible"? Identical female DNA found at 40 crime scenes. If they had had a DNA database of everybody, some poor cotton bud manufacturer might have gone down for a very long time. Of course not! the innocent have nothing to fear...except science abused in the name of law enforcement...

Officcials Lay Out Details of How Pakistan's Spy Agency Support Militant Groups

From the New York Times, and the article is widely quoted in the US Press today. Alleges proof from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. The only dispute is as to whether the connections reach right to the top of the ISI or stop in the middle levels.

A direct quote from the article:

"Little is publicly known about the ISI’s S Wing, which officials say directs intelligence operations outside of Pakistan. American officials said that the S Wing provided direct support to three major groups carrying out attacks in Afghanistan: the Taliban based in Quetta, Pakistan, commanded by Mullah Muhammad Omar; the militant network run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; and a different group run by the guerrilla leader Jalaluddin Haqqani."

Councils Launch 20,000 Spying Missions on Fairy Light Thieves and Illegal Crab Sellers

This is one of the great headlines. As Jacqui Smith creates her army of 60,000 to fight terrorism, presumably they will all have these powers too. OK, swivel-eyers, I do quote the Torygraph in this blog as well as the Antichrist Gazette [Guardian]. These powers must go! But will the Tories promise to abolish them? [The Liberals, as always, don't count] I saw a poster yesterday, with a telephone number for anonymous denunciation of people who you think might be terrorists...Ah, the spirit of Stalin lives on! Here comes the Great British Purge. Labour camps for re-education purposes will be where exactly?

This counter-terroism plan is in ruin. Try one that works

Phew. What a relief. Sometimes I begin to think that it's my eyes that are beginning to swivel. Seumas Milne's article in the Guardian [yeah I know. All you swivel-eyed UKIP supporters out there think the Guardian is evil] restore a sense of proportion. hazel Blear's decision to cut links with the Muslim Council of Britain, the soggiest, Uncle Tommiest organisation going, just cuts the ground away from any attempt to engage with British Muslims.
Milne's words: "the dispute goes to the heart of the fatal flaw in government policy towards the terror threat. Instead of simply aiming to stop indiscriminate attacks, something that unites almost all Muslims as well as non-Muslims, the idea underlying the new strategy is to confront "nonviolent extremism" as well." This is dangerous ground and ends up with locking up all BNP supporters, UKIPpers, Marxists, Trots anarchists...and probably half the Catholic and Protestant churches. The only good news is that gingers will turn out to be on the list too, and that will include la Blears.

Comments on the piece also worth reading. Anyone doing an essay on Britain's counter-terrorism policy has all the arguments in this discussion. Its a gift!

25 March 2009

Ministry Tries to Make Gentlemen of Cops

Oh God. They've got personnel departments in Russia. Even the Ministry of the Interior...Why? Flower arranging classes next and group hugs with their clients. You will love their new code of behaviour. Only a personnel department could have vreated it...ah well, here comes the Human Resource Management Department, careering down the road in a VW microbus...

Clinton admits US blame for drugs

This is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepting US responsibility for Mexico's problems. The beauty of this particular piece is the map at the bottom showing the influence ares of individual drug cartels.

24 March 2009

New UK Counter-terrorism strategy

I suppose I had better read this, rather than the newspaper reports. I offer you the link. There's a massive .pdf file two clicks further on for those of you who can face it. BBC comments at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7961299.stm
Again the two sides on Bob Lambert's thesis are in full play in the PREVENT part of the document. Better get some references in there, Bob. Jim and Abdul haqq!

Stand up for convicts, if you want to be fair

David Aaronovitch, another man who seems terribly confused. He is right, however, to question the objectivity of a Report drawn up by people who all think the same way. He is incorrect on the reasons the European Court of Human Rights declared the DNA database illegal. The problem was that once your DNA has been taken, there is no way of having it removed from the database. There are, in other words, no procedures governing placement, removal and appeal. The ECHR has been pretty clear on this principle for quite some time as it applies to all issue, as has the European Court of Justice. nevertheless, his argument, though casuistry, needs to be addressed, because it clearly is one he has acquired from late night brandies with senior legal figures, who are also confused. O tempora, o mores!

This is no way to counter Islamic Terror

Lord Guthrie, former Chief of Defence Staff comments on the Government's counter-terrorist strategy. I find his argument and his conclusions somewhat at odds with each other. I thought he was going to argue one set of lessons from Northern Ireland, but he argues exactly the opposite. For that very reason, it deserves to be in the blog. I thought at first he was arguing with Bob Lambert, but he argues against him from the same premises. Better get this into the PhD, Bob!

Raid on safe deposit boxes uncovers "Aladdin's cave of ill-gotten gains"

Lovely phrase! This raid was mentioned last year, when the raid occured, somewhere around June. Operation Rize was its name. 40 arrested, 11 charged and 700 referred to HMRC for tax evasion involving £15 million. More than half the over 3,500 boxes suspected of connections to criminality.

22 March 2009

Stasi HQ UK...where details of your journey are secretly logged and kept

I'm having a right-wing day clearly. This one appears to be from the Daily Mail, but its actually a Facebook group too, called "Eating lentils doesnt make me a terrorist suspect" Now, the Mail seems to go berserk about "profiling" which is in fact a perfectly respectable technique, designed to minimise the number of people in transit who are given a higher level of inquiry and perhaps a search so that the other travellers may move quickly.
There are huge problems with the algorithms, indeed I have given papers about the problems of cross-examining a computer in court. You can become guilty because the algorithms say you are suspicious and the step from one to the other is the step that must be prevented. Profiling means risk-profiling here. But someone needs to risk-profile the algorithms themselves and hold up their hands about what might go wrong.
The innocent may have nothing to fear, but those adjudged suspicious by the algorithms do, because being judged suspicious means youre caught up in the "no smoke without fire" mentality. You havent got a right of access to legal services when someone starts messing with your right to fly either. I hate agreeing with the Daily Mail and the brown-rice eating, open-toed sandal brigade simultaneously.

Our prisons must be freed from this cycle of failure

Well, dear old Ian Duncan Smith has asked Jonathan Aitken to produce a report on prisons, on the grounds that he has spent time in one. Perhaps he will be asking Bernie Madoff to run his fraud sub-committee.

Nevertheless, he seems to have "got" drugs, rehabilitation and mental illness as the big three problems. sadly, his only policy is to bring in the charities...well their record in drug rehabilitation has been very poor, IDS...You gotta spend money on more prison officers and get rid of group therapy in favour of individual approaches. Some of the rest is sensible. In other words, as usual, we can agree the critique, although the idiocies of the Thatcher period need to be remembered, but where is the hard cash for the solution going to come from?

EU banks named in dirty money report

Ah. Back to business as usual. Global Witness has brought out a report detailing the business done between EU banks and corrupt regimes.
Undue Diligence-Banks: Helping the poor to get poorer: http://www.undue-diligence.org/
I havent had a chance to read it yet, but it sounds excellent.

In Iraq, Chaos Feared as US closes prison

Camp Bucca closing and out go the inmates, most of whom should never have been arrested in the first place. Yup, they're going to be cross and some hardcore guys will cause trouble. The US started wrong and they're finishing wrong. Lessons for Afghanistan? Send in the clowns. Talking of which, tourists are back in Iraq.

Seriously, what is the lesson here? There are many others wrongly detained by the Iraqis themselves. This is now an Iraqi problem...time to go! The spooks are packing for Kabul, Kandahar and Jallalabad, where they will make another nice mess, Stanley! The lesson is, spooks gather intelligence, but don't put them in charge of a policing job. Refocus the US Army away from fighting war to police support...hmmm, no, I cant see it either. Police primacy? The UK had problems with that too. So many lessons to be learnt from Northern Ireland and so many mistakes being forgotten.

Pakistani villagers Pay a Price for Defying Rebels

These are the guys that matter. Local communities fighting back. Like the anti-Mafia marchers. I await the British Muslims marching in support of Gordon Brown...or even against the jihadists. Empower the people on the street. You cant win these conflicts with databases and bureaucracies with boxes to tick...which is what these "training programmes" of the Home Office amount to.

Envoy damns US Afghan drug effort

"Richard Holbrooke said the $800m (£550m) a year the US was spending on counter-narcotics would be better used in supporting Afghan farmers." Now that applies to the previous posts too, in its own way. Stop the paramilitary top-down approach and get back to bottom-up community empowerment. Holbrooke is Obama's special envoy. Now if Obama could just get some policies together to match the rhetoric, particularly with regard to the world financial system, we could all sleep easier. Here and in Northern Pakistan is where the big problems of both drugs and terrorism originate. Gotta get this one right, boys and girls! Then lets sort out Colombia, bottom-up too...I'm such a dreamer!

Crowds march against Naples mafia

Best of luck guys. This takes courage.

Scottish jails "awash" with drugs

Keep em calm, eh?? We can't afford rehabilitation, so lets keep em stoned. The massive public sector cuts next year really arent going to help, either. And the health service really isnt going to prioritise drug rehabilitation therapy, is it? All that money being wasted on training retail workers in counter-terrorism when shoplifting is much more likely to affect them. Ah me! All this and the Tories are coming back. Private prisons and more Americanisation. Yippee, eh?

UK plans comprehensive terror law

"The Home Office says the proposal would give the UK the most comprehensive counter-terror strategy in the world." Apparently we have trained tens of thousands of people including retailers...but we are still marching to the tune of the security services, not the service policing model. Ho hum...what was it ...History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce....The 18th Brumaire of Gordon Brown. I really must write it someday.

Gordon Brown tells us how is protecting our rights

Sorry Gordon, we dont believe you. We are just so disappointed in you. You have proved that "anybody but Blair" is not enough. When we arent allowed to photograph police officers in the name of counter-terrorism or even take photos in shopping malls because of the petty security officers you have given power over us, we dont see how your strategy benefits us. Read the comments, many of which are from the swivel-eyed brigade. No apologies, no admitting to overreaction. Just the continuing hope that authoritarianism keeps the red-tops happy and will bring votes. You continue to do the terrorists jobs for them and you dont even know what you are doing.

Symbionese Liberation Parolee

Goodness me. This takes me back. The Symbionese Liberation Army, Patty Hearst and all the weirdness of American domestic terrorism. The Weathermen [later Weather Underground], the Black Panthers [J.Edgar Hoover really bent the law around them]...all the stuff that supposedly never happened, because the USA has never had any domestic terrorists....hah! Its amazing how the modern academic hates to read! This editorial very remeniscent of the problem of what to do with Astrid Proll and other members of the Baader-Meinhoff/June 2nd groups when they were discovered long after going to ground.

Some intresting comparisons to make with white collar crime...white collar terrorism? Sounds like a book title to me. Conference money anybody?

15 March 2009

Police Stress Deterrence Measures as Bank Robberies Surge in New York

What? Another surge? Two guys mainly responsible...hmmmm

Pentagon Rethinking old doctrine on 2 wars

What's this got to do with crime? I hear you ask...Well, someone seems to have forgotten in the Pentagon/White House or wherever that a national security strategy is being fought against terrorism and organised crime. It isnt just Iraq and Afghanistan, its terror and drugs as in war on terror, war on drugs...Afghanistan is as much about drugs as it is the Taliban...and Iraq? That was just a terrible mistake...and Colombia, in the shape of FARC as well as what is left of the Medellin and Cali cartels...and Mexico? and the enemies of Israel? and Somalia?...and the Sudan and Zimbabwe..and Cuba...and Venezuela...Ok the last 6 arent declared wars on the part of the US of A...but you get the point? The resources arent there to use force against all your real and imaginary enemies...time for diplomacy?

12 March 2009

How Risky is that drink?

Nothing to do with crime...yet! But I know many of my readers have been hiding behind the red wine alibi for years. As your blogger completes three months of abstinence, he just thought a cautionary word would be timely...Mind you, it's British research, all of which seems to be done by a combination of the Temperance League and Cassandra these days. Yeah, life is a terminal disease. if the thunder dont get you the lightning will!

Financial Fraud is Focus of Attack by Prosecutors

Pity they didnt start sooner. I suppose the difference is that juries want blood. Defendants will know that conviction is more than likely and will plea bargain. But the article suggests they will either plead stupidity, or "everyone else was doing it". Only obeying orders, eh? This all happening in the US.

10 March 2009

In Afghanistan, Less can be More

Excellent piece on the lessons even the Americans learned [well some of them] from counterinsurgency in the 1960s, applied to strategy for Afghanistan today. Keep it Simple, Stoopid!

We were wrong to film journalists say police

Surveillance teams didnt understand press cards..yeah, right! So thats alright then. Everyone else can go on the database and the press can stop worrying their pretty little heads...

Big rise in cannabis factories

Regular readers will have spotted the geographical spread of this phenomenon. South East Asian gangs are suspected to be behind it.

Policeman shot dead in Northern Ireland

The "Real IRA" determined to kill off the peace process. This is when we will find out if the Catholic population has accepted the legitimacy of the PSNI.

08 March 2009

US trops face a tangle of goals in Afghanistan

Good piece depicting all the old dilemmas. It's a police job, not an Army job, but creating an honest police force that the people trust...that's the key problem to solve.

Baghdad police attack "kills 28"

And so it goes on. Nothing very analytical in this piece.

"Real IRA was behind Army attack"

Last of the psychopaths gun down two pizza delivery boys in order to shoot two soldiers. Sooner theyre caught and locked away the better. Back in the late 60s there was serious discrimination against the Catholic community. Now they have full civil rights. "Zombie" sang the Cranberries. Correctly.

07 March 2009

A professor's bold thinking on terrorism

Louise Richardson, author of "What Terrorists Want", interviewed by the Financial Times. It doesnt say clearly, bu she appears to have taken over as principal at St. Andrew's University [in Scotland for our overseas readers]. Fascinating piece.

Companies "paid for secret database on troublemakers"

Just in case you thought your blogger was exaggerating earlier about employers and activists...Here's a story about allegations against a private detective and 40 major British companies.

Merrill Lynch trader is suspended over £120 million rogue currency deals

Not necessarily a crime, though. More likely a "cock-up". the crime remains that systems allow someone to play with money in such a way that so much can be lost in such a small time. Where's Captain Mainwaring when you need him?

Police turn mapmakers to count CCTV cameras

No-one knows how many there are and there is no regulatory system or even legislation covering their use. I have this image of Britannia stripping on webcam...cartoonists out there want it? Copper looking at the image from the control room while City financier steals from her handbag?

Major City frauds uncovered by police

I had to ask, didnt I? Director of SFO, says a big Ponzi scheme will be revealed soon. The Independent newspaper here claims that several smaller investigations will soon come to court.

The Tottenham lawyer, the £100 million Nigerian bribe and Dick Cheney

Bibes allegedly paid to obtain a contract for Haliburton. Its the US that will prosecute...well you wouldnt expect the SFO to get out of bed for £100 million would you?

Man jailed for conning £15 million from investors

Just how many bogus hedge funds are there out there?

"Cocaine cast" man arrested at Spanish airport

Ive chosen the Telegraph account for two nice details:

The man was taken to hospital AFTER the cast was removed.

Officers are investigating whether the injuries were inflicted intentionally so he could smuggle the drug.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Binmen trained to be eyes and ears of police

Honestly, I'm not making this up. Today Cambridgeshire...tomorrow your incorrectly filled wheelie bins...The cops are too busy watching protesters to catch burglars, so theyre training up binmen. Comic Relief stunt?

Revealed: polics databank on thousands of protesters

But dont you dare take a photograph of them! Just pray Stalin or Hitler doesnt come to power in the next few years, because they will have a wonderful police database to lock up all the possible resisters. Or that the database gets privatised ...then it can be made accessible to employers...Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Errr...Nobody.

This is the text linked to the video in the previous post. Really cheerful Saturday morning!

Police target journalists and protesters

This'll cheer you up. Only coming out because journalists themselves beginning to feel threatened by police surveillance. This link goes to a video with police comments. Allegedly.

Madoff expected to plead guilty Thursday

But its a plea bargain...

NY "mafia cops" get life in jail

Feeling safe? That cop that flagged you down could be a Mafia hitman...This has been on the blog before and there's something odd about the story. NYTimes story at: http://tinyurl.com/c2qgqg

Just what you always feared private prisons could turn out to be about

Two judges plead guilty to accepting money from the owner of a private detention facility to send juveniles there. Read and weep...Of course it doesn't matter because it happened somewhere really obscure in Pennsylvania USA. Its a one-off...yeah, sure. And bankers are honest...was that a pig I just saw flying past the window?

03 March 2009

01 March 2009

As Italy's Banks tighten lending, desperate firms call on the Mafia

Banks stop lending. The loan sharks move in. The Mafia is still cash heavy and the interest rates they charge may mean they end up taking over the business. Plus ca change...

28 February 2009

Reforming the UK police

"Centre-right" think tank Reform has a number of recommendations for reforming the UK police. Just found it as Match of the Day starts. Will try to return to some of the recommendations tomorrow, because they need to be discussed.

25 February 2009

Arms dealer jailed for 30 years

Monzer al Kasser found guilty of conspiring to sell arms to FARC...but actually, it was a sting! The US has been after him for quite a while.

Report urges European Finance watchdog

Not wholly about organised crime, but relevant to a lot of phenomena that are linked. The victims of white collar carelessness are legion...When does causing the majority of the public to lose money become a criminal act? Another one of those finals questions...

US holds 750 in drug cartel raids

Targeting the Sinaloa cartel from Mexico. But the figure includes many arrested earlier.

Former Belgo executive Tim Power convicted of insider dealing

odd little article. Bloke supposed to have benefited found not guilty...how does all that add up then?

Exclusive: Army is fighting British jihadists in Afghanistan

Exclusive? There's an earlier post on this blog from 21st Feb from the Telegraph reporting identical information that was supposed to have been given to Miliband on his recent visit. Not a lot of new stuff in this piece, but the comments are particularly bizarre.

23 February 2009

China fears tremors as jobs vanish from coast

This doesnt just describe the seed bed for political protest. it describes the conditions in which organised crime flourishes. Merton, where are you? Presumably, identical things are happening in India, just as they are in Eastern Europe and Mexico.

Crime went global years ago, even before licit business. Jihadism went global more recently. Are the far left and right following suit? How would we tell? By the fact that Ministries of the Interior and cops are getting jumpy?

Relative deprivation or absolute deprivation. Which curve are we on?

French School Trip Targeted by deadly Cairo bomb

The Times spin on the attack brings out the stark stupidity of it all. A bunch of French schoolkids doing last minute shopping. Le Monde's more measured response here: http://tinyurl.com/ahb42g

Britain facing a Summer of rage - police

Supt Hartshorn, apparently head of the Met public order unit predicts a heady brew of middle class rebels, activists, far left, far right and environmentalists. od little piece. Wonder if it was the Guardian's idea or his? But if the police go in hard, they certainly will have trouble. Wonderful act of idiocy recently, cancelling a football match in Liverpool in order to have more resources to police a BNP demo. How to win friends and influence people...

22 February 2009

Kidnap on Britains streets

Unpleasant little stories of kidnap and torture. The majority involving drug addicts and petty criminals, but a problem that the BBC believes is on the increase. I would like to hear the police comment.

Stanford investigations: FBI allegedly looks at possible links with Mexican drug gang

This is more or less the same story that has appeared in different parts of the UK media, so these "sources" must have given an off the record press conferencs, although all of the boradsheets claim its exclusive...but that would be typical of sports journalism, which is what we have here. The libel lawyers must be going crazy! Quote from DEA: "I think we'll find that any possible drug-related trail and SEC priorities are not all in the same frame."

Death threat to Greek media as terrorists plot bomb havoc

The Sect of Revolutionaries, thought to be a breakaway from an earlier group, revolutionary struggle, nearly detonates an enormous car bomb in Athens. Who's training them and how are they funded? is this a return to 6os and 70s groups or something different?

Mobster makes offer on French Connection Case

Anthony Casso, former Lucchese family underboss, serving the equivalent of 455 years for murder, offers to clear up some mysteries from the past in return for some sort of plea bargain, or even just a day outside. New York Times article includes details of how many individuals who offered to talk ended up dead.

21 February 2009

British Muslims providing Taleban with parts for roadside bombs

Yeah, yeah, typical Torygraph piece on "the enemy within".

there are two pieces of data here: one is that electronic bits and pieces "originating in the UK" have been found in bombs in Afghanistan...now UK electronics does sell all around the world, Torygraph editors. Secondly, militants with Yorkshire and Midlands accents had been heard speaking on the radio. All this stuff fed to little David Miliband. It's possible, but its not evidence, milord. Chain of evidence, please before you start stirring up domestic conflict.

Crime Scene Imperfections

U.S. National Academy of Sciences casts doubts on TV version of forensic evidence. So-called scientific methods actually depend on "expert" interpretation and "experts" can say different things at different times about the same piece of evidence. it subjective. All those white coats dont make it scientific.

19 February 2009

Time Catches up with Global Gangster

Ricardo Fanchini, allegedly a major figure in the growth of organised crime after the fall of Communism. Born Katowice, Polish mother, Italian father from Naples....Linked to Pruszkow gang, to Mogilevich and to Bout. He has now agreed a plea bargain in the US. The book will be interesting if and when it comes out!

Cocaine price "set to fall more"

International Narcotics Control Report for 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/18_02_09_undrugsreport.pdf
West Africa and Balkans rout becoming major problems. Price of cocaine has halved in 10 years. So much for the "War on Drugs". Time for a new strategy Mr. Obama!

Cricket promoter Allen Stanford linked to drugs investigation

Please not that this is essentially a sports story. I hope the chief Sports Reporter remembered to check with the libel lawyers! ABC news is the source for this story. Oh my Hornby and my Barlow long ago...

For the field is full of shades as I near the shadowy coast,
And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
And I look through my tears on a soundless clapping host,
As the run-stealers flicker to and fro, to and fro :
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!

[time for a bit of class]

17 February 2009

Met police suspends nine officers in corruption enquiry

All from Enfield Crime Squad. There have been no arrests and the investigation , into "mishandling of property" is ongoing.

Stanford accused of $8bn fraud by SEC

This is the cricket entrepeneur. Seems a shame really. Assets frozen, so sponsorship of all sorts of sporting activities are in question. Another case to watch.

David Mills found guilty

Doesnt seem to have made it to the BBC website, but this Guardian piece covers the main consequences likely for tomorrow's newspapers. Mills will appeal.

Verdict due in Mills bribery case

Tessa Jowells estranged husband. If he is found guilty, Berlusconi has passed a law giving himself immunity. Will give the Press a chance to bash Labour for sleaze whatever.

Plane crew held over cocaine haul

5 kilos of cocaine found on South African airways flight. Second case of its kind this year.

Ministers using "fear of terror"

Dame Stella Rimington attacks Government for using fear to restrict civil liberties. She points out that the Government is actually doing the terrorists job for them. Pity its taken her so long to come out with this, and that it is in the Daily Telegraph, which would like to restrict voting to rich males...To be fair, she has spoken out before, against Government attempts to extend powers of detention. I also note that the Daily Mail is attacking ACPO, apparently on the grounds that it has privatised itself...I thought that's what Tories wanted?

16 February 2009

Getting Outswindled by a swindler

Another fascinating piece from Yulia Latinina. Ros Ukr Energo, linked to alleged arch criminal Semyon Mogilyevich, she argues may have been conning the kremlin into thinking Yushchenko was in his pocket. Byzantine "just suppose" tale.
There have been problems with the Moscow Times site of late, with some articles demanding subscription. This week, they arent. Who knows what will happen next week. This one was part blocked last week but is OK to read now. Odd, eh?

Nighthawks hitting historic UK sites

Groups removing objects from scheduled ancient monuments. Illegal but punishments unlikely to deter anyone.

15 February 2009

Fund Manager Arthur Nadel arrested in Madoff-style scheme

Florida-based business known as Scoop with ramifications further afield. Going to be a lot more of these. Greed facilitates fraud. It's that simple, bankers.

Ecstasy Ensnares Upper-class Teenagers in Brazil

Nothing really specific to Brazil. A story that could be told of anywhere in the world, except for the business of bribing the police to get a lesser charge. Two upper class E dealers tell how prison affected them. They also warn that putting the upper classes in jail leads to their recruitment by organised crime with all the subsequent networking opportunities. But we knew that anyway. Its just the policy-makers who dont seem to have it clear in their heads. Prison is a recruitment agency for extremists, criminals and all sorts of odd-bods. It needs rethinking.

Inquiry on Graft in Iraq focusses on US officers

Article in New York Times alleges that investigation is taking place of two senior US officers. Claims are being made by other accused of bribe taking somewhere in the reconstruction and procurement offices. The nature of the evidence is, naturally, problematic.

14 February 2009

Fraud police arrest City trader

GFX Capital markets customers allegedly victims of a possible British Madoff?

A vintage crime

This will be in the Torygraph tomorrow and the Turkish restaurants of London and the South east will be invaded by braying idiots sniffing the corks of the house wine. Could be a superb piece of marketing. A Turkish folksinger conning French vineyards out of wine worth £200 a bottle, then selling it at £60 a case...Dogan Arslan, you are a true character..and very wicked!

California's Crowded prisons

Some rare sane thoughts on US prison policy: it doesnt work, its too expensive and it actually violates the few human rights the US allows prisoners and aliens. California's own court orders the State to reduce the prison population by 55,000 or one third.
The UK Home Office continues slavishly to imitate US models, most of which even the US recognises have failed. Maybe one year we might have some ideas of our own! Well, of course, UK academics and even its own researchers have been telling the Home Office its got it wrong for years..Jack Straw and the Ministry of Justice? same old, same old.

12 February 2009

India Welcomes Mumbai Admission

Pakistan accepts that at least part of the conspiracy took place on its territory and seeks to prosecute 8 members of Lashkar-e-taiba. Major development in a return to good relations between the two, but also signals important changes in attitudes generally in Pakistan.

EU court to deliver Judgement on data retention

Lot of legal issues here. Two years, three years and under which aegis can legislation be drafted. does such a law require unanimity or majority vote. is it subject to parliamentary scrutiny. Court to declare on some technicalities, but the issue will be back.

Keeping up with Criminals

Not quite sure what this is about...but the podcast may make it clearer. Journalist discovers male ritual of heavy drinking, drug taking and staying apparently untouched...Could be a number of institutions that I'm far too cool to name, Laurie....

"Hitmen" held over Mexico murders

Members of los Zetas, a group of ex-soldiers working for drug traffickers and the Gulf Cartel...which sounds awfully like an oil company, but clearly isnt. Mexico following the "Obshak" model, but shifting towards the "Krysha", here. Not just a Russian phenomenon at all!

UK fraud probe begins at AIG arm

focused on the AIG Financial Products division apparently. Always check up on the foreigners, but dont touch the City. Sounds like a motto for the SFO.
Semper alios investigare, noli Civitas tangere. Ah the joys of a good education!

10 February 2009

Obituary for Reverend Roy Magee, Presbyterian Minister who worked hard to bring Ulster loyalists into the peace process

Much has been written about the IRA, but much less about the loyalist paramilitaries. This excellent obituary to Roy Magee not only reminds readers of the importance of his life and work, but jogs the memory of the violence from the Protestant side in the Troubles. The Protestant paramilitaries killed many more than the Catholic paramilitaries and peace was impossible without bringing at least some of them on-side. A timely reminder of the difference between media views of a conflict and reality. The problem now is dismantling the crime groups that remain.

09 February 2009

Rare piece on Corsican nationalism

From le Monde...in French, of course! I must admit I didnt know there were two FLNCs, FLNC UC and FLNC 22nd October. I had heard of links with organised crime, but only from a postgrad's essay. Anyway, useful documentation for those of us who like to know what's going on out there!

Swiss vote to open borders to Bulgarian and Romanian workers

Surprise result in a referendum. Switzerland recently joined Schengen too. So it's possible to get Europeans to vote sanely in a referendum.

£250m VAT fraud suspect arrested in Hungary

The fifth of ten targets for Captura 2 to be arrested. Programme aimed at suspects thought to have fled abroad.

No Outcry over Russian Killings

BBC Moscow correspondent's powerful article about the reality of Russian politics; not a new Soviet state, just an oligarchy determined to preserve their own wealth and position. No grand conspiracy, just a security apparatus at the beck and call of powerful individuals.

Seven-nation anti-drug patrol seizes 40 tonnes of cocaine

Marine Analysis and Operation Centre-Narcotics [MAOC-N] coordinates the intelligence and resources. Based in Portugal, commanded by a Briton, it enables UK, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands to place liaison officer under one roof to ensure that action can be taken quickly on intelligence. Europol also represented, but kournalist doesnt mention Eurojust.

05 February 2009

Single White Female

More from the Moscow Times crime blog. This time the real estate agent who searched for look alikes on social networking sites, then murdered them in order to sell their apartments. Financial crime plus homicide...apparently there's a lot of it about in Russia.

UK fraud office halts Kenya probe

SFO blames Kenyan government. Promises to look again at case if evidence provided by Kenya. Involves use of offshore accounts in Jersey and Guernsey to transfer funds to Apex Finance on behalf of a phantom company called Anglo Leasing Finance which won a contract to provide sophisticated passport equipment, ships for the navy and forensic kit for the police, none of which was ever delivered.

Japanese Business man arrested for alleged £1bn fraud

Kazutsugi Nami and 21 executives from L&G arrested after bankruptcy of company. Allegations of a pyramid scam.

01 February 2009

Concern over white heroin return

First signs that white rather than brown heroin is coming in from Afghanistan. A purer form, it will lead to overdose related deaths if it becomes widespread.

Cybercrime threat rising sharply

Panel of "experts" in discussion at Davos. Nothing new. Identity theft, theft of goods, money, denial of Service attacks, government screw-ups and censorship...and no answers!

Archer and Black to be Ousted from Lords

Another of Tony Blair's great failures. Why couldnt he complete reform of the Lords and give the UK an elected Upper Chamber? Could it be that his heart wasnt really in democracy? Convicted criminals at last to be removed from the Lords. Wonder why Murdoch has it in for the Lords? Id love to think its something to do with Republicanism, but I suspect theyre blocking something he wants...Oh cynical, cynical! Come back in a year's time and see if the man of Straw has actually done anything...like incorporating the ORCD Convention on Corruption into UK law, for example...

She came, she saw, she scythed through the SFO

March 2007, Jessica de Grazia invited to review the SFO. Sunday Times has seem her draft report, which it claims is damning.

30 January 2009

Old Style Street Revolts seem to have rattled Sarko

Charles Bremner scoffs in the Times. Now I'm seriously worried. If he's being patronising about the return of the Trots, its inevitable. And I have been very rude about them in the past. Oops!

Europe: Dress Rehearsal for Revolution

My first reaction was to smile paternally at this piece. But then I remembered a recent French piece on the same theme. Obama seems to have pushed crime off the radar for a while, but there is a European tradition of mass unrest. What did the theorists say? Its relative deprivation that matters..when expectations continue to rise but the economy/government's ability declines is when political violence/ revolutionary ferment occurs. Well, this is a classic case, surely. What goes around comes around...Maybe its time to be less complacent. What is the role of organised crime in times of relative deprivation? Anyone fancy joining me to see if we can get a research grant?????

Moscow Times Crimewatch blog

By Carl Schreck. I dont know if this will update itself but I havent spotted a URL for the blog. Idiosyncratic take on crime in Russia. I hope it stays up!

India's Backlash Against Women

Hindu extremists attacking pubs. Demanding the same sort of changes that we may yet see here..."For women's own good". The Taliban are among us! This seemed a good post to follow the previous one about women and crime. "If they'd only stop drinking and clubbing all the problems would go away..." I'm sure the Sun will be able to find a bishop to say something like this...but it wont stop page 3. Ah how confused we all are! I hear a moral panic coming down the road...

Arrests of Teenage Girls and Women Reach Record Levels

Would like to see some comparisons witht the rest of Europe, and wonder how much of this is a change in police attitudes and how much a change in female behaviour. Arrests now much more common because it allows the taking of a DNA sample and that often seems to be the goal rather than preventing future offences. In other words: I blame David Blunkett and the Home Office for their fascination with hi-tech measures and databases.
Was Roy Jenkins the only decent Home Secretary we ever had? That's another discuss question for the finals paper!

29 January 2009

Police force reports massive reduction in gang crime

Greater Manchester's Operation Cougar hailed as a success. Massive inter-agency cooperation. let's hope it can be sustained.
But in later news, a danger of contempt of court, so shhhhh: http://tinyurl.com/b6ar59 Unfortunately th Independent doesnt tell us why!

Off! the Rapid Rise and Fall of Britain's Flashiest Referee

Every Everton supporter will celebrate the demise of Clattenburg for his disgraceful display in the Merseyside derby of October 2007 documented in this article. But for the Independent to put this in the Crime section seems a little harsh. Peers of the realm get away with much more after all, as do cabinet ministers on occasion. He is appealing [well, in the legal sense, anyway].

28 January 2009

Six arrested in £420 million fraud case

Spanish police arrest 6 people alleged to be connected to AIM-listed Langbar group. supposed to have talked up the value of the shares and sold them. Details in the article.

27 January 2009

The Johnsons: "britain's number 1 crime family"?

Interesting interview with the head of a family of travellers ahead of a BBC programme "Catching Britain's Biggest Thieves".

22 January 2009

EU aid to post-Soviet states has limited impact

EU aid to Melarus, ukraine and Moldova to fight human trafficking, corruption and smuggling achieving little, Court of Auditors say.

Gazproms $1billion gift to Tymoshenko

This isnt really crime, but its such a different take on things that I feel like including it on the blog for general interest.

Gang "tried to steal £229 million from bank"

It will make a great film. Allegedly, a security guard smuggles Belgian hackers into a Japanese bank in London. They installed cloning software to steal passwords, then returned at night to try to transfer money into bank accounts elsewhere in the world.

BBC take on crime figures

Lots of good links from this article, so I have given it a separate posting.

More on crime figures

Aha! Violent crime figures in dispute because police have been under-recording in 18 constabularies including Met. Nevertheless, overall figures continue to decline

19 January 2009

The Recession Crimewave

Article in Independent arguing that burglary robbery up significantly in UK in final four months of year, according to individual constabulary figures. The size of the increase suggests another change in methodology has occurred, but the Indy insists it's the credit crunch. When interviewed, police spokespersons disagreed.

The end of mob rule

Article from The Observer magazine that argues that the Mafia in the US is in terminal decline. Except that the author covers himself right at the end. he may only be talking about the Gotti family and the credit crunch may re-empower the loan shark. Worth a read to tease out the arguments, though.

16 January 2009

Togo sends "drug smuggler" to US

Solano Cortez Jorge, suspected Colombian drug smuggler to be extradited to US. He and seven others arrested last October. 500K of cocaine allegedly seized. West Africa has become part of the smuggling network in recent years.

EU Security database upgrade could be scrapped

This is the Schengen Information System II. Plagued by idiots who believe IT salesmen and try to get it to do too much! This article mentions some of the specific problems, but there are a number of others. These deal primarily with the compatibility of Member States hardware and software systems, but there are legal problems too. But one suspects that somehow, there will be a way of fudging through.

15 January 2009

Ketamine tops cocaine as new drug of choice [in UK]

Consequence of the credit crunch? Its cheaper. Drugscope report claims that the middle classes also see it as safe.

Rio police claim drug gangs cleared from the City of God

Pilot project to combat organised crime in the favelas

Swindlers fund growing market in foreclosures

New York Times piece on fraudsters trying to con homeowners into paying money to avoid foreclosure...which doesnt avoid it at all. There are, apparently legitimate cpm[anies in this sector...and total scammers. Surprise, surprise, the sector isnt properly regulated. Coming across the Atlantic soon, if not here already.

14 January 2009

Police crack China baby sale gang

Police in Hunan province have cracked a gang that abducted toddlers to sell in other provinces.

12 January 2009

Satyam: Good news bad news

Good news is there has been a rebound in the share price, demonstrating confidence in the Government's rescue package. Bad news is that the World Bank has revealed it blacklisted the company in September.

Islamist rebels clash in Somalia

lots of column inches about pirates but little on the militias as Ethiopia withdraws. There's a new centre of jihadism developing in Somalia. Other articles linked from this piece, the most relevant of wjich is at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7803564.stm

On the Trail of Pakistan's Taliban

Excellent piece from the Guardian Weekend magazine. It charts the change of heart at the top of the government of Pakistan, the creation of a new investigative unit with Uk and Us support and identifies the key players. Baitullah Mehsud and his clan emerge as the source of the suicide bombers. Qetta, capital of Baluchistan is the epicentre of activity, but Baitullah Mehsud's organisation spread throughout Pakistan during the Musharraf era. The Mehsud clan is from central Waziristan.
The article finishes with a discussion of funding and crime. The insurrection is estimeated to cost £8.5 million a year to run, and funding comes from protection rackets, road tolls, kidnapping and bank robberies.

11 January 2009

Striking the Brothels' Botom Line

Hitting sex trafficking by attacking the brothel business model. "Raise the operating costs, create a risk of jail and the human traffickers will quite sensibly shift to some other trade. "

Eight Years Of Madoffs

Powerful opinion piece from the New York Times. How much fraud and deceit have occurred in Federal Government in the last 8 years?

Satyam fraud update

Satyam is a major Indian outsourcing company. A third of the Fortune 500 are its clients and it employs 53,000 people. I'm looking for more details of the fraud, but the founding brothers and the chief financial officer are under arrest. I have seen refrences to "India's Madoff"

War on What?

Book review of "The Search For Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future". Raymond Bonner is the reviewer. He seems surprised by the argument that al Qaeda is a political phenomenon as he thinks it's a criminal one. Maybe he's the wrong reviewer then? Distilling the review; the book may not be original but it is short. Nevertheless, it is a must read because it touches all the necessary bases that future policy makers will have to address.

10 January 2009

Is the number of trafficked call girls a myth?

Article claims that Fiona MacTaggart said 80% or prostitutes trafficked. She didn't and if you read the article you will see what she actually said.
But it is correct to say that no-one knows how many prostitutes in the UK have been trafficked

Lloyds pays$350 million to end US case

Let me see now. Lloyds admits criminal conduct according to the BBC. It faked records so that business could be done with US institutions by organisations against whom the US had declare sanctions. Wonder if anyone in the US will be busted for this? Guardian article has more detail: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jan/10/lloyds-forfeits-350m-to-us
No UK law was broken.

"stolen goods" fear in downturn

Interesting and researchable hypothesis proposed here. More and cheaper goods being stolen from cars in Gwent because market for them must have expanded. My own suspicion is that they may have a new group of chaotic drug users...but we as academics should be devising measurement tools to make these conclusions a bit more scientific, shouldn't we?

Police investigate "mafiosi" in Lancashire

Alleged senior members of the Camorra living in Catterall near Preston and in Chorley. Investigation ongoing.

09 January 2009

Colombian Drug Baron assassinated

Leonidas Vargas Vargas shot dead in hospital bed in Madrid. Head of the Caqueta cartel.

08 January 2009

SFO opens UK Madoff investigation

Stable doors and horses spring to mind. But at least it will keep them out of BAE's hair...What resources do they have? How many cases can they investigate simultaneously?

U.S. Plans border "surge" against any drug wars

Chertoff bequeaths his successor a "plan" for if and when Mexican drug wars spill North. Lets see...this is to back up his fence that turned amateur illegal immigration into professionalized trafficking and from the man who pushed the stick into the hornets' nest in the first place without a plan for the consequences, or even a risk profile. Wonder who is to succeed him?

07 January 2009

"IRA men" on trial for blackmail

Interesting trial. Is the defendants previous record being revealed because this is alleged to be a terrorist trial? If so, this has implications for the peace process. If not, then their previous convictions shouldnt be revealed and they already have grounds for appeal.

But the trial may give an insight into how far the protection racket reached and how it worked. The article alleges that the two victims raised money using the name of the IRA...Murky waters here, I fear, unless it's a misprint. Will keep you posted.

06 January 2009

Drugs porn and kidnapping scandals in the US most dangerous sport

Irresistible, I'm afraid! Ive heard of white collar crime, but there will soon be a criminological theory of all this stuff too...