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.