31 December 2010

Athens Night club damaged by bomb blast

But "criminal extortion groups" are suspected, not anarchists...

28 December 2010


article on drug money and football in Colombia...more to be said about many other countries.

Kosovo's Organized Crime Burden

An overview of the role of organised crime in Kosovo, referring to several other sources en route.

Girl gang's grip on London Underworld revealed

new book out "Gangs of London" by Brian MacDonald. This being the Guardian, theyve concentrated on the distaff side. Apparently a female gang called "Forty Elephants" was operational in South London from the late 1700s to the 1950s. It would be interesting to know what the rest of the book is about. Maybe another newspaper will review it in the near future. It isnt clear from the review if it is out yet.

27 December 2010

Broadside fired at al qaeda leaders

Is this akin to a Menshevik rebellion against al Q Bolsheviks? Demands for greater participation and less authoritarianism?

Al Qaeda finds new friends

This is a must read. Asian perspective on the changing nature of al Q and perhaps an insight into the quandries of the ISI.

Note particularly the claim that the insurgency in Kashmir a nexus of local mafias and the underworld ensured logistical support. Then note that graduates from this system have been given command of al Q operations in the West.

Dutch prosecutors release five suspected Somali terrorists

Twelve men were arrested in Rotterdam before Christmas. These five are now considered to have had nothing to do with terrorism.

Christmas bomb plotters were radicalised in jail

Major source for this article appears to have been a neighbour of the men arrested in Cardiff. The allegation add a bit of colour to the post earlier on the charging of nine men. Twelve were originally arrested.

Bomb found at Greek Embassy in Italy

Useful account of what appears to be a campaign by Greek anarchists and allies, that started in Athens in early November.

Nine charged with conspiracy after UK terrorism raids

Three from Cardiff, two from East London and four from Stoke on Trent. We will have to wait for the trials to discover what they are alleged to have been up to. West Midlands the lead counter-terrorist organisation in this case.

CCTV "helps solve 6 crimes a day"

and how many crimes a day are there...and how much does the CCTV system cost? and how much would it cost to get the police a better public image so that the public come forward with evidence? and how many crimes a day does a detective solve? Note also the weasel word "helps"...

21 December 2010

Judge slams BAE Systems plea deal

Judge surprised by grant of blanket immunity in return for payments to US department of Justice and unspecified institutions in UK.

British courts flooded with trivial extraditions, report finds

Fair Trials International [who they? article doesnt say] claim UK receiving lots of ridiculous requests under EAW

Three in court after £2m heroin haul

In Edinburgh. Biggest seizure ever in Lothian and Borders. All the accused got bail...unlike Mr. Assange

Berlin blocks Bulgaria, Romania from Schengen

Article suggests France agrees.

14 December 2010

Kosovo PM is head of human organ and arms ring, Council of Europe reports

The Kosovo Liberation Army has long been accused of involvement in organised crime. Now it may have won the election...

"Prepare for all-out cyber-war"

Your blogger has been in Catania, in a workshop with other SGOC members on human rights, legitimacy and the EU response to organised crime. He has returned home to find the UK press has gone mad. Nevertheless, this piece of scaremongering had better be published, just in case. I like the idea that Whitehall is operating an outdated version of Internet explorer, which in fact, makes everything possible to the hacktivists.

05 December 2010

WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cashpoint for terrorists

Some interesting stuff on terrorist funding in this piece. Rich individuals in the Middle east and kidnapping are pinpointed.

02 December 2010

Wikileaks cables condemn Russia as "Mafia state"

Your blogger has been in Madrid for a conference. Yes, it was cold, thank you. During his absence, Wikileaks has released a number of documents about american diplomatic cables. Nothing terribly new about them. "Everyone" knew about US criticisms of Russia and the tenacity of Spanish judges. But this is a good source for all the allegations in one place.

24 November 2010

Rio police launch major assaults on favelas

Police respond to attacks by the Red Commando drug gangs. Let's hope they have the personnel to succeed. There will be more on this in the coming days

How secure is your University City?

As my old fellow student Lucy Hodges points out, Universities in the UK are not compelled to collect statistics on or report crime against students or within Universities. They are in the USA.

Another one of the UK's dirty little secrets? University authorities don't want this studied because they don't want any negative publicity. But how can you make policy against it unless you have empirical data about what's going on?

22 November 2010

New Edition of Standing Group on Organised Crime Newsletter released!

4 articles and loads of news. Particularly note the information on the Third SGOC Summer School, this time in Macedonia

21 November 2010

Qaeda Branch aimed for broad damage at low cost

Article released in al Qaeda English language journal, Inspire. Cost of recent operation to place bombs in cargo planes: $4,200...Impact on security costs for shippers and courier services: priceless.

Labour got balance wrong on civil liberties, says Balls

90 day detention for "terrorist" suspects too long. Labour should back cutting back to 14 days. But still likes the DNA database and CCTV...Dont think he understands the concept of civil liberties at all. We should follow the police and security services. Ed. You still havent "got it". Civil liberties are absolute values, not relative ones, in a democracy. You're allying your self with the "terrorists" to undermine Western democracy [Discuss].

20 November 2010

Reports warn of attack on Reichstag

BKA and FBI excited. CIA, BND and BfV not quite so excited.

Justice Minister warns against exploiting terror

ken Clarke, are you listening?

Under fire, foreclosure king resigns

Apparently Mother Jones was exposing this guy a while ago. Rolling Stone late on the scene.

Courts helping Banks Screw over Homeowners

Big article in Rolling Stone alleging wholesale fraud in Florida in foreclosure actions against homeowners. Big banks named. Shocking. UK next? ....watch this space

The making of a dissident movement

The creation of an alliance between the experienced and disillusioned members of the Provisional IRA in Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland and the youth of the "sink estates" to recreate terrorism. read veterans of Afghanistan and Bosnia and their alliances with Muslim youth in various British sink estates and elsewhere, with no career prospects. and we're surprised we have a problem?

Who was Gareth Williams?

More importantly, who killed him, why and how? Presumably the intelligence services will one day make up a story and leak it through their people on the Sunday Times. What's the message in the way he was killed? Why didnt someone come back and take the bag away? This article suggests he may have been looking at organised crime groups. Disinformation?

18 November 2010

Cannabis haul disovered after strong winds blow doors off Kirkby Lock-up

Merseyside again. Photo gallery of 2,000 plant farm.

27 held after drug gang raids

Liverpool in the news again! But SOCA involved this time, too.

Silvio Berlusconi's allies "helping Mafia spread across Italy"

'Ndragheta alleged to be courting Northern League by Roberto Saviano, anti-Mafia activist.

Coalition U-turn over FSA crime powers

I'm not clear whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or more divide and rule by the City

15 November 2010

Warning over anti-virus cold calls to UK internet users

Organised crime now runs call centres. Don't buy anything on the telephone!

12 November 2010

Al Qaeda's "Sword of Justice" and the coming war of attrition with the west

Cheerful thoughts for a Friday afternoon. What al Qaeda's head of operations in the West may be planning for us all.

11 November 2010

CFTC eyes new powers to police algorithmic trading

This was the article that started me off. Who is seeking powers to police the software used to analyse crime-related databases?

That would be nobody, wouldnt it? Organised crime is nasty, so things to defeat it dont need policing...right?

One for the geeks

This is an insight into what I really need to know to start writing the definitive article on "the computer in the dock"

When does a rogue become a scoundrel?

More on algorithms running riot unsupervised...

Stock Exchanges at risk from rogue trading algorithms?

Ive submitted something to the Newsletter on the computer in the dock and thought I had pasted these stories earlier. Since I couldnt find them when I was rewriting it, I'm reposting. I keep thinking Ive posted stories lately when I appear to have failed...Alzheimer's or external intervention? Yeah, I know. Its incompetence!
Anyway, the Stock Market fined Credit Suisse for failing to control its trading algorith recently. Now Ive been burbling about databases and software for the last 10 years, but no-one ever listens. Algorithms have a life of their own...and the innocent have lots to fear!

09 November 2010

Drug gang leaders held following Garda "super raid"

Article from the Irish Times gives some detail on biggest organised crime groups in Ireland.

08 November 2010

Devon company director jailed over £1 million in car

£380,000 of the money linked to the £53 million Securitas robbery in Kent, February 2006.

The benefits of popping into the pub and picking up the local paper! I wouldnt have spotted this otherwise.

Al qaida and the fragmented global islamic militancy

Thoughtful piece, reminding us once again that "terrorism" is not a Weberian bureaucratic pyramid. Put it on the wall, PhD students!

Nuclear Bomb Material found for sale on Georgian Black market

18 grams offered by two Armenians with promise of more to follow. Sting operation netted it. The world will sleep uneasily tonight...

31 October 2010

Russia's heroin problem and ongoing battles over Afghan poppy fields

Washington Post piece. Depressing statistic: Russia has 2 million addicts who consume 21 of the world supply. Even more depressing statistic: in 2001 when Taliban in control, production minute. After coalition invaded, in 2002 production rose to 3,000 tons By 2008, at 8,000 tons and was supposed to have dipped last year to 7,000 tons. Mostly grown in Kandahar and Helmand...It seems a long time since John Reid told us that the UK was sending troops to Helmand to eradicate opium poppy production. Remember? It was January 2006, actually, according to the Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7146449.ece

30 October 2010

Chechnya is more violent than reported

Ivan Syoduruk, Deputy Prosecutor for the North Caucasus speaking to a Russian senatorial committee said 23 militia and soldiers being killed a week. 40% of population are unemployed. Figures are totally at odds with the complacency displayed by Putin and Medvedev.

Fake Parts "Endanger Flight Safety"

No, really...14,000 counterfeits out of 60,000 inspected...Thats not good. But how many is it in other countries? How big is trade in counterfeit aircraft parts? there's something else to worry about next time you're flying to Italy...after all, they have counterfeit road tunnels!

Travelling to Canada risks four years in jail

there must be many other countries where identifying your unit and the place where it is deployed are matters of national security. Bloomin Canucks!

Woman arrested in Yemen

Italian take on the devices discovered en route for cargo planes to US.

Russians join US troops in Afghanistan drugs raid

A Long March begins with the first step. Now lets cooperate with the Chinese too...

Al Qaeda is a bigger threat than 10 years ago

Excellent interview with Michael F. Scheuer, former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit. Never thought I would agree with so much an American "expert" had to say. Respect, Michael!

Rescued from the shredder: Carlos the Jackal's missing years

This explains why the intelligence agencies of the West were so certain of an East German connection in the 1970s. A link to the Focus magazine would be more than welcome, or to anyone who has translated the Focus article into English. Who were his bodyguards and why did they sell him out in the Sudan?

Parliament freezes EU police college funds over dodgy accounts

But dont worry, its all better now!

Yemen cargo plane carried explosives, Dubai police say.

here's the reason why no-one will stop the Metropolitan police conducting fruitless and irritating stop and searches. Nothing to do with the mid-term elections in the US, I don't suppose...Take your shoes off Lucy, dont you know you're in an airport?

101,000 stop and searches. No terror arrests

But no-one will do anything about it because of suspect devices on aeroplanes...Proportionality? Forget it. Most done by Met or BTP. is there a training failure somewhere? ie in London?

Ireland's growing Industry

Excellent piece on the mechanics of growing cannabis in Ireland.

25 October 2010

"Emir of the South" Abu Zeid poised to take over al-Qaeda in North West Africa

Hostage taker in the Sahel increases in importance.

Workshop on organised crime in Catania

“The EU policy on organised crime between Stockholm and Lisbon”
Catania, Faculty of Political Science – October 2010 / July 2011
Via Vittorio Emanuele 49 – II Flooor

1. Workshop on “The new JHA policy process in the Lisbon Treaties” directed by Francesca Longo and Daniela Irrera 29/30 October 2010.

29 October
9.00 Opening
9.30 Prof. Dr. Dr. Jörg Monar, Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, Director of Political and Administrative Studies - College of Europe -
10:45 Break
11:00 Interventions and discussion
14:30 Dr. Denis Clark
15:15 Break
15:30 Interventions and discussion
30 October
9.00 Opening
9.30 10:45 Mr. Neumann, Head of the Europol Legal Affairs Unit
10:45 Break
11:00 Round Table and Sum up

For further information, please contact:

Francesca Longo (lonfran@unict.it)
Daniela Irrera (dirrera@unict.it)
Valentina Barbagallo (urisp@unict.it)

Dissident paramilitaries see numbers rise to more than 600

An update on the dissident Republicans. Real IRA continues to be biggest and has changed its leadership.

23 October 2010

Open for business: the brothel with 1,800 prostitutes

In Catalonia, on the French border. Its legal in spain, so maybe it shouldnt be on a blog about organised crime, but note there has been a court case and note also the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court. More fuel for the debates on the sex industry.

16 October 2010

Europe's biker gangs set on collision course with police

Biker gang membership growing in Europe. Are they involved in organised crime? The Independent muses on the subject.

15 October 2010

Traders should be responsible for rogue algorithms

time to police computer generated alterations to reality. this will start in the stock market, but expect to see the computer in court more and more regularly as US lawyers work out how to bring cases.

11 October 2010

Carlos the Jackal was my friend

Strange story of an undercover journalist and Venezuelan escapades.

08 October 2010

Hamas war on drugs

The original headline is just too silly to use. An account of the changing Hamas policy against drugs, with a very small account of the nature of the problem, which is then tied into Hamas opposition to alcohol and moves against smoking in public places.

05 October 2010

13 Britons held over Spain Drug Ring

More Liverpudlians nicked, this time in Spain. This gang allegedly selling drugs in holiday resorts including ecstasy in Ibiza. There's a bit more information in the Liverpool Echo: http://tinyurl.com/3399997

02 October 2010

When the time is right to talk to terrorists

book by Mitchell T. Reiss on negotiations with Terrorists: IRA, ETA, HAMAS, the Awakening in Iraq and the Tamil Tigers. What lessons can be drawn?

01 October 2010

Be very afraid-we are being fleeced by purveyors of fear

Piece by Simon Jenkins, reminding us that during the 70s, very real bombs went off in the UK regularly, but there wasnt the massive apparatus of "security" specialists trying to terrify the population on a daily basis. he asks the proper policing question: cui bono?

30 September 2010

Polic officers storm homes across Liverpool in cocaine and heroin raid

Lots of activity in Liverpool. is it just that there's a good local paper that runs the story or is there really a major police initiative to change things? I really must look at some other local newspapers.

27 September 2010

25 September 2010

Caribbean crime wave linked to US deportations

An earlier post from the New York Times warned that this was happening in larger Latin American states. Now the smaller Caribbean islands are receiving deportees with a high propensity to violence, acquired in US cities and prisons. Joy!

24 September 2010

Irish terror attack "a strong possibility"

threat level from dissident Republicans to UK "mainland" raised from moderate to substantial.

Real IRA chief's brother in court over "arms sting"

Trial begins in Lithuania. Very short article. There will be more to come over the next few days.

A Wave of addiction and Crime, with the Medicine Cabinet to Blame

Oh, oh! On the basis that we in Europe get whatever the US gets, but 10 to 15 years later, here's a glimpse into the future.

The elderly are being targeted for their painkillers. DEA now coordinating a national take-back programme.

23 September 2010

Stuxnet worm "targeted high value Iranian assets"

Aha...If it did, then we finally have real cyberwarfare.

15 September 2010

UVF chiefs sanctioned Public execution say IMC

The Independent Monitoring Commission reports that the mureder of Bobby Moffett was agreed by the leadership of the UVF...but recommends no sanctions...Dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging again.

Real IRA says it will target UK bankers

Guardian interview with spokesperson for Real IRA. Link to background as to how story arranged. Old business of "there's only 100 of them". If there were only 100 paramilitaries, that's quite enough, thank you. PIRA rarely kept more than that number in the field. 100 = 20 x 5 person cells....although that's not the way they do it these days.

14 September 2010

Italy seizes 1.47 billion euros in Mafia assets

Short piece from Irish Times. Money laundering through alternative energy schemes.

Shake up violent crime figures says senior officer

Actually, this goes against the Torygraph's normal rant. The President of the Police Association is arguing that violent crime is OVER-recorded. the article is a preview of his speech to the Association. Covers other issues such as elected chiefs.

MI5 agent launches legal action against the government

Claim is that he was a "freelance" undercover agent whose cover was blown when he was compelled to testify in a Real IRA trial.

special report: Life in Witness protection

Around 1,000 people in UK living under witness protection programme. This guy testified against the Gooch Gang in Moss Side. Lots of bits to this article: overview of the specific witness, Moss Side, and the couple that the programme failed.

04 September 2010

Guilty after six-year trial, Portugal's high-society paedophile ring

How many more of these to come? Private Eye has printed articles regularly about a boys shome in Northern Ireland. The Belgians were caught. Politicians covering up for fellow paedophiles in several countries. yet many commentators dont think of paedophilia as organised crime

03 September 2010

In speech, Calderon acknowledges central threat of "drug cartels" to Mexico

If youve been following this blog for a while, you will remember that all was quiet until the US began building a fence [still unfinished] and changing patterns of behaviour. Policy against organised crime has to involve profiling the consequences of changing existing arrangements and has to budget for policies to deal with those consequences. I dont argue that nothing should be done. I argue that doing stuff should be properly thought through. Bush's drug tsar stirred the pot and scarpered leaving the mess for the next administration to deal with.

has an ounce less cocaine hit the streets of the US? An ounce less marijuana? Has more hit the streets of Europe? Bears? Woods? Popes? Catholics?

Kyrgyzstan cracking up

and in the last paragraph...organised crime benefits.

30 August 2010

Muslims "being turned into terrorists in jail"

This is a regular story that reflects some truth in that radicalisation is probably being attempted within UK prisons. Note that the Ministry of Justice does not agree and has a special unit in place to counter the process.

Bit alarmist for RUSI?

Massacre at Tamaulipas

"We have delegated to drug lords the job of managing our immigrant supply, just as they manage our supply of narcotics. The results are clear."

We arent quite so bad in Europe, but we need to learn from the mistakes being made on the US-Mexico border. We've only delegated our immigrant supply policy to organised crime as a whole...Do we have more civilised cartels? I doubt it.

29 August 2010

Three million cigarettes seized

Very brief story with the bare facts. Lorry stopped near Drogheda, possibly on the way to Northern Ireland. Cigarettes allegedly from UAE. Garda estimates gangs making 3 million euros a week from cigarette sales. It has long been anecdotal that more money is made from smuggling cigarettes in European countries than smuggling drugs. Time for some proper research. [see Klaus von Lampe's work and website http://www.organized-crime.de/ ]

26 August 2010

Shabwa: Blood Feuds and hospitality in al-Qaida's Yemeni outpost

Second of the Guardian's articles on al Qaida in the Yemen. More local colour than anything.

Military Computer Attack Confirmed

But not who did it or how successful it was. 2008. Somebody [a foreign intelligence agent] downloaded a programme from a flash drive onto the computers overseeing the combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The good news appears to be that the Russians are the main suspects...

Key Karzai Aide in Corruption Inquiry is linked to the CIA

The issue: does rooting out corruption destabilise the Karzai Government? Whoever is arguing this in the Obama Administration needs to be forced to watch a presentation on the degree to which CORRUPTION destabilises that same government. Both processes hurt the government, but not getting to grips with corruption loses popular support daily. Afghans still see the Taliban as scary but clean.

This New York Times article seems to be saying that investigation into the banking system has revealed the degree to which corruption is endemic. New Ansari has been moving money out of Afghanistan into Dubai for loads of people. Between a billion and 2 and a half billion dollars or 25% of GDP.

So, which destabilises Afghanistan more? Attacking corruption or ignoring it? Send your essays to the guy in the White House.

23 August 2010

Al Qaida in Yemen

First of two articles in the Guardian involving interviews with al Q militants in Yemen as well as local politicians.

Facing Afghan Mistrust, al Qaeda fighters take limited role in insurgency

Washington Post says analysis of the wikileaks documents show al Qaeda fighters marginal to war in Afghanistan. Given the other fronts spparently opened up, this may not be surprising. Or was al Qaeda a mirage? Or again, have US efforts to choke off financing by killing the financiers been effective?
The latter is unlikely. Money for operations, training, recruitment all seems to be available on all fronts. The ideas associated with al Qaeda have expanded, but there is no evidence of a powerful headquarters and command structure, just of links between various groups. After all, al Qaeda was just that when it first appeared; an agreement to work together.

20 August 2010

Court of Protection - Free will, Autonomy and Totalitarian Instincts.

Court of Protection - Free will, Autonomy and Totalitarian Instincts.
I think she's right...and as we age, we will find ourselves declared incapacitated and our money will be seized to put us in a home...

Gang of 50 hunted after illegal cockle poaching at Leasowe shoreline

There are laws on cockle picking...and you can be a cockle poacher. "Coming over here, poaching our cockles"...

19 August 2010

Project ACUMEN report

This is a .pdf which apparently hasnt been posted properly, but the document seems to be there and appears better on the tinyURL than it did on the .pdf given in the last post. Phew! This is the full text of Project Acumen: The trafficking of migrant women
in the England and Wales off-street prostitution sector.

"2,600 sex workers trafficked" says study

This is the ACPO report that was being attacked earlier in the week. The figure of 2,600 is much lower than the NGOs have claimed.
A copy of the report – Setting the Record – can be found here: http://www.acpo.police.uk/asp/policies/Data/Setting%20the%20Record%20(Project%20ACUMEN)%20Aug%202010.pdf

17 August 2010

Cannabis farm boom in UK

New ACPO report. Guardian sub editor goes for "violence"...but it turns out to be between gangs trying to nick each others' crops.

16 August 2010

Barclays Bank pays $298m to settle criminal charges

A federal judge has to approve the settlement. Basically, it's all about sanctions-busting.

15 August 2010

Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents

Mostly about the Yemen, but the first page of this New York Times article discusses the Obama administrations turn from the Bush invasive approach to a more assassination and "surgical strike" type of approach, in which there are no clearly defined rules and the Geneva Convention is completely ignored.
Since most US-military approaches nave eventually turned up in the "war on drugs" expect some of this nonsense to be deployed as strategy and tactics against organised rime in the not too distant future, if it isnt already being used in South America. Arrest? Trial? Forget it, dude...Welcome back to Dodge City!

Jessica Anne Jordan Burton: beauty queen defies cartel beasts in Bolivia's war on cocaine

Some information on Bolivia's borders and gang links to Mexico. As to the model...Its a death sentence if she's any good at the job.

Blood diamonds and Charles Taylor: the inside story

Fascinating background to the tabloid feeding frenzy this week. Story of the man who used to collect the blood diamonds from Sierra Leone.

Police report into brothels dismissed as "amateurish"

There is a debate about sex trafficking. It is certain that there is a sex industry. What is less certain is the degree of trafficking involved. There are those who argue that all prostitutes are victims and those who argue that there are prostitutes who are free independent women, choosing to sell sexual services. Quantitative research? Of course there isnt! All evidence so far is anecdotal at best. In truth, we don't know. But it's about time we found out! What's the evidence from the Netherlands and Sweden?

Revealed: the horrific trade in British children for sex

I think the first of these stories has been published before. Social services and the police do seem awfully confused about the law regarding minors. Reporter hints there is a racial element to the organised criminality here. But as I say, this reads like a re-hash of a former article in advance of a new report about to be published.

Met whistleblower forced out by officer he exposed

This stinks. OK, I know that we wont be getting the full story, but if the allegations here are correct, senior Met officers have been guilty of a variety of offences for which they should have been more severely disciplined.

14 August 2010

"Pink Panther" suspect being sent to Japan

Alleged member of Balkan based gang of jewel thieves being taken from Spain to Japan. The story still has a long way to go.

10 August 2010


As if there hadnt been enough problems with the European Arrest Warrant, here comes the European Investigation Order. This an almost totally UK oriented piece, leaning heavily on Statewatch.

European arrest warrant still "delivering injustice"

EU Observer pointing out that there is no way of stopping a European Arrest Warrant even if it is flawed. The system needs some new safeguards.

Tony Blair's 'naivete' risked Northern Ireland peace deal

Tony Blair's 'naivete' risked Northern Ireland peace deal | Politics | The Guardian

This is taken from a new book, about which I know nothing including which axes the author has to grind. Better find out more about Mary-Alice Clancy then! Surely even my little Tony wasnt this naive?

Our justice system must embrace innovation as a necessity

Report out from the Young Foundation suggesting innovations to the UK criminal justice system, which locks up many more people than the rest of Europe, apparently. Could it be anything to do with slavishly following the US, perhaps??

30 July 2010

S.E.C. charges brothers with $550 million fraud

Allegations against the Wyly brothers...the names should give these people away! Case began when Bank of America terminated accounts of companies based in the Isle of Man because it could determine who actually owned them. Civil action brought by S.E.C. Surprise, surprise...theyre big Republican Party supporters!

26 July 2010

Inside the Fog of War - Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan

Inside the Fog of War - Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

Wikileaks has posted an archive of documents from the war in Afghanistan on the internet. Ive chosen to link to the New York Times article rather than the Guardian, although both papers were given access prior to publication as well as Der Spiegel. The publication helps explain some of the media campaign against Wikipedia in recent weeks.

24 July 2010

"Devastating" drug dealers are jailed

This is a group from the Swindon area. Around the country, the police and SOCA seem to have had a resounding number of successes in operations that must have begun around 2007. I hope someone has been doing the sums to get the overall picture.

20 July 2010

The Pink Panthers

A summary of a much longer piece in the New Yorker. unfortunately the longer piece requires a subscription...

Balkan Pink Panthers Stuff of Local Legend

A piece that suggests that the jewel thieves dubbed the Pink Panthers by the media originate in Cetinje in Montenegro.

19 July 2010

Crime gangs import new members on work visas

There's quite a lot of unrelated information in this Telegraph piece. reads like someone attended a SOCA press conference and just threw it all together. It begins with a typical Torygraph prejudice against the previous government, migrants and cunning foreigners, before going on to some self-promotion by SOCA. Lots of stuff to follow up in here, though.

Britain "floundering" in online mephedrone crackdown

BBC quoting Professor Les Iverson chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Chemicals made in China being sold on the internet as legal "highs". I suspect its a "puff" for A BBC TV programme, but it's an intriguing phenomenon nevertheless. Is it a new form of organisation for criminals or really the same old? How is the stuff being trafficked? Who is moving it and who is selling it?

15 July 2010

Crime falls to lowest level since 1981

Not really surprising. The demographics remain the most powerful influence on the statistics in the UK at the moment. We have to wait for the cuts to bite to see if there are consequences for property crime.

14 July 2010

Ministers dismantle £60 million programme to prevent violent extremism

PREVENT goes. Bit of an early surprise. This is one of the four planks of the counter-terrorism programme, and in many ways the most important. I'm not sure how much of this is Guardian spin, but it is true that aspects of PREVENT had dismayed Muslim communities in the UK. The Labour government confused intelligence gathering with community strengthening and fell into the trap it fell into in so many other areas of trying to turn every NGO or business it could find into an arm of the state in the name of counter-terrorism [discuss]. The bleating of Alan Johnson, ex-Home Secretary at the foot of this piece shows how far Labour still have to go to regain confidence in the area of civil liberties.

One suspects that this is a simple cost-cutting exercise. Despite the announcement of a review, note that actually, just about all the counter-terrorism powers have been renewed for a further six months, so the headline could just as easily be: "Ministers continue previous government's draconian measures to suspend civil liberties." We shall see...or we wont, because all will have been forgotten six months down the track. One thing you can bet on. Intercept evidence will be permitted in the courts.

13 July 2010

Hundreds held in anti-Mafia raids

the campaign against 'Ndrangheta continues, this time involving arrests in the USA too.

Police officer seriously injured after loyalist march ends in sectarian riot

" As the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again." [Churchill 1922] Its marching season once again in Ulster and here come the rioters. Nothing learned, nothing changed. Except perhaps that its Sinn Fein condemning dissident republicans and outsiders...

Organised crime gangs "outwitting police"

SOCA doing well at targetting international groups, but no-one responsible for domestic groups. Met Commissioner calls for national strategy

11 July 2010

29 years for Liverpool robbers who terrorised Wales in an armed robbery spree

Two Liverpool hard men and a group of others carried out raids as cash machines being reloaded across Wales. Also carried out burglaries to get car keys for getaway vehicles.

08 July 2010

The new crop of leaders thought to be running the al Qaeda network

Surprisingly a number are Americans or have strong US links. Funny little piece. The author expresses surprise that many know what life in the West is like. Osama himself does. The whole point is the rejection of Western values and the Disneyfication of their world...innit?

06 July 2010

Men convicted of £40 million Graff jewellery robbery in London

It took the jury a long time. Retrial for one guy to come, so difficult to comment.

05 July 2010

terrorism in Britain mostly home grown report says

Report from Centre for Social Cohesion profiles 124 individuals convicted of terrorism offences since 1999 and with Islamic links.

Tighter regulation of CCTV network

Nothing specific here, except giving the police a legal right to have such a network. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating!

Fusion of militants bring new threats

Piece by Kimberley Dozier, released through Associated Press and turned up in the Guardian's RSS feed. The good news is that half the core members of al Qaeda has been killed. The bad news is that other groups in the franchise have more than replaced them. Twas ever thus. There still seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of the whole phenomenon here. US "experts" are still looking for a Weberian bureaucracy instead of a flattened heirarchy of networks.

04 July 2010

European Court of Human Rights rejects appeal by UK on stop and search powers

Yet again, the Home Office and new Ministry of Justice fail to get the point. You cant award the police blanket powers to act as they feel like. There have to be criteria for using them so it can be decided by the courts whether their use was reasonable and proportionate. There have to be grounds for suspicion

Submarine seized in anti-drugs swoop

DEA say it was built for trans-oceanic trafficking.Dave Sheridan wrote an underground comic back in circa 1969 in which he predicted such a development, but he was thinking about Mexican cartels and marijuana smuggling. His character was called "Dealer McDope". You can still buy his board game. Maybe budding criminologists should study it for further ideas!

29 June 2010

Chinese Crime Networks targeted by raids in Italy

Guardia di Finanza began the investigation into money laundering and then revealed a large netwrok involving Italians as well as Chinese. Money coming from a counterfeit fashion industry using cheap Chinese cloth to produce Italian fashion items for export to eastern Europe. Smurfing one of the techniques used. brothels and sweat shops discovered, using illegal immigrants whose documents were being held by human traffickers.

24 June 2010

World Drug Report 2010: drug use is shifting towards new drugs and new markets

There are links from this UNODC page to the full report, which is a .pdf and seems to be very slow to download. The supply of heroin and cocaine is in decline. Amphetamines are up.

United Nations says that Scotland is global hotspot for cocaine use

Not sure quite why headline writers picked on Scotland here. apparently cocaine use is up all over the UK as Colombian traffickers seek new markets. Heroin use up too. Figures from the new UN World Drug Report.

23 June 2010

Work to tackle teenage gangs "patchy"

Joint report by Chief Inspector of Prisons, Chief Inspector of Probation Service and Chief Inspector of Constabulary on missed opportunities to rescues teenagers from lives of crime.

Fugitive "drug lord" arrested in Jamaica

"Dudus" picked up by Jamaican police, allegedly on his way to give himself up at the US Embassy.

19 June 2010

Beslan's main terrorist finally caught

It is far too long since I spotted a piece by Yulia Latynina. The sting in this one is in the tail. None of the terrorists captured or killed in the Caucasus recently has been a Chechen or fighting for an independent Chechnya. They were fighting for the Caucasus Emirate. She has comments on the Beslan massacre too as well as some scathing things to say about the security agencies. I must see if she has a blog somewhere

Gang's £60 million drug business among biggest in UK

Skunk smugglers near Swindon. End of their trial, subsequent to "Operation Scarlet". odd that they were importing it. I thought most of this stuff now being grown locally. There's a back story here, I suspect.

Merseyside gang jailed for 60 years for £1 million lorry raids

Gang about 12 strong and judge talks about the heirarchy in his summing up. Operated over a large area, stealing goods from lorries and stealing cars and vans to carry away the contents of the lorries.

Worlds biggest drugs "super cartel" smashed by US in Colombia

Allowing for the hyperbole,this is a big hit. Waiting for more details of the organisation to emerge.

18 June 2010

Real IRA plot accused entrapped by MI5, rules judge

Bit of a surprise here, and probably with wider implications. Case against one defendant dismissed, but not against the other defendant. One MI5 agent ruled to have misbehaved, the other to have stayed in characted as an arms dealer. Judges final statement will be worth looking at as it will effectively lay down guidelines for sting operations in the UK, assuming it isnt challenged.

17 June 2010

Inside Australia's data retention proposal

Sleepwalking into the police state. I'm not really sure how far we have gone down this path in the UK and the EU, but we had all better pray that the new authoritarians dont win the next election...Oh, you say they already did?

16 June 2010

Smoke [and mirrors] behind Bangkok fires

Article from Asia Times on why some buildings may have been torched by the Thai redshirts/blackshirts and not others. Terrorism, crime and the rich. Tell the Guardian its journalists have a lot to learn about how to analyse violence..

Mexican President issues drug war appeal

23,000 people killed since late 2006 when the present campaign was launched, saya the Independent.

As Italian firms fall victim to the recession, Mafia fills the void

Story about 'Ndrangheta moving into the area around Milan. Big trial about to open

14 June 2010

New agency bags robbery gang

A Colombian robbery gang arrested in Thailand. New agency following up on arrest warrants issued by other countries.

10 June 2010

Medvedev seeks war on Afghan drugs, but US is tepid

Your blogger has to admit that he was not aware of how big a problem Russia has with heroin addiction.

07 June 2010

Criminals target small businesses

Report from the Small Firms association in Ireland. With figures! Empirical data!

Paul Pike murdered in Waterloo drive-by shooting

Another one of those violent events that seem to characterise Liverpool, my home city. Looks like they were pretty determined to get him, too.

Polly Peck fugitive Asil Nadir wants to return to Britain to clear his name

If he succeeds, he will have a lot to gain from libel suits. SFO not exactly the most successful at prosecuting this kind of crime so far.
I'm not sure that Times articles will be accessible for much longer as the Murdoch Empire begins to charge for access, so this post may disappear in the not too distant future.

06 June 2010

West Midlands Police say CCTV evidence "invaluable"

The local rag doesnt seem to know about the earlier post on the CCTV cameras in Muslim areas. Nor can the Birmingham Post do counting...Met report said only one crime per CCTV camera. They then allow the West Mids coppers to get away with three examples of succesful crime solving...and how many cameras, eh? The Lozells bit gives it away. We expect riots and weve now got the cameras in place to nick the lot of you...Just like the Chinese traffic control system in Tien an men square which caught so many of the demonstrators.

men held at New York JFK airport face terror charge

It is alleged that they were off to join al Shabaab in Somalia. the only problem is that all the evidence will be from talking to an undercover NYPD officer...On the other hand, there will be evidence as to their preparatory activity. We shall see.

Afghan Corruption Czar is "dead meat" if he pursues top level graft

If you want to understand why the Taliban havent gone away, here's the backstory. Very depressing. As usual, the source is foreign money.

Drone doubts strike CIA ranks

Another warning that Obama is confusing the media impact in the US of drone strikes with successful counter-insurgency policy. Tthe drones are recruiting for al Qaeda and the taliban, not discouraging potential recruits, th author of the article argues.

Unmasked: Thailand's "Men in Black"

Article from Asian Times on the paramilitaries within the Redshirt movement. "Paramilitary provocateurs" the journalists call them. There will be more trouble in Thailand.

Crime Handbook provokes fears of increased left-wing violence

Der Speigel the source. Handbook called Prisma. Full of tips. I'd take it more seriously if they had also found the right wing handbook for provoking conflict.

EU's Kosovo mission struggles for credibility after smuggling incident

Romanian gendarmes dismissed from mission after allegedly being caught smuggling alcohol and cigarettes...and in Brussels, theyre surprised?

Heist School

Odd little piece about blogs on stolen art. You may want to visit Turbo Paul after reading it. Lots on the work of Dick Ellis who appears here from time to time as the expert on art theft in the UK. Also lots on how the police appear to frustrate this work too....

Mexican pirates attack Texan fishermen

"Los Zetas" diversify onto the International Falcon reservoir. Marijuana smuggling and extortion. Texas anglers retreat!

US "secret war" expands globally as Special operations forces take larger role.

Back to the 60s and 70s eh? Deployed in 75 countries. totally deniable. Budget of $6.3 billion for 2011...13,000 deployed overseas...Did Obama really replace Bush??? Like, what's the difference, dude?

Affluent Afghans make their homes in opulent "poppy Palaces"

Article from Washington Post. Love the word: "narco-tecture"! Article more grumpy about the break with Afghan tradition than the role of organised crime. Ah me! Everyone's an art critic...

Three jailed for bribes on £1.3 million of education quango contracts

Telegraph story about corruption in Shropshire.

Court uncovers $21 million Pinochet fortune

Rather short article in the Independent. It's all in the title.

English Defence League: Inside the Violent World of Britain's new Far Right

This is the English version of the earlier post from Rome. Provocation and conflict are the agenda for the Summer. Demonstrations planned in high-profile Muslim communities. It will be a bad night when England get knocked out of the World Cup in many UK cities. Stay home!

Surveillance cameras in Birmingham track Muslims' every move

150 Automatic Numberplate Recognition Cameras installed in Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook, 40 of them "covert". Paid for by Terrorism and Allied Matters fund. Your blogger probably needs to look at the local Brummie press to see what locals are saying.

Far-right thugs menace Rome's tourist spots in wave of violence

There are signs that it will be right-wing groups that respond to "the cuts" across Europe more quickly than left-wing groups. In Italy, the link with the mafias has long been strong. The police tend not to respond, because they sympathise with attacks on gays and foreigners. A heady brew bubbling up for Summer 2010. The Summer of Hate?

01 June 2010

Terrorist attacks decrease in Europe

Figures from Europol
Only one attack by an Islamic group. The majority of the 294 were by separatist groups in Spain and France. Left wing extremist attacks were also up again to 40.
But a word of caution. The figures dont include the UK, because of different recording methods. A further 124 attacks by dissident republican groups occured in Northern Ireland.

Another ETS fraud raid reveals piles of cash, firearms

This is a carousel fraud with a difference. Trade in carbon credits and VAT evasion.

Warning over mass marketing scams

Mass marketing frauds worth over £3 billion per year says SOCA. So...Theyre having an international day of action. How about nicking a few people, SOCA?! It must be possible to trace these scams to their source, surely? Didnt we once have a Fraud Squad, tasked to deal with this?

Jamaican Dons like Christopher "Dudus" Coke are considered role models

Same old story. If you live in the area, organised crime keeps petty crime under control. Guardian gives the political background and arguse that the tide is turning. Bless it's fluffy social worker head.

Dudus about turn

Piece about the legal process in the Dudus extradition case

Dudus criminals in Kingston turned slum into "fortress festooned with booby traps"

So easy to turn the country of your choice into another Afghanistan or Iraq...Not so easy to rebuild the state and civil society afterwards. So what do we do when organised crime substitutes itself for both state and civil society? This is increasingly an important question that needs answers.

Jamaica clashes claim more than 70 lives

500 arrested too. Wonder if US Justice Department carried out a cost-benefit analysis...No cost to them. High costs to Jamaica. Benefits?? None for anyone as yet. Bit like Mexico really...The police end up illegitimate and the Army has to come in. So what do we do? Cut demand in the US maybe? Nah. Export your problems. Always the best way

Profile: Christopher "Dudus" Coke

BBC produce a rather thin profile of the man wanted by the US

"Dudus" backlash: US blasts Jamaica over extradition delay

Report from Jamaica at begionning of March that US putting pressure on for Jamaica to extradite "Dudus", who contols Tivoli gardens, an area of Kingston. Subsequent events show that the government had good reason to think twice about going in to arrest him.

Monkey Business by porcelain gangs leaves stately homes counting cost

Report drawing together robberies at stately homes and pleading for a national response

Cocaine Traffickers using Submarines in attempt to supply Europe

Weve heard of the submarines going from South to North America before. Now apparentl;y they are crossing to West Africa. this couldnt possibly be part of special pleading not to cut the Royal Navy, could it?

19 May 2010

Liverpool Drug Runner Michael Hailwood gets 22 years after huge police operation

After the recent post on heroin importation via Liverpool, I was wondering how the cocaine was getting in. Here's the story. I wonder how many stories I'm losing by not monitoring local papers. please send me them if you come across them! This was Opeation Greengage.. there is a Scottish element to it as well.

18 May 2010

Operations continue against clan Pelle of the 'Ndrangheta

Piece from La repubblica. 5 million Euros seized by carabinieri. I have to confess that the article stretches my Italian further than normal! I would be grateful for anyone who adds some comments to summarise the piece.

Eco-anarchists: a new breed of terrorist?

Somewhat alarmist piece. The Lib-Dem spokesperson quoted halfway down Is a voice of reason..."Domestic extremism" is not [yet!] a recognised offence in UK law. Il Silvestre, who allegedly planned to attack IBM in Switzerland because they oppose nano-technology, are worth studying, but to turn them into a coordinated European movement is something of an exaggeration. On the other hand, scholars of terrorism have been waiting for something new to come over the horizon for a while. This may or may not be it...watch out for the instant experts!

Police Chiefs Urge End to Bonus Culture

Well done, people! That saves the government having to think of it for themselves. Now let me hear that university Vice-chancellors are going to do the same!

17 May 2010

Website reveals london's most wanted

Metropolitan Police relaunch website, hosted by Crimestoppers, in an attempt to trce missing murderers, rapists, robbers and fraudsters.

16 May 2010

Liverpool drugs gang boss facing jail after massive heroin smuggling plot

Gang broken up in 2006 but alleged leader only picked up in Netherlands late 2009. drugs hidden in pallets. Gang apparently 13 strong. drugs came from Afghanistan via Turkey and the Netherlands.

"20 years on, where are we in the investigations into the murders of Falcone and Borsellino?

Slightly whimsical piece [in Italian] from la Reppublica. But its the only piece on organised crime Ive managed to find this weekend. Organised crime is not news right now....but that doesnt mean its stopped. Just that there are other stories: UK election and the new coalition, the FA Cup, Thailand...Your blogger will keep searching!

10 May 2010

Who's allied with whom in the great Southern Italian fruit scrump

La Reppublic tells us more about the previous post. In Italian, of course!

dozens arrested in anti-Mafia raids

All this election stuff has kidnapped the UK crime reporters. Fortunately, the Irish Times remains focussed. Italian police are breaking up an attempt by the Sicilian Mafia allied with the Neopolitan Camorra to take control of the fruit and vegetable trade in the South of Italy. We may find out more once the UK press remembers its supposed to be about NEWS, not hanging around minor celebrities.

A Pimp's family Business

First of the two articles by Conor Lally on the T.J. Carroll case. Profits used to buy properties in a variety of countries. Alleged that the next intention was to open a chain in South Africa for the World Cup.

Carroll case is no exception in Ireland

Comments by Ruhama, a voluntary organisation in Ireland on the overall situation with regard to prostitution in that country.

Life Inside an Irish Brothel

Second of two articles. This one purports to tell some of the inside story of the T.J.Carroll case. This man with his wife and daughter managed a chain of 48 brothels inside Ireland from Catlemartin in Wales.

05 May 2010

Smash-and-grab jewel raiders strike at Westfield Shopping Centre

Apparently the UK is being plagued by moped-mounted raiders. Sounds Italian or South East Asian to me....but what do I know?

04 May 2010

Is that a candle? or a consignment of smuggled cocaine?

EMCDDA report says cocaine being mixed with plastic and moulded into consumer products then re-extracted in "secondary extraction laboratories" once across the chosen border. Spain the present centre for the process.

29 April 2010

Police Salaries to Triple under Landmark reform

Moscow Times shows that Medvedev is still trying to do something about the rule of law in Russia. But as the officer quoted at the end of the article says "They will never allow cuts to the staff at central headquarters". Never seems to happen here either...or at least never for long

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry" shouts Croxteth gunman after taxi driver blasted

Liverpool again. This one won't make the national dailies.

Liverpool Gangster shot dead in West Derby street execution

Liverpool continues to turn into Dodge City. Its all intertwined with children's football too. Presumably this will make the nationals eventually.

26 April 2010

Real IRA may be planning fresh bombing campaign on the UK mainland

The comments from times readers are as depressing as usual. But remember there is a General Election on and seats at stake in Northern Ireland too. lets see what happens once this interminable campaign finally comes to some sort of result

Elite US Units Step up effort in Afghan City before attack

Preparations fo an offensive in Kandahar...and recognition that organised crime may be an obstacle to obtaining popular support from Afghans. Special Forces "taking out " insurgent leaders, but a huge suspicion that someone much higher up the tree needs to be removed too.

23 April 2010

record number of "legal highs" detected across Europe

EMCDDA report lists 24 new drugs

Sex offenders win right to challenge lifetime place on sex offenders register

Same problem as terrorist blacklists. The UK Supreme Court finds it unlawful to have a system of criminalisation with no right of review. question: why is this a matter for the Home Office when we have a Ministry of Justice? The first of the 2010 finals papers starts here.

Five cleared over Leonardo painting plot

Three "not proven", two "not guilty" of one of the FBI's top ten world arts thefts. This relates to the previous post.

They called it "Stolen stuff Reunited" but their busines plan didnt foresee a criminal trial

The story of the stolen Leonardo...or is it? Not proven, m'lud. The Times tells a good story. At least the picture is safe. There will be books on this one. And lawsuits too.

Grey Crime Wave?

Your blogger has been attached to the title of "expert on grey crime" ever since he made a silly throwaway remark to an audience of retired folk in Exeter many years ago, without knowing the press were present. the following day the local headline was; OAP Crime Wave...and Ive never looked back. Please note the outrageous quip in this piece. it is not to be taken seriously...but it will be!

Boost for Labour as Home Office Figures Reveal Falling Crime Rate

It has been great to be away from the UK election! the crime rate has been falling for a while now, but you wouldnt know it from the redtops. It goes back to policies pioneered in Scotland after the safer Cities initiative of the 1980s, for any PhD students who want to research the stuff rather than make political points. Unfotunately, we still arent sure which particular one of these policies works, because...we didnt get round to evaluating them as they were introduced! o tempora, o mores, Oh dear I'm back in the UK.

Return of the Blogger

No link from the title today. Just to tell you that I have returned from a visit to South East Asia, studying the Redshirts in Thailand, the border scams on the Thai-Cambodia border and discovering that the Buddhist festival of Songkran as celebrated in Luang Prabang is a two-day water fight. I will be bringing stories from my adventures in organised crime research to you as I find official versions of them when I rearch them on my return to Exeter.

31 March 2010

Pakistan roots to Moscow attack?

A new source for this blog: the Asia Times. Its a bit slow to load because it carries far too many ads. But this piece is worth it, discussing al Qaeda's desire to open a Northern front within Central Asia. The goal is the creation of the Emirate of Khurastan. dont say I never try to bring you new perspectives!

The Terrorism Hydra

Comment piece, again from Moscow Times. I am assuming that you can all access the everyday articles in the western press, so the Moscow spin may provide a different angle and maybe different data.

Police nab Basayev's former driver

Bashkortostan? What did that use to be called? Bashkir ASSR? Near Chelyabinsk and Muslim. A "persistent terrorist financing channel" eliminated. Another place to research. Quite large, mineral rich and secular Muslim but with an insurgent group. I will try and find out more.

Analysis: Bombings unlikely to prompt sharp Kremlin response

Interesting piece from the Moscow Times on differences between Medvedev and Putin, but also arguing that the response to terrorism has become more sophisticated.

ACPO to be covered by Freedom of Information laws

Well, yippee! Maybe now we will be able to get some knowledge of the committee structure and see if there are any poentially corrupt linkages out there as ACPO members retire into private practice. Don't hold your breath. "ACPO to be accountable to the public and Parliament"...now that would be a headline!

U.S. Forces set sights on Taliban Bastion of Kandahar

Odd but interesting. Its really more about Karzai's brother and allegations that he protects narcotics traffickers, which is why it is appropriate for this blog. It also suggests that the US is going to take over command in Helmand....which leaves me thinking, "so where are the British going fo go?" Crime, tribalism, insurgents: the Washington Post piece provides a peek into the heady brew that is Afghanistan.

30 March 2010

Militia Charged with Plotting to Murder officers

Ive been noticing references to this story, but thought it would be about somewhere in the Middle east of South East Asia. Nope. Its Michigan, USA. The group is called the Hutaree and have been accused of classic terrorist planning and attempting to provoke an anti-government uprising. But it's all, allegedly, really about the apocalypse.

29 March 2010

Dutch coffee shop fined 10m euros for breaking drug laws

Convicted of keeping more than permittted amount. Shop on Belgian border.

British gang behind Europe's biggest "boiler room" fraud arrested

Scam involves persuading investors to buy shares in a non-existent company.

China "set to produce more legal highs"

This is a Sky News story, reported by the Independent. Alleges that there is a factory in China making drugs for UK consumption, under UK advice..."a worker" is quoted. I think we need a bit more evidence here!

26 March 2010

Cost of bribes more than doubles in 2009

From the Moscow Times. Average bribe up to 23,000 roubles [$780] up from 9,000 roubles in 2008. Lots of good information in this piece.

23 March 2010

Dordogne drug raids linked to Premier League

Allegedly, Britons in France being investigated for money-laundering linked to cocaine deals. They apparenttly claim the cash was from transfer deals...There have been rumours for years, but no prosecutions have occurred yet. Could be dynamite or could be nothing. We will have to wait and see.

22 March 2010

Europe lacks resources to tackle cross-border crime says Eurojust

New chief, Aled Williams [didnt he sing the theme to the Snowman?]going through his confirmation hearings

Police chief says county-based police forces may be obsolete

President of ACPO beginning to worry your blogger! If he's calling for a proper review with independent members of an authoritative body, great. Its true weve needed one for a few years now. But he then goes on to oppose the Tories as well as the status quo and the Telegraph Report presents him as driven by terrorism as a priority police interest. He has been quoted before, possibly unfairly, as nor being someone who favours local demand above national obsessions. Reading too many redtops, Sir Hugh? "A service nationally organised but delivered locally"- that is he essence of policing.

Police seize fake designer Clothing worth £1 million in North London raids

Another Times story [thank goodness someone is publishing stuff on crime], this time about a Far East based operation franchised out to the UK and elsewhere. More detail, please!

British police forces report 500 demands from kidnappers each year

very brief article that teases the reader. Sean O'Neill must be writing another book!

Sex industry "in every corner of London"

New report from the Poppy project.

Gardai begin "work to rule"

Could be a sign of things to come across Europe this year. The Garda Siochana [Irish police] cant strike, but are angry about changes to their pay and conditions. Wonder what the effect will be? It will be watched wih interest on this side of the Irish Sea.

20 March 2010

California declares war on biker gang accused of "booby trap" plot

Allegedly the Vagos Motorcycle Gang has been trying to use home made booby traps to kill and maim police on the edge of Los Angeles...but no-one is sure why...

18 March 2010

Leprechaun robber shot by US police

You couldn't make it up! From the Irish Times, of course

16 March 2010

An extensive criminal network

Nice article on Operation Java, discussing the nature of the "Russian mafia", arguing that although tthe USSR may have disbanded, he crime gangs havent and maintain their old cross-border ties. the previous post referred to them as an obshak....Look it up!

Desarticulada una red ligada a la mafia rusa que se controlaba desde Espana

Spanish version of story in previous post. Georgians allegedly involved as well as Russians. Structure predaes the fall of the USSR. The organisation was involved in robbery wih violence and was quite a low-level operation, but organised across Europe. It may yet emerge that there was more going on than this.

Russian mafia suspects held across Europe

The operation originates in Spain. Article not clear who is being arrested and in connection with what crimes. Ends up complaining about suspects being allowed bail.

15 March 2010

Scientific Change and tthe Security Environment

Publication from the Institute of Public Policy Research. Covers bioterrorism threats and general threats from biotechnology changes in the near future and past.

Cost of Internet fraud on steep rise

Report from Internet Crime Centre, a joint operation between FBI and National White Collar Crime Centre. Links to both in the article.

At Afghan outpost: Marines gone rogue or leading the fight against counterinsurgency

Bit of a weird headline for a piece looking at Marine Corps innovations in US counter-insurgency practice. Worth a read though.

08 March 2010

Travellers jailed over caravan thefts

Police claim that insurance officials say caravan thefts dropped 47% after the accused were arrested.

White supremacist admits producing ricin for terrorism

This is a guy from County Durham. His son is also on trial for lesser offences

DNA database matches "help solve one crime in 1,300"

Home Affairs Select Committee report suggests importance of DNA testing massively exaggerated

06 March 2010

Sumo wrestler " steals cash machine from Moscow shop"

25,320 roubles/$850/£560....why? Whats the criminology of it? Guy with him says he misled the Sumo guy....Misled????

Drug gang made so much money it rotted in safes

UK's biggest gand of skunk importers convicted. An astonishing story, allegedly they were importing 250 kg a week from the Netherlands and had problems laundering the profits. There will presumably be a book.

03 March 2010

Whips and Nazi uniform found in raid on suspected Devon brothel

Lee Mill, near Ivybridge. It will all be in the News of The World eventually. Just down the road from your blogger. Round the back of the local Tesco, allegedly. There's some funny folk on the edge of Dartmoor! Local paper has pictures of the kit discovered: http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/Police-raid-suspected-brothel-South-Hams/article-1873114-detail/article.html

"Iran arms runners" held in Italy

Big cross-border investigation. Italian anti-terror police and prosecutors in the lead.

Spanish police arrest masterminds of "massive" botnets

The Mariposa botnet: 13 million PCs in 190 countries...taken down by an alliance of private sector operative with Guardia Civil and FBI. Are these pCs now free, or does someone else just take them over? I wonder if anyone really knows?

02 March 2010

German court orders stored telecoms data deletion

Is sanity about to return to Europe? Are more of the idiocies that have been perpetrated in the name of counter-terrorism about to be overturned? Watch this space!

"Russian Mafia" abroad now 300,000 strong, Journal says

A provocative piece with many figures in it and the sources for those figures also given. You could get a couple of Powerpoint slides out of this at least, colleagues!
Full text, in Russian, of original article here; http://versia.ru/articles/2010/mar/01/russkaja_mafija

Trial of the Leonardo painting thieves

This is ongoing. Prosecution of a group from Ormskirk, Lancs and Scotland who are accused of stealing the Madonna of the Yarnwinder from Drumlanrigg Castle. There is more in the Liverpool press: http://tinyurl.com/yfr8njx

01 March 2010

Drug gangs taking over US public lands

Hmmmm. I dont suppose organised crime respects the right to roam, eh? Its the crude explosives that worry me. Mexican drug gangs moving into marijuana cultivation off the beaten track in the US.

Ex-councilor guilty of laundering drugs cash

Another one of those stories I'd like to know a bit more about. This being the Torygraph, the angle is that he used to be a Labour councillor in Preston, but no mention of his employment in the piece.

The gun-toting boys who rule Rio's "corner of fear"

Its like London buses....you wait for ages and nothing happens. Then two turn up together. Very thin piece on youth gangs in Rio, to partner piece from Capetown.

Cape Town's gangs: Martin's story

On Panorama this evening: a programme on the gangs of Cape Town. there's also a slide show of gang tatoos linked from this piece, which describes the life of a gang member.

28 February 2010

Medvedev pushes to limit jail for execs

Interesting take on anti-money laundering laws. In Russia they are used to extract bribes...hmmmmm...any lessons for us here?

Leader of ETA detained in France

Article from El Pais [in Spanish, of course] on the three men detained and their alleged history in ETA. English accounts beginning to appear: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8541422.stm

Multimillion couterfeit currency gang jailed

It doesnt say who was making the notes. These are the distributors.

The threat level rises from dissident republican groups

Useful piece from Irish Times on the paramilitary groups that have emerged on the Republican side after the peace process. Strong hint that former IRA members are disenchanted and giving technological support to the new organisations

24 February 2010

EU privacy watchdog hammers secret anti-piracy talks

the Commission has been up to its old tricks. Secret negotiations without transparency. Will the bureaucrats never learn? Not much chance. There is a proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Governments and multinationals conspiring to bring the Internet under their control. They so hate freedom and initiative and they hate us to have private lives over which they have no surveillance. [Discuss]

Beefed up border control agency to respect rights

Frontex officials to get more training. New Home Affairs Commissioner strong on human rights

Lingerie model runs one of largest drug smuggling gangs according to police

Hmmmm. I wonder who does the coercive side? Woman supposed to have moved from Colombia to Argentina and split with Mexican drug lord.

Middle class girlfriends "prized by gang members"

'Twas ever thus. Report by social policy think tank Race on the Agenda. Studies the impact of youth violence on girls. It includes a study of the use of rape.

21 February 2010

Mammoth Backlog prompts European Court of Human Rights Reform

120,000 cases pending, 27,000 from Russia alone. Most relate to Chechnya. 47 members of the Council of Europe now. Someone needs to explain to the Conservative party that membership of the Council of Europe involves accepting the supremacy of the European Court of Human Rights and that the UK joined back in 1951. Ah well. We must obey the great Murdoch and his wishes, just as Blair and Brown did.

20 February 2010

La montée des affaires de corruption en Italie embarrasse le gouvernement de Silvio Berlusconi

Le Monde examines corruption in Italy Fascinating!

Diverse group of Chinese hackers wrote code in attacks on Google, U.S. companies

Washington Post article quoting an unnamed "source", says attacks only routed through two Chinese college servers. Other papers have suggested students at the two colleges did the hacking freelance...You pays your money...and you pays your money!

Police arrest 395 in Manchester crime crackdown

Some interesting things going on in Manchester. This was aimed at booze-fuelled violence. Might be worth seeing what Manchester Evening News says. this involved "arches" to check for knives and other weapons. Operation Portcullis.

Our differing approaches to terror

Good think piece in the Independent by Geoffrey Wheatcroft. He'll be denounced by the loony right-wing blogosphere. Still, aren't we all?

19 February 2010

Medvedev Orders deep Police Reforms

From the Moscow Times. Pay rise may help a little, but massive cultural reform required. Still, Mededev trying to get that Rule of Law train back on the rails. Best of Luck!

18 February 2010

Ce n'est pas du pinot noir

I thought this was worth sharing primarily because its a rare example of an English newspaper printing a headline in French. Apparently some film popularised pinot noir in the US, so coops relabelled merlot and shiraz as pinot noir and sold it to E & J Gallo, who, the article alleges, have not yet complained...Nevertheless, the French courts have just fined several companies...Schadenfreude, anyone?

More than 75,000 computer systems hacked in huge cyber-attack, security firm says

Hmmm....Terminology a bit confused in this piece, which must have been written by a junior reporter...always suspect anything from someone selling themselves as the answer to the problem being publicised...Nevertheless, if its true, this is a major operation by organised crime.

Filming Colombia's drug trade

Guardian hosting three freelance film-makers pieces on Colombian drugs trade. Links to first in this piece. 9 minute video.

15 February 2010

Leader of Al Qaeda in Maghreb asks prisoners from his organisation not to give up violence

Piece from el Pais on AQMI. Apparently Mauretanian imams have been talking to jihadists in prison in an attempt to deradicalise them

Libya suspends Schengen visas

The move is aimed at Switzerland...an unanticipated consequence!

SGOC February 2010 Newsletter released

You can download a .pdf from the above site. I'm struggling for organised crime stories in February. Please let me know if you come across any!

Five Sydney terror attack plotters sentenced

Details of plot and targets not specified, but chemicals and weapons ordered. Probably be a better account in the Australian press

Scam watch: Phantom flats and money"transfers" to landlords

Guardian piece on fake landlords asking prospective tenants to show a momney transfer receipt to prove they have funds. Police allegedly unhelpful...Is that an oxymoron...or the opposite?

03 February 2010

Second SGOC Summer School on Organised Crime

With the support of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), its Standing Group on Organised Crime (SGOC) and the European Commission, the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) will be hosting a two-week summer school on Organised Crime in Leuven, Belgium from June 28 to July 9, 2010.
Part of a series of three, the Leuven Summer School is entitled “Understanding and Fighting Organised Crime in the New Europe”. During this two-week period, 25 selected students and practitioners will have the unique opportunity to enrich their knowledge, discuss and critically analyse the challenges posed by organised crime and its control in contemporary Europe with international experts.
An international team of renowned scholars and high-ranking practitioners will give cutting-edge lectures. Confirmed speakers include:

 Dr. Felia Allum, University of Bath, UK
 Prof. Dr. Cyrille Fijnaut, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
 Dr. Philip Gounev, Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia, Bulgaria and London School of Economics, UK
 Prof. Dr. Dick Hobbs, London School of Economics, UK
 Prof. Dr. Jörz Kinzig, Tübingen University, Germany
 Prof. Dr. Edward Kleemans, Free University Amsterdam and The Netherlands Ministry of Justice, The Netherlands
 Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Krajewski, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
 Dr. Anna Markina, University of Tartu, Estonia
 Prof. Dr. Letizia Paoli, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
 Prof. Dr. Dirk Van Daele, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
 Prof. Dr. Henk van de Bunt, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
 Prof. Tom van der Beken, Ghent University, Belgium
 Prof. Dr. Frank Verbruggen, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
For more information on the summer school, visit http://www.law.kuleuven.be/linc/english/ssoc/ or contact ssoc@law.kuleuven.be
The final deadline for applications will be March 15, 2010; see the website for further details.

02 February 2010

Two more arrested in drive against ETA

The Basque police, the Ertzainza, working with the National Police, in the biggest operation against ETA in seven years. There is a link in the article to the previous arrest of what reads like an alleged complete 5-man cell. Time to brush up that Spanish, hombres!

Hacking for fun and profit in China's Underworld

An insight into a Chinese hacker at work. Leaves open the question of how independent of government they are. All a bit William Gibson without the voodoo gods...

01 February 2010

Court to rule on reach of US regulator

And long overdue too! Everyone needs to know. Strong feeling the SEC is abusing its powers

The Jihadis next door

Story of an American prominent in the Shabab in Somalia, his background and his friends.

Hull stays top of car theft league

Swindon at the bottom...this all according to Endsleigh

Terrorism Financing Blacklists at risk

Article from the Washington Post that I missed first time around.

How teenage girls are groomed for a life of prostitution by UK gangs

Nasty little story, but this is also a puff for a forthcoming book.

Gangster used Facebook to intimidate enemies from cell

Colin Gunn from Nottingham. Any link to last story?? Original version of this story in Sunday Times. This one in the Independent.

Elite team sent in to rescue struggling Nottingham police

Article from the Independent. I remember being part of a group bidding for a research contract to explain why Nottingham had a crime problem about 20 years ago. We didnt get the contract and I never saw the report. The point is that this isnt new. Its also news to me that the UK possesses an elite team for policing. I assume this is simply a group from HMIC. Note that the aricle also expresses concern about Greaer Manchester Police.

30 January 2010

28 January 2010

Economic crime rises eightfold in 2009

Moscow Times article on statement from Ministry of the Interior, which rapidly turns into a piece on how to change the Ministry. Odd piece.

Garda lack of IT facilities

Piece from Irish Times, reporting on lack of computer facilities for the Garda Siochana, the Irish police. Big report from their inspectorate. Surprising absence of computer aided despatch sysems and basic email facilities.

27 January 2010

Four illegal fuel-laundering plans dismantled in Northern ireland

Another bit of the IRA funding machine switched off?

Top 50 Homeland Security Blogs

From the curiously named Forensic Science Technician blog. Sadly, SGOC hasnt made the top 50

Supreme Court overturns "terror asset" seizures

This is the new UK Supreme Court. Yet another panic measure found to involve misuse of powers not even granted by Parliament in the first place. The judgement as a whole should be interesting.

23 January 2010

Incoming EU Commissioner criticises US-type approach to terrorism

Justice should be put back ahead of security

Someone in Brussels should listen to Ireland

True in so many areas, but this is about the right to privacy and the dangerous roa down which the Commission and other central institutions continue to drive in the name of counter-terrorism [and keeping the US happy...]

"Bomb detector" Maker arrested

Other newspapers give more details. Odd since the BBC broadcast a programme on this on Newsnight last night. Even odder that it took a media investigation to make anything happen. Dowsing plus a store theft tag, all powered by "static electricity", allegedly...hmmm. Iraq paid $40,000 per unit, allegedly. Pass me my alleged homeopathic tranquilisers, please.

One-Third of Russian militiamen psychopaths or alcoholics, Expert says

Another cheery story from the Moscow Times.

Shadowy Arms deal traced to Kazakhstan

Fascinating "it wasnt me guv" story allegedly about sanctions busting...Why would North Korea want to ship arms to Iran? I missed the seizure of the aircraft in Thailand in December, I think...There you are. That should intrigue you sufficiently to read this piece from the Moscow Times.

Constitutional Court moves towards precedent based system of law

Im not sure it does, but anything that shows independence by a Russian court has to be worth noting. Rule of Law one day?

Bulldozers raze mansions after night raid

Moscow Times back in web format at last. Allegedly a crack down on celebrities. Next layer after the oligarchs?

17 January 2010

The laughing policemen

Independent article attacking the way police are being governed by a "target culture". Reads as if it were written by a Telegraph journalist. Probably taken from someone's press release, but if it's true, they will do anything to fine us to meet performance targets and raise revenue...I thought they were too busy filling in forms!

US waves white flag on disastrous "war on drugs"

If this is true, then it's rather important and has implications for the "war on terror" too. "War" declared by Nixon in 1969 compared to Prohibition in this piece, and considered just as disastrous. Towards the end, he accuses the CIA of ferrying drugs around in the same planes used for extraordinary rendition and names two crashed planes founf to have tons of cocaine aboard. Watch this space..."The war on drugs has spread corruption and organised crime throughout the world. Discuss the case that stopping it will also diminish corruption and organised crime." Hmmmm

15 January 2010

US kills FBI-wanted terrorist in Pakistan strike

Pakistan sources say member of Abu Nidal group killed. Involved in 1986 Pan-Am aircraft hijack. Theres an epic to be told here.

14 January 2010

More families must be put in "care", says crime tsar

I wasnt aware we had a crime tsar. This is about dysfunctional families whose children terrorise neighbourhoods.

Google China attack part of vast espionage campaign, experts say

A longer piece on the subject of the previous post from the Washington Post

US "troubled" by Chinese cyberattacks

Mostly about Google. Nothing about the attack on Baidu posted a few days ago. Something's going on and as usual, political spin will disguise reality.

John Gotti racketeering case abandoned in New York

Four failures to reach a verdict. Prosecutors now give up.

12 January 2010

El Teo arrested, one of the most wanted drug traffickers in Mexico

El Pais announces another success in the drive against the Mexican drug cartels. The head of the Arellano Felix family captured, possibly with his brother, el Torito. Hey, they may be breakinbg through here!

Stop and search powers ruled illegal by European Court

Dont worry, Mr. Plod. That nice Mr. Cameron has promised to take British human rights away again when he gets in. Unsurprisingly , European Court finds blanket stop and search powers with no clear procedures surrounding them are totally illegal. Theyve been taking the same decision for the past 30 years, but the Home office keeps doing this!

Iranian nuclear professor dies in bomb blast

This too will lead to retaliation, but probably against the opposition, not the perpetrators. Is there a pattern developing here Destabilisation of Iran....what do you mean, conspiracy theorist?

Baidu hacked by "Iranian cyber army"

Now we might see some real cyberwarfare! Baidu is the Chinese search engine. Whether this really is an Iranian group or someone mischief making we will have to wait and see, but retaliation is likely!

11 January 2010

"Loyalists" in death threat to Gerry Adams

Group called the Orange Volunteers.

Malaysian Christian Churches attacked amid uproar over court ruling

New York Times again. Danger here of a resurgence of JI who love burning Christian churches. All about who can use the word "Allah"...ah, religion, religion, what atrocities are commited in your name....

Race Riots grip Italian Town and Mafia is suspected

Article from New York Times. 'Ndragheta blamed. Complex story of African immigrant labour, human smuggling to pick fruit, turning into quasi human trafficking. italian police respond by bulldozing shanty towns. Wonder who will pick the fruit now?

Crime gangs "dominate shop theft"

Turns out to be a puff for a BBC TV programme "Millionaire Thieves". The McGovern gang in Glasgow are the subject.

Heathrow Robbery Trial Breaks with 400 year tradition of trial by jury

Previous trials have failed. Police claim jury-tampering, so this time, alleged robber will be tried by judge alone.

Shortage "forces gangs to share guns"

At last! A meaningful crime story! Either the snow is no longer news or the crime reporters have reluctantly staggered into their offices. This is a report from the National Ballistics Intelligence service [NABIS]...I'm tempted to say, if you privatised it , it could make biscuits [NABISCO]

05 January 2010

Lidl gets cocaine instead of the anticipated bananas

Story from Spain. Someone's going to be in a lot of trouble!

US intelligence chief criticises spy failings in Afghanistan

Guardian article on a report by Major Flynn [and others] which basically says intelligence is missing the wood for the trees. Trying to spot insurgent cells rather than identify local powerbrokers. report published by Centre for a New american Security http://www.cnas.org/
the full report is downloadable from here:
Fixing Intel: a Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan: http://www.cnas.org/node/3924

If we are all under suspicion then we are all threatened

I don't often agree with Dominic Lawson, son of Nigel the worst Chancellor before Lamont and brother of Nigella...but I celebrate the fact that in this particular case I do. When are the polic going to start to behave tpwards photographers in a less authoritarian manner? Half a million people on the US terrorist watch list??!! I foresee times of sullen compliance...

04 January 2010

Mexican agents arrest brother of Beltran Leyva, drug lord killed in raid

The brothers ran the Sinaloa cartel. One, Mario, is still free. Alfredo is in jail, Arturo is now dead and Carlos is the one who has just been arrested. I just hope they have a plan to deal with the inevitable turf war that will follow the dismantling of the cartel.

03 January 2010

Yemen's Chaos aids the Evolution of an al Qaeda cell

Curious article which gives lots of names but then gets contradictory. It starts with 200 Al Q members, but later, 2,000 Yemenis who have returned from fighting in iraq turn up and in the next paragraph 200,000 Somali refugees. The leadership is staffed by escapees from a high security priso, but then it turns out only 3 survived. Then other leaders turn up who have been released from Guantanamo, but then they turn out to have been released to a Saudi rehabilitation programme from which they "disappeared". How much of this group [200 is far too many for a "cell"] are Saudis and how many yemenis? there are hints of a leadership dispute. Typical of the New York Times of late. It cant make up its mind whether its a serious newspaper or a tabloid.

Al Qaeda in the Sahara

Thoughtful piece from el Pais on Al Qaeda in North Africa. In Spanish, of course.

02 January 2010

Terror Handbook Artist appeals for watchdog's aid

Hmmm...I don't think Plod will go with this one, but I am concerned that I, as an academic, can't read this stuff to inform my own lectures.

01 January 2010

Focus on Internet Imams as Recruiters for al Qaeda

New York Times piece on charismatic imams on the internet. Do they radicalise young Muslims? Marc Sageman puts an opposite view to the camp that believes they do.