31 December 2011

Anonymous exposes 75,000 credit card numbers

Anonymous versus Stratfor. "Project Mayhem". Tonight, New Year eve, Anonymous says there will be a new attack. Target is law enforcement agencies, but part of the game appears to be to demonstrate how insecure web passwords and companies are, which is a tradition of these groups.

Game Changers 2011

An oversight of the "Kingpin Strategy"...the killing or capturing of leading figures in organised crime in the Americas...and the bloody consequences: turf wars, displacement and neo-imperialism. there's a report to download as a .pdf

I havent had a chance to read the whole report, but sharing it seems rather important.

Escalating wars over lucrative drug dealing ‘turfs’ are being blamed for a rise in shootings on Merseyside this year

Still keeping an eye on my home city. Consequences of police success against the Whitney family in Anfield and Walton were always predictable. Growth of cannabis production not so predictable and must surely also reflect a growing market? The detective in the piece argues that production is small scale and controlled at arms length to keep the big guys from being imprisoned. He also says that gangs are trying to "tax" producers and dealers. Two other reasons for gun use are: producing in someone else's area and "annoying" someone. there are three pages to the story. All worth reading

28 December 2011

Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing

Anything used for counter-terrorism ends up being used against organised crime, now that the latter is a matter of national security, not a matter of due process...so these will be used against drug cartels in Mexico, Colombia etc. Metropolitan Police already buying them for surveillance purposes, apparently [well a couple of UK newspapers say so.] Legal framework for use? Murky, to say the least. accountability? Transparency?

Are they vulnerable to a Stuxnet-type of worm?

26 December 2011

"Anonymous" hackers hit US security firm Stratfor

If it's ture that they used credit card details to make donations to various charities, could take some time to untangle. BBC cautiously pointing out that it's only a claim.

Comment is free Stop looking for the next al-Qaida

I dont think he's right, in that new threats really do exist. though of a different type. Where he is correct is in saying that the academic pursuit of grants can be seen as part of a new counter-terrorism industry, and is allied to rather unpleasant people who wish to maintain draconian anti-civil rights legislation in place while makking money out of dubious technological "solutions".

But then, I suppose I'm part of the industry!

25 December 2011

Why can't Nigeria defeat Boko Haram?

BBC piece on the origins and development of the group behind the Church blasts and other explosions. Also the wrong reaction from the government: a mixture of incompetence and intransigence, apparently.

Cyber Cold War rhetoric haunts the US and China

Nice piece from al Jazeera. Warns against the interests of "security contractors" exaggerating events in order to drum up business. Also points out the dangers of using metaphors from a previous era. finally points out that the US isn't an innocent party in all of this curious manouvring on the world Wide web.

24 December 2011

Colombian crime boss turns himself in - along with 283 members of his militia

I think there was talk about mass surrenders a week ago. FARC members may watch with interest...or not!

23 December 2011

Plymouth Drugs Trial

Details of a network linking Plymouth and Manchester. 30 people have been on trial and convicted.

21 December 2011

Private firm wins £200m police deal

Lincolnshire privatises back office functions...and custody suites...Here we go!

16 December 2011

* HomeITALY: 11 ARRESTED AS NET CLOSES IN ON MAFIA BOSS MESSINA DENARO

11 people have been arrested by the anti-Mafia squad in a dawn raid, as part of the hunt for Matteo Messina Denaro. Those arrested are thought to have links to the recently dismantled Campobello di Mazara Mafia clan. These include the Mayor, Ciro' Carava', who has been in office since 2006 and began a new term last June.

News in Italian here on La Repubblica

11 December 2011

Inside Syria: the rebel call for arms and ammunition

Smugglers sense a business opportunity...But it doesnt sound too well organised yet

07 December 2011

Gomorrah boss arrested

Camorra boss Michele Zagaria was arrested last night while hiding in an underground bunker. He has been a fugitive since 1995.

06 December 2011

Camorra and Politics

The Court of Naples has executed orders of pre-trial custody for 55 Camorra mobsters - included PDL party member Nicola Cosentino.

Schwab, suspect in crime spree, was on downward spiral, family and friends say

Odd and sad little story which will probably be made into a film. Former MS-13 member who allegedly suddenly went on a crime spree.

04 December 2011

Revealed: how police lost control of summer riots in first crucial 48 hours

Police Federation report into riots points finger at new communications system and shortage of riot equipment

03 December 2011

Did Conficker help sabotage Iran nuclear programme?

More on Stuxnet, its predecessor [or was it?] "Conficker" by Bumgarner of the US Cyber Consequences Unit. there are different stories circulating...Its up to you to decide which bit is disinformation...and why? Cui bono still remains the best test.

02 December 2011

Judge, politician and policeman targeted in Italy mafia arrests

Prosecutors say an Italian judge, politician and police official are among 10 people detained in a crackdown on the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate.
A statement from Milan prosecutors today said the investigation was conducted jointly by anti-mafia authorities in Milan and southern Reggio Calabria, home of the 'ndrangheta.

25 November 2011

Exposing Russia's murky trade in exploit hack packs

Automated hacking software available on licence, with updates etc. Ah, the advantages of capitalism!

24 November 2011

Shadow of Mafia returns to Italy

Resurgence of Magliana Gang in Rome

22 November 2011

110 'Ndrangheta members convicted in a trial in Milan

110 members of the ‘Ndrangheta were convicted last Sunday following a trial in Milan after a major long-term operation against the Calabrian mafia operating in Northern Italy.

How Liverpool's nappy bag drug baron family ruled the streets of Anfield

More tales of Liverpool crime families

20 November 2011

License plate readers: A useful tool for police comes with privacy concerns

Interesting piece on police use of licence plate reading cameras. Unfortunate ending...if you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about....

19 November 2011

Reading the Riots

Guardian and LSE team up to publish research on the UK riots.

18 November 2011

Weekly Piracy Report

All courtesy of Monty, including the following codicil to the website linked above

The instructive case of the MV Blida
The case of the recently released MV Blida has caused a fair bit of fallout among pirates, and according to our publisher Robert Young Pelton, it once again shows the business model of the pirates is under real strain.

The ransom has created a major rift among the group of pirates lead by Garaad, according to pirates and local residents. Pirate Mohamed Ahmed said that the low ransom of $2.6 million received means the pirate group cannot repay all their investors and suppliers who supported the operation for nearly a year.

"When this group got the ransom, leaders began to cheat other pirates. Garaad and his negotiator and translator, Loyaan, took the most money. Garaad, the investor, got $600,000 ransom and Loyaan got $120,000. That is their normal percentage, but there are 57 others that need to be paid for their work on the Blida," Ahmed told Somalia Report. “Garaad is now in Galkayo but he uses different phones. His friends can’t find him and this is causing a major clash among the group.”

There was all kinds of mayhem during the negotiations over the MV Blida, with the pirates changing negotiators and reneging on an initial deal before finally agreeing to take the money.

In the article linked above, Robert argues that the risk-to-reward ratio for pirates is increasingly close to collapse due to longer times between hijack and release and thus higher costs for the pirates, the costs of running vessels out to sea only to find it is getting harder to capture merchant vessels, and pressure from the Puntland authorities on the pirates on land. The consequences of these factors are likely to be worse treatment for captives as the pirates attempt to speed up negotiations, and a further focus on grabbing land-based hostages, such as the Danish and US aid workers.

Balkans: Organ trafficking investigation begins amid mixed expectations

The investigation into Council of Europe allegations that the Albanian KLA extracted and traded human organs began amid hopes for justice to be served, but many Serbs are doubtful.

The EU Task Force -- led by US prosecutor Clint Williamson -- launched its investigation last week into allegations made by CoE rapporteur Dick Marty's report that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) extracted and traded human organs of Serbian and Albanian civilians

The Rule Of Law In Kosovo: Mission Impossible? – Analysis

EULEX, the European Union’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, is unique in both scale and ambition; greater in size than all other EU operations put together.
Mandated to not only assist Kosovo’s own legal institutions in the fair and proper application of the law, EULEX has the power – on paper – to also independently investigate and prosecute serious cases of organised crime, corruption and war crimes.

Japan Probes Possible Olympus Organized Crime Links

A unit from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s organized crime division has joined an investigation into an accounting scam at Japan’s disgraced Olympus Corp, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, in a sign that the scandal could widen.

15 November 2011

'Were security officials, politicians and society blind in the right eye?'

Reactions in Germany to the discovery of the "slow-motion" terrorist group

Colombian president calls for global rethink on drugs

Take away the "violent profit", even if that means legalising...and think about the environmental impact of your drug consumption.

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, 2010/11

Oops...your blogger had the figure all along and knew that seizures were 5% down year on year....but he hadnt opened the email

Mea Culpa maxima!

Home Office used 'highly selective' drug figures to make UKBA look good

That's handy. Here is the criticism of the presentation of the statistics, by the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority

Lies, damn lies and statistics, eh??

Graphic: Britain's drug habit

Very high rate of drug siezures in City of London....

Rise in use of cocaine has peaked, says EU drug agency report

ECDDA Report published later this week. UK still biggest cocaine user, but levels not increasing. May need reading in association with the criticisms for the Statistics Agency of recent imaginative presentation of figures by the Home Office!

14 November 2011

Silent victims: Iraqi women trafficked for sex,into countries including Jordan - report says

A report released by the London-based non-governmental group Social Change for Education in the Middle East (SCEME) Wednesday hopes to change that.

Entitled Karamatuna, or Our Dignity, the study highlights the plight of girls as young as 10 or 12 who have been trafficked from post-war Iraq into countries including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for sexual exploitation.

German government fears new far-Right terrorism after neo-Nazi killing spree

More coming out on the far-right terrorism story. Europol will have to rewrite its statistics. there will turn out to have been more terrorism by the far right than by jihadists at this rate.

Brazil police target drug gangs in Rio's biggest slum

I suppose the major question is "why havent they done it before"?

German prosecutors formally arrest far-right terror group suspect

Article includes summary of activities of far-right German terrorist group

10 November 2011

Conference: call for papers

CALL FOR PAPERS

Transnational Organized Crime: Italian Connections

Bilingual Conference (English and Italian)

The American University of Rome
Department of International Relations

30-31 March 2012


Keynote Speaker:

Professor Nando Dalla Chiesa, University of Milan


The American University of Rome's Department of International Relations will be hosting a two-day international conference focusing on Italy’s current roles within transnational organized crime networks and the on-going attempts to weaken these through legislation, enforcement and grassroots activism.

The conference aims to provide a forum for academics, policymakers and operators in the field to discuss issues of common concern. There is a constant need both to examine the evolving social contexts within which organized crime operates and to evaluate the political, economic and social costs of the globalization of this phenomenon in a country which has a long history of powerful mafias with their own international ramifications. There is a large amount of research on Italy’s crime groups and growing scholarship on the transnational dimensions of the phenomenon. At the same time, political and law enforcement agencies which have to deal with the issues directly produce operational and policymaking material. The opportunities for the different fields to learn about the others and discuss issues and solutions are relatively rare; this initiative seeks to fill this gap and encourage a dialogue.

We particularly invite contributions that relate to one or more of the following themes and which focus on the international dimensions. Papers should present original research and analysis.

Debates on defining organized crime in Italy
Methodologies for studying TOC and its effects
Globalization and ‘liquidity’ of Italian mafia operations
Transplantation of foreign groups in Italy
Political connections, clientelism and corruption
Ties to terrorism
Money laundering and the legal economy
‘Gray’ economies
Human smuggling and trafficking through and to Italy
Art crime, fashion and culture industries
Waste removal and disposal
Environmental crimes and impacts
Drugs routes and markets
Fakes and contraband
Arms trafficking
Legal frameworks, national and international
Current policy approaches
Italy’s judicial system
Enforcement agencies, policing and surveillance
Civil society responses
The ‘anti-mafia’ economy

The conference will be held in English and Italian.
We hope to publish selected papers and are currently seeking a publisher.

Proposals (c. 300 words) are invited from both established and unpublished scholars and practitioners and should be sent to Isabella Clough Marinaro and James Walston at:

TOC@aur.edu

Deadline for proposals: 15 December 2011. We will try to reply by 7 January 2012.

Registration Fee: 40 Euro
Students: 10 Euro
AUR students Free

WANTED 'NDRANGHETA CRIMINAL SEBASTIANO PELLE ARRESTED AFTER 16 YEARS

AGI) Reggio Calabria- Last night, 57-year-old fugitive Sebastiano Pelle, who had been wanted for 16 years, was arrested. He had been entered into the special program for wanted, highly dangerous criminals led by the Interior Ministry and executed by local law enforcement, under the coordination of DDA reggina. The arrest was made in the port area in Reggio Calabria. Mr Pelle was wanted on charges of mafia ties, international drug and weapons trafficking, and other crimes. .

ITALIAN ARTICLE HERE ON 'LA REPUBBLICA'

09 November 2011

Report Blames Mexican Security Forces For Abuse

MEXICO CITY–Mexico's police and soldiers have committed widespread human rights abuses in the government's fight against organized crime, according to a report published on Wednesday.

07 November 2011

Australia: Change of police tactics disrupt organised crime gangs

Australian POLICE have identified a gap in their organised crime strategy and are plugging it with back to basics, "in your face" tactics.
Victoria Police crime department chief Graham Ashton said it could take years of investigative effort and millions of dollars to crack open organised crime groups.

06 November 2011

Far right on rise in Europe, says report

Demos used Facebook to get supporters of the right to complete questionnaires. unsurprisingly it discovered a new younger web-based generation...Well you would if you used Facebook wouldnt you??? Allowing for the idiocy of Guardian sub-editors, the research has at least been done and there is a link to the report proper.

Deadly fog on the Mekong

A rare glimpse into the Golden Triangle. It's all still going on down the Mekong, and quietly growing even more complicated.

The August riots in England

Lin to the full National Centre for Social research report available on this site.

Official: 'Moment of madness' was the cause of riots

Report to the Cabinet Office on motives for taking part in the riots: they did it for the buzz. Probably need to look at the full report, rather than this breathless summary.

At least 65 die in Nigerian terrorist attacks

Another area of conflict opens up in Nigeria/

Trafficking in Britain: 'For five months I asked when I would get a job, but all I did was clean their home'

Opening of what appears to be a new front in "trafficking"...I'm not sure that's the right term for what is described here. Exploitation of the vulnerable for criminal purposes might be a better description.

04 November 2011

the dark side of the Internet

A quick journey through the deep web (in Italian)

Anonymous abandons plan to expose Mexican drug cartel collaborators

Bizarre Guardian article, They let the kidnapped person go...Why would you continue the assault?

Win win situation, surely? Who is the editor for the sake of Astarte?

01 November 2011

UN agencies join forces to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling


The United Nations agencies that deal with helping refugees and with fighting crime signed a joint agreement today to work together more closely to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The memorandum of understanding, signed by the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres, aims to combine the work of both entities in overlapping issues to more effectively target criminals involved in human trafficking and to better protect their victims.

Organized crime may be moving bioweapons

Officials with the United Nations Security Council's Counterterrorism Committee have expressed concern about the close connection between terrorists and transnational organized criminals, including cooperation in the illegal movement of biological weapons of mass destruction.

31 October 2011

Anonymous hackers threaten Mexican drug cartel

Apparently the Zetas have kidnapped one of their members, so Anonymous will post all sorts of information about them if said individual not released by Friday.

29 October 2011

Sliding towards terrorism

Left wingers in the Berlin area carry out arson attack on the railway. Group called Hekla claims responsibility. Opening shots in a new conflict?

28 October 2011

Hells Angels feud leaves trail of death and destruction

"Only in Santa Cruz would you have biker wars over who's going to control pumpkin spice lattes."

27 October 2011

The Hidden Wiki: an internet underworld of child abuse

Within the Tor network, sites that cant be accessed through Google, a "darknet" market in all sorts of things, but amongst them paedophilia. Anonymous have launched an attack on LolitaCity, a site for paedophiles. Problem is that the darknet is also for opponents of authoritarian regimes.

Global Burden of armed violence reports 2008 and 2011

Crime not war main source of armed violence: study from Genevadeclaration.org

European Union Should Do More To Stop Organised Crime From Accessing The Legal Economy Say MEPs

The EU needs stricter rules to prevent mafia-style organisations from accessing legal economic circuits and infiltrating political circles, says a resolution adopted on Tuesday 25th October by Parliament. MEPs also suggest setting up a special committee to investigate the negative social and economic impact of organised crime in Europe.

UN highlights economic cost of organised crime in Italy

The study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna out on Tuesday (25 October) estimates that organised crime in Italy - mostly illegal waste disposal, drugs and people trafficking - is worth €116 billion a year, equivalent to 7.7 percent of the country's GDP.
The scale of the problem is far larger than in other industrialised nations - organised crime accounts for 1.3 percent of the economy in Germany, 1.2 percent in the UK and 2.3 percent in the US.

26 October 2011

In-Dia-gnados and cuts protets in Rome

Because of budget cuts, after recent several protests by Law Enforcement officials also the Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate (DIA) protested today in Rome.

Time runs out for Germany's master forgers

A tale of greed, duplicity and gullibility

Exclusive: Met finds secret phone at centre of NI hacking

I havent included many stories about the hacking scandal on this blog, but this relates to organisation. The source is a little opaque.

25 October 2011

Tycoon Berezovsky loses key witness in case against Abramovich

Some fascinating stones being looked under in this case. Why on earth it's being held in London is beyond me...O sorry. To enrich lawyers of course

Official: Cabinet ministers wrong about cause of riots

First research results on UK riots this year

Japan fights yakuza efforts to make it a nine-fingered economy

New laws against organised crime in Japan

HUMSEC Journal - Call for Papers

The HUMSEC Journal seeks to provide an active forum for exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge and information in the field of human security, terrorism and organised crime. Particular emphasis is given to the Western Balkan region.

The Editorial Board welcomes original scientific papers addressing the issues of human security, terrorism and organised crime. The main topic of the third edition of the HUMSEC Journal is:  

The influence of transnational terrorist and criminal organizations on the peace-building process in the Western Balkans
 
If you wish to publish an article please contact us under the following email address: journal@humsec.eu before February 4th. Detailed background information on the submisson of papers and reviews can be found under Submission Guidelines.

Spain and Croatia sign agreement to strengthen cooperation from both countries on fight against organised crime

The Minister for Home Affairs, Antonio Camacho, met in Madrid on Monday 24 October with his counterpart from the Republic of Croatia, Tomislav Karamarko. After the meeting, they signed an "Agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Croatia on combating crime and other matters of security". At the meeting, the Croatian minister wished to congratulate the Government of Spain on the announcement regarding the definitive end of terrorist activity by ETA.

The Spanish and Croatian Home Affairs Ministers also expressed a willingness to strengthen police cooperation in the fight against organised crime and the serious offences that arise from this kind of activity, such as money laundering, people trafficking, sexual exploitation, drugs trafficking, terrorism, etc. Among other things, this cooperation will be strengthened through the exchange of information and material; technical and scientific assistance; the exchange of experiences and units specialising in the areas covered by this agreement; and cooperation in terms of professional training. They also agreed on an exchange of experts in the fight against illegal immigration.

South Korea: Police declare war against gangsters

Police launched an extensive crackdown on organized crime rings across the country Monday, which will continue through the end of December.

The National Police Agency (NPA) announced that it will set up special teams at 16 regional police agencies nationwide to arrest gangsters in a war against criminal gangs.

Cheeses, Often Stolen, Are 'High Risk' Items for Supermarkets

The 2011 study traces retail theft in 43 countries across more than 250,000 stores and reports that retailers have absorbed millions of dollars of losses in food products. The profit loss is attributed mainly to theft by employees, organized crime rings and petty criminals.
"Organized crime rings target specialty items and products that are easy to sell in other venues," said Farrokh Abadi, president of shrink management solutions at Checkpoint Systems Inc., a Philadelphia-based retail security firm that funded the study.

24 October 2011

Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption in Defence and Security: 20 Practical Reforms

This is the second edition of the TI Defence and Security Programme's Handbook, Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption in Defence and Security: 20 Practical Reforms. This Handbook has a simple purpose: to show busy decision makers how significant progress can be made in tackling corruption risks in defence and security. In it, we recommend ways to diagnose corruption risks and how to lead change in defence and security establishments.  We discuss military operations, the procurement process, and budgets and assets, and show how nations are tackling corruption risks in each of these.  This edition of the handbook came about in response to the positive reaction to the first edition, and draws upon lessons we have learned in the past three years of our work.  People from some 35 nations have contributed to the ideas and approaches described here.

22 October 2011

London named fraud capital of UK

Figures for identity fraud in the UK.

The Omagh bomb, the Lithuanian sting and the Real IRA plot to bomb the mainland

Longer piece, raising the problem of the safety of agents and informants.

Real IRA member jailed over Lithuania terror weapons

Lots of issues here: it was a sting, so are there issues of entrapment? How ruthless are the RealIRA? How big is the threat to the Northern Ireland peace process and to the UK "mainland"?

19 October 2011

'New Stuxnet' worm targets companies in Europe

Ah yes. Did you really think Stuxnet would be a "one-off"?...and what happens when the Camorra get hold of it? Coming to an internet interface near you...and soon...Mwah hah hah!

Negotiating with the Mafia: the origins

A new inquiry on the negotiations between Italian Government and Sicilian Mafia in the early 1990s to avoid attacks against high-profile persons.

18 October 2011

Cybersecurity: Protecting the digital economy

As hackers continue to outwit governments, policymakers are playing catch up: More agencies, stronger protections of data and simulated cyber attacks are all part of an upcoming artillery against cyber attacks.

The threat level of cyber crimes is rising. In the recently released organised crime threat assessment from Europol, the Internet acts as a facilitator for organised crime: “A new criminal landscape is emerging marked increasingly by highly mobile and flexible groups, operating in multiple jurisdictions and criminal sectors, and aided, in particular by widespread, illicit use of the Internet,” the organisation said.

17 October 2011

Did a Mexican political party have agreements with organized crime?

Did a Mexican political party have agreements with organized crime, specifically the PRI which governed Mexico for 71 years?
The way Mexican President Felipe Calderon answered this question when asked by New York Times reporters is creating quite a stir. Asked whether he fears that a victory by the PRI in next year's presidential elections may bring back a corrupt relationship with organized crime, Calderon, a member of the PAN, conceded that is one of his fears.

13 October 2011

Pope condemns organised crime in south Italy visit

LAMEZIA TERME, Italy, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Sunday condemned "ferocious" organised crime groups in the southern Calabria region, where lawlessness, corruption and underdevelopment have resulted in one of Italy's highest unemployment rates.

12 October 2011

The Met Police and Saviano

The Metropolitan Police is accused to have refused protection to Saviano, the Italian anti-Mafia journalist and writer under threat of death from Camorra. He was supposed to be in London to receive an international award for his courage in writing "Gomorrah" but he had to renounce to attend the ceremony because it could have been dangerous.

UACES Collaborative research Network (CRN): Policing and European Studies / Call for Papers: New challenges for the EU Internal Security Strategy

In addition to addressing ongoing issues in cross border policing, the EU Internal Security Strategy has highlighted new areas for development within the EU cross border law enforcement framework. Changing political and security realities are also having an impact on the EU law enforcement landscape. This UACES funded collaborative conference on Policing and European Studies will be holding its third conference in order to explore these changes. This network plans to hold its third conference on this theme, on the 30th March 2012 at the University of Abertay Dundee.
We invite research papers (maximum of 6,000 words) from doctoral and early career researchers, as well as more established academics, practitioners and policy makers, from across a range of disciplines such as police and security studies, law, criminology and sociology, political science, International Relations, European studies, psychology, and management and organisational change.

Proposals for papers are invited covering these strands, in particular, but in no means confined to the following areas; Policing the border in a post-Stockholm Europe;  Policing human trafficking in the EU; Policing economic crime in the EU; Cybercrime and EU Policing - new technologies, new policing?; Adapting to transnational policing.

Please send an abstract of 150 to 200 words to the organisers by the 18th November 11. You will be notified if your application is successful by Friday the 2nd December 11, with registration for the conference being opened after that date.

NB: Limited funding will be available to assist with expenses of PhD students / early career academics.

Please contact the conference organisers if you require further information as to this conference, or the research network generally. Dr Maria O’Neill, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Abertay Dundee, Bell Street, Dundee DD 1 1HG, Scotland, UK m.oneill@abertay.ac.uk

For further details about this UACES collaborative research network see the UACES website http://www.uaces.org/networks/policing/index.php       or the research network website at http://policingandeuropeanstudies.abertay.ac.uk/

10 October 2011

International police cooperation seminar

A warm-up for the PhD defence of Ludo Bloc's PhD. Ludo was the original creator of this blog. Well worth attending!

09 October 2011

Perspectives on the presidency

Hmmmmmm...From the Irish Times. A series of different writers comment on Martin Mcguiness and his bid for the Presidency of Ireland.

The Thid Arab Bloggers Meeting

A blog about blogs. Raising interesting issues. Legitimacy and the diaspora

The first Arab Bloggers Meeting was private and low key. Not this year's

A little about the origins of the Arab Spring in the blogosphere. May be possible to understand the origin of those strange rumours of an American hand behind it all. Where was the second held?

Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities

Nothing to do with organised crime, but there has been a feeling that this phenomenon has been underreported, so I'm sharing this article here. Civil disobedience movement growing. Social media used as way of organising.

New York police crack ID theft ring

Sounds like a large group. 86 detained, and another 25 being sought. Cards skimmed, used to by computer products which were then sold off to gangs in China, Europe and the Middle East

'Bridenapping' – a growing hidden crime

Likely to increase further with the daughter shortage in China and parts of India?

British police to launch Seychelles pirate hunting base

Nice cushy number for somebody!

Computer virus infects drone plane command centre in US

Well, if there's one place you'd want to know what's going on, the place that controls the pilots that control the drones has yo be it...

06 October 2011

Six arrests and 14 searches in EULEX organised crime investigation

This morning, EULEX police officers from the Organised Crime Investigation Unit carried out a search and arrest operation, related to a major investigation into alleged corruption and procurement fraud.

The alleged fraud relates to procurement procedures at Kosovo Police and business suppliers of police weapons and ammunition. Due to this alleged fraud, the Kosovo Police budget has suffered losses that could amount to millions of euros, which make Kosovo Police the primary victim in this affair.

UN: Terrorists linked to organized crime in traffic of nuclear, biological materials


The United Nations committee entrusted with helping countries tackle terrorism today voiced concern at the close connection between terrorists and transnational organized crime, including the illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials.

05 October 2011

UK: Theresa May speech in full

Our police reform agenda might be made more urgent by spending cuts, but it’s not just about managing smaller budgets. Overdue action to cut out inefficiency and waste, a ruthless assault on targets and bureaucracy, a restoration of police discretion and independence, a National Crime Agency to get tough on organised crime, the most transparent crime data in the world, and a new model of accountability that puts the people in charge of policing.

03 October 2011

Exposed: organised crime at sea

THE International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Greenpeace have released the results of investigations into alleged malpractice in the Spanish fishing industry.
The ICIJ investigation claims that the Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion in subsidies since 2000 to expand its capacity and global reach, but that public fortune supports a fleet with an extensive record of flouting rules and breaking the law.
Meanwhile Greenpeace say they have revealed how Spain, by far the most influential nation in the formulation of Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy, is repeatedly and systematically overlooking illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by its huge fleet throughout European waters and beyond.
The probe into the Spanish fishing industry by the ICIJ is the latest instalment of Looting the Seas, an ongoing investigation into ‘the forces that are rapidly depleting ocean resources’.
The ICIJ says that while European Union officials scramble in a last-ditch effort to save what are left of declining fish stocks, a look at the Spanish fleet – the region’s most powerful player – shows what they are up against.
“Fish are not an unlimited resource,” said fisheries economist Andrew Dyck of University of British Columbia. “When the public purse is the only thing propping this industry up, we are paying for resource degradation.”
ICIJ says its analysis is the first in-depth look at how much public aid Spain has received, primarily from the EU, but also from the national and regional governments.
“Subsidies keep the Spanish industry afloat. They account for a third of the sector’s value. Simply put, nearly one-in-three fish caught on a hook or raised in a farm is paid for with public money,” the ICIJ claims.
Among the findings of the ICIJ study are:
  • One Spanish ship owner received more than €8.2 million in subsidies while his company or its affiliates faced more than 40 accusations of alleged illegal fishing and US$5 million in fines.
 
  • The Spanish fishing industry cornered a third of all subsidies granted to EU fisheries since 2000 – far more than that of any other EU country. Public aid has been used to modernize ships, buy fishing rights to the waters of developing countries, and even pay for private security aboard vessels and for advertising and promotion.
 
  • Tax breaks account for a big chunk of aid. The Spanish industry has benefited from €2 billion in fuel tax exemptions since 2000.
 
  • More than 80 percent of subsidized fishing companies that were fined in Spain for infractions such as fishing in a prohibited area and targeting juvenile fish– and then lost subsequent court appeals – continued to receive subsidies.
In a new report titled ‘Ocean Inquirer’ by Greenpeace, the campaigning organisation takes as a case study one Galician family whose companies have received over €16 million in subsidies from European taxpayers to fund a long list of criminal activities. 


Greenpeace say: “The Vidal family’s many ships have been found conducting IUU fishing for decades, right around the world, and been prosecuted in the US, the UK and in the Pacific and the Spanish government have promised on numerous occasions to investigate and put an end to these abuses. But what they have actually done is fund them - with our money. 


“Spain has the largest fishing fleet in Europe, maintained with billions in subsidies - more than double the amount of subsidies received by any other EU nation. The Spanish fleet has exploited the CFP to infiltrate the fleets of other European nations and take their fishing quotas, and it is widely recognised that without a proper investigation and reform of the Spanish industry, a CFP which actually fulfils its purpose of managing Europe’s fishing industry in a sustainable manner is highly unlikely.
“The case study of the Vidal family documents their long history of illegal fishing, their prosecutions and convictions and their frequently successful attempts to avoid justice, and Spain’s continuing failure to deal with an issue which has been raised with them on numerous occasions. It also reveals new evidence on Vidal’s latest business venture, an alleged fish oil factory in Galicia. This factory is not currently operational, many months after its claimed opening date, and yet has already earned the Vidal family another €6.5 million in EU subsidies. 


Greenpeace oceans campaigner Ariana Densham said: “According to some estimates, up to 49% of the global catch is illegal, unreported and unregulated and this is one of the reasons why our over-exploited fisheries are in such rapid decline. The fact that in Europe this theft of fish is being subsidised by taxpayers’ money, that we’re actually paying pirates to steal our fish, destroy one of our oldest industries and devastate the marine environment, shows just how corrupted the CFP is.”
She continued: “If we want to avoid jellyfish and chips becoming our new national dish, the first thing we need to do is properly investigate this sort of abuse and make certain that any subsidies under the new CFP go to fishing which is sustainable and legal.”

Greenpeace are calling for a full EU investigation into subsidies given to the Spanish fishing industry, and for all future subsidies to be given to legal, transparent and sustainable fishing practices, consistent with the CFP’s stated objectives. 



The Greenpeace report: 
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/oceans/exposed-organised-crime-sea-20111002
The ICIJ investigation: http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/icij/

29 September 2011

European Commission Home Affairs - 2011 Call for Proposals Organised Crime and Related Issues

  1. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials CBRN deadline 17 October 2011
  2. Radicalisation leading to terrorism and the role of victims of terrorism in preventing radicalisation RAD deadline 17 October 2011
  3. Cross border law enforcement cooperation particularly in the access to and exchange of information through the implementation of the principle of availability through the Prüm Decisions and the 'Swedish Initiative' deadline 17 October 2011
  4. Operational law enforcement cooperation, including Customs cooperation, and Joint Investigation Teams JIT-deadline 17 October 2011
  5. Trafficking in Human Beings THB deadline 24 October 2011
  6. Illegal use of Internet INT deadline 24 October 2011
    Corrigendum
  7. Financial and Economic Crime FINEC deadline 24 October 2011

Preventing misuse of public funds by criminal organisations

Public funds should be made fully traceable to prevent mafia-style organisations from misusing them, says a resolution approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. MEPs also call for a special EP committee to investigate infiltration of the public sector and the legal economy by organised crime.

Organised crime, especially Mafia-style crime, takes advantage of globalisation, the abolition of borders in the EU and differences among EU Member States' laws to make substantial profits and go unpunished. This is possible because criminal organisations have created a support network and consolidated infiltrations into the political world, the civil service and the legal economy, says the resolution.

28 September 2011

Premier's wish for CCC to probe organised crime - Australia

WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett will push ahead with a bid to expand the Crime and Corruption Commission's ``extraordinary powers'' to fight organised crime, despite high-level opposition.
Mr Barnett says a bill to empower the CCC to investigate organised crime directly will be introduced soon, despite a parliamentary committee and others rejecting the recommendation.

26 September 2011

Mexico Needs Tough Conspiracy Laws to Fight Organized Crime

Conspiracy laws sighting all of the participants with a euphemistic bull's eye on their backs was the most proactive and strategic instrument ever designed to hunt organized criminals.  These laws allow for the holding of all players culpable at all levels, regardless if they know of each other's existence; or whether or not they see or touch the contraband.

Australian Institute of Criminology

This is fun. The AIC videos visiting presenters and puts them on its website. Bill Tupman visited and was videoed in September 2011...Watch this space!

25 September 2011

MEXICO: Calderon urges drug-using nations to seek a new path

Three times this week, Calderon urged nations that are the biggest buyers of illegal drugs -- tops is the United States -- to consider "market alternatives" if they can’t find ways to reduce consumption.
Before the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Calderon said the best way to hit drug cartels that are wreaking violent havoc in Mexico is to cut demand. But if the governments can’t do so, Calderon said, they are "obligated to look for other ways, including market alternatives that prevent narco-traffickers from continuing to be the origin of violence and death."

24 September 2011

China, Ukraine ready to enhance law enforcement cooperation

KIEV, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese and Ukrainian security officials agreed here Friday to strengthen law enforcement bilateral cooperation and exchange in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and trans-national organized crime.

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences - 1 year FREE MEMBERSHIP for Doctoral Student

A Special Offer for Doctoral Students:  Doctoral students in the field of criminal justice can take advantage of a one-year, free membership in ACJS.  This opportunity includes the subscriptions and newsletters described below, and can be used at any point during a doctoral program.  If you wish to take advantage of this offer, please fill out the Ph.D. Application, attach proof of your student status (either a copy of a student ID, or a departmental letter), and mail or fax to the National Office (address and fax number are provided on the application).  Please click here for more information.

23 September 2011

Stockholm Criminology Symposium - June 11-13, 2012

Stockholm Criminology Symposium

The next Stockholm Criminology Symposium will take place June 11-13, 2012.
The symposium is an annual event that attracts more than 600 participants from all over the world. The first symposium was held in June 2006. During the years the symposium has become a true meeting point for researchers, policy-makers and practitioners interested in learning about the latest research findings of significance to crime policy. The symposium offers three days packed with presentations from a large number of projects, programs, academic research and studies or inquiries conducted by public sector agencies.

Why you should attendThe symposium offers an opportunity for networks, organizations and research groups to meet and discuss their work.

22 September 2011

Australia: the last frontier of criminal networks

The illegal smuggling and disposal of waste is a global, and widespread phenomenon. From this perspective, Australia represents an interesting case study to identify the forthcoming developments and trends which will be put in practice by main criminal networks. To identify analysis guidelines, it is useful to start by examining some recent cases recorded in the region of New South Wales and in its main city, Sydney.

21 September 2011

United Nations: Mexico’s Calderón Says World Needs To Help Combat Drug Trafficking

UNITED NATIONS — The world must address widespread violence in Mexico and the vast wealth of drug cartels, Mexican President Felipe Calderón said Wednesday during his address to the United Nation’s General Assembly.

See the speech HERE

20 September 2011

Transnational Organized Crime: A Growing Threat to National and International Security

On July 25, 2011, the National Security Staff of USA released its strategy to combat transnational organized crime, titled “Addressing Converging Threats to National Security”. This article will refer to basic facts and data about the historical background, terminology, practices and final guidelines of the above mentioned strategy.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE

WEBSITE: Organized Crime Research

This website presents information on organized crime from a social science perspective with a special geographical focus on the U.S. and Germany.

The site was first launched in 1999. The original purpose had been to share with a broader public some of the material collected for a doctoral dissertation on the concept and theory of organized crime in the U.S. The material includes, for example, a collection of organized crime definitions which has been considerably expanded over the years. A number of papers on organized-crime related subjects, including cigarette smuggling, have also consecutively been added and are available for downloading.

A more recent addition is the book-review section which features reviews of books on organized crime and related topics.

This site is bilingual (English and German). Some content, however, is available only in one of these two languages.

The material presented on this website may be used for academic, journalistic and official purposes in accordance with the applicable copyright laws. Please identify the source as 'Klaus von Lampe, Organized Crime Research (kvl-homepage), www.organized-crime.de'.

19 September 2011

High levels of crime undermining regional development, UN warns Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/High-levels-of-crime-undermining-regional-development--UN-warns_9726227#ixzz1YOIBQaCe

UNITED NATIONS (CMC) — High levels of crime and insecurity, fuelled by organised gangsters, are threatening to undermine social and economic growth in the Caribbean and Latin America, the United Nations development chief has warned, even as the organisation praised the region for making "steady improvements" in governance.

Kosovo Albanians divided over organ trafficking allegations

The EU task force to investigate allegations of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) organ traficking and organised crime -- including by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci -- fueled a debate of its political impact on Kosovo.

Premier is ‘protecting the Mafia,’ Marois claims

MONTREAL - By refusing to launch a public inquiry into construction practices, Jean Charest “is protecting the Mafia, organized crime,” Pauline Marois declared Friday as she called for the premier to resign.
“Corruption has installed itself in the heart of the state,” the Parti Québécois leader said. “Organized crime, the Mafia, have literally infiltrated the government, our institutions.”

Emblematic Bulgarian Security Boss Sentenced for Organized Crime

Atanas Mandev, the emblematic head of security firm functioning as an organized crime group in Bulgaria's Sliven, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

SOCA to bolster data protection policies after child protection website breach

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and its parent organisation the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), have made a commitment to improving the security of its websites.

18 September 2011

Mexican police force investigated for organized crime links

Officials in Mexico say they're investigating more than 100 police officers in the northern city of Monterrey suspected of having links with organised crime.

16 September 2011

Manchester striker Balotelli interviewed over possible contacts with the Camorra

Italian anti-mafia public prosecutors investigating on money laundering have interviewed Mario Balotelli over a visit he made last year to a known mafia hot spot in Naples, where he was photographed in the company of a couple of known Camorra men.

AUSTRAC's Typologies and case studies report 2011

  The Austrac typologies and case studies report 2011 reveals how the Government Agencies, combined with Austrac’s analysis of reports provided by Australian businesses, have led to asset seizures and arrests of criminals in Australia and overseas.

AUSTRAC's 2011 typologies report is the fifth in an annual series of reports produced by the agency.
The 2011 report includes 20 real-life case studies illustrating how legitimate services offered by Australian businesses have been exploited for criminal purposes. By highlighting these past examples of criminal activity, the report educates Australian businesses about their money laundering and terrorism financing risks and helps them recognise and mitigate these risks.

The report examines the ways in which criminals misused banks, casinos and money transfer agencies to commit serious transnational crime including fraud, terrorism financing, people smuggling and human trafficking.

The report is available here

Class A Drug Gang Sentenced

Good news from Devon and Cornwall police which will impact upon the whole of Devon/Cornwall. Eight  key members of an organised drug supply network were sentenced to a total of 40 years imprisonment for offences of jointly conspiring to supply both crack cocaine and heroin in Exeter.

China arrests thousands in crime crackdown

BEIJING, September 16, 2011 (AFP) - China said Friday it had arrested 2,182 people and broken up hundreds of gangs in an operation against organised crime, as a senior official pledged to crack down on police collusion with criminals.

15 September 2011

Zetas-Milenio Cartel Alliance Heralds Danger for Jalisco

The latest shift in Mexico's perpetually changing criminal landscape is an alliance between th Zetas and the Milenio Cartel, which could be an ominous sign for the Pacific state of Jalisco.

Ecuador Weighs Creation of Specialized Court for Organized Crime, Terrorism

Ecuadorian officials have discussed imitating Spain’s model and creating a specialized court and prosecutors to tackle organized crime and terrorism, as part of ongoing reforms to the justice system.

Link between organized crime and construction clear: report

An rinvestigation into anti-corruption in Quebec has established a link between organized crime and Quebec’s construction industry.

14 September 2011

Basilischi: The Fifth Mafia

Disclaimer: Even though this article has been published in 2008, it is still important to give it publicity given the fact that it explains, in English, the rise and presence of the Fifth Italian Mafia, The Basilischi, a subject area not known or less known even to the experts of the field.

     "There is Cosa Nostra in Sicily, ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria, Camorra in Campania and Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia. A fifth mafia has been added, the Basilischi, in the region of Basilicata (also called by its former name, Lucania)".

13 September 2011

East Midlands police crime units aim to save £26m

Five East Midlands police in the UK forces hope to save £26m over four years by creating two regional units to tackle major and serious organised crime.

12 September 2011

Europol to focus on reducing number of criminal groups from Albanian-speaking area

Europol's Deputy Director Michel Quille stated Friday in Belgrade that in the coming period, the organization will focus on countering smuggling and busting of criminal groups from the Albanian-speaking area, so the cooperation with Serbia and other Western Balkan countries is of immense importance.

10 September 2011

Camorra and counterfeiting in the north of Italy

A counterfeit clothing ring run by the Camorra for the sale of designer brands in the region of Lombardy and north-east Italy was discovered in Padova.

09 September 2011

Bulgaria busts gang that trafficked women to Italian resorts

The leader and several members of a gang that for three years had been trafficking Bulgarian women to Italian resorts to be forced to work as prostitutes have been arrested in an operation by Botevgrad and Sofia police.

Four years in jail for Scots businessman in £17m VAT scam

A BUSINESSMAN has been jailed for his role in an organised crime gang involved in a £17 million VAT scam.

Shabir Anwar Ahmed, 52, from Glasgow, was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting conspiracy to steal taxpayers' money between February and December 2005.

Italian mafia investigators to approach Mario Balotelli

Anti-mafia investigators in Italy want to interview Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli over a visit he made to a known mafia hot spot in Naples.

08 September 2011

300 kilograms of cocaine found in a sailing boat in Italy

305 packages of pure cocaine for a sum of 10 million euro were found in the hold of a boat from Brazil by customs officers on island of Elba (Tuscany).

06 September 2011

seized mafia assets put to good use

A big photovoltaic plant will be realized on a land that was seized from the notorious Casalesi boss Francesco Schiavone ("Sandokan").

01 September 2011

Members of Camorra arrested during a major drugs raid in Ibiza

Spain police arrested in Ibiza during twin operations 73 persons, mostly Britons and members of Camorra. They were suspected of importing and selling cocaine and ketamine. Police seized a huge amount of drugs and in particular of pills known as Pink Rock Star, similar to those responsible for the death of a British woman in Ibiza in July.

26 August 2011

Emerging Transnational (In)security Governance: A Statist-Transnationalist Approach

‘Emerging Transnational (In)security Governance provides a significant contribution to the social science literatures on terrorism, transnational organised crime, security governance, and the nexus between these topics. Written by a team of subject experts and edited by a highly respected scholar, Ersel Aydinli, the chapters in this study deliver thought-provoking and rigorous analysis of the current landscape of and future prospects for transnational security governance. The great strength of the study is that it relates existing mechanisms designed to facilitate domestic and transnational cooperation in the fight against crime to the urgent task of countering the threat of transnational terrorism. This is valuable reading for students and researchers of terrorism and transnational governance.’ - Alex Braithwaite, University College London, UK

‘This edited volume is unusually coherent in its intellectual setup and offers a bonanza of insights into various aspects of international and transnational security governance.’ - Joerg Friedrichs, University Lecturer in Politics, University of Oxford, UK
Product Description

This book presents a selection of edited essays written by leading international scholars engaging with practicing intelligence, military, and police officers and responding to their first-hand international security cooperation experiences. The resulting chapters provide original theoretical perspectives on evolving international security cooperation practices.

Beginning with the premise that intelligence cooperation-domestically between agencies, internationally between states, and transnationally among states, sub-state and non-state actors-is essential in order to successfully counter the evolving transnational nature of security threats, the authors explore the transnationalization in states' responses to a transnational security threat like 'global' terror. They assess whether early signs of a "statist transnationalism" for a new global security cooperation regime can be identified, and look at the use of extraordinary rendition and police liaisons as means for the development and growth of transnational security cooperation.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, terrorism, security, policing and intelligence.

25 August 2011

FBI fights back against cybercrime

Tales of the NCFTA: the National Cyber-Forensic training Alliance

24 August 2011

Carlos Tevez: The billionaires' fight over his ownership revealed

No crimes committed, but a legal battle as to who owns how much of a footballer and some of this stuff is surely against FA rules...or is it?

23 August 2011

When algorithms control the world

As usual, "we" havent though through the consequence of a world run by algorithms. What are the crime opportunities here?

22 August 2011

Father and sons boiler room scam sent to prison

Father and two sons jailed for £27.5 million scam

Glasgow gangs chose route to peace in face of tough crackdown

I missed this article a couple of weeks ago. More on the programme to dismantle the Glasgow gangs

Glasgow gangs fade away as anti-violence campaign takes hold

Reasons why the Strathclyde candidate has a chance of becoming Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The drive to dismantle the gangs of Glasgow.

The barra bravas: the violent Argentinian gangs controlling football

Football hooligans and drugs. A glimpse into organisational structures in criminal gangs associated with Argentinian football teams

Manchester's original gangsters

We've been here before. Giving young people something to do and a place to do it is the final suggestion of the article. The author wrote "The Gangs of Manchester" published 2008.

America's serious crime rate is plunging, but why?

Almost a discussion of different explanations of falling crime numbers in US cities.Nothing about organised crime or gangs, sadly, but the arguments are worth listing for contemporary PhD students....Honest!

20 August 2011

Nigerian women and sex trafficking

In two special Aljazeera reports, the tragedy of African women victim of sex trafficking is investigated, and in particular their situation in southern Italy, in the ghettos near Napoli.

18 August 2011

cocaine seized to 300 million euro

The Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza) has seized a huge amount of cocaine in La Spiezia (in the Liguria region of Northern Italy). The drug was hidden behind a false wall in a container from Colombia directed to Genoa via Gioia Tauro, a seaport heavily controlled by the 'Ndrangheta.

16 August 2011

Women in Ciudad Juàrez: victims and killers

One of the main Italian newspaper today offers an article on female homicides in Ciudad Juàrez and the increasing presence of female offenders.

15 August 2011

Drugs Central_ Al Jazeera

an al Jazeera site linking articles and broadcasts on Mexico and Central America

14 August 2011

Italy's Bloodiest Mafia: The Camorra

An investigation exposing how Italy's most ruthless organised crime syndicate has taken over one of the country's most beautiful cities, killing its citizens and poisoning its water, making massive amounts of money and effectively operating an alternative government.

'Italy's Bloodiest Mafia: The Camorra', documentary by the BBC, on air on the 8th of August on ABC1

Italy's 'Ndrangheta Mafia: A Powerful Ally for the Zetas

The rise of the Zetas as not just a Mexican menace but as a significant power in the international drug trade has been helped along by its growing links to a sprawling Italian mafia group known as the ‘Ndrangheta

Mafia leader found hiding in air-conditioned underground bunker

An alleged leader of Italy's feared 'Ndrangheta mafia was arrested by police after being found hiding in a hi-tech underground bunker accessible only via a remote-controlled trap door.

The 'Ndrangheta: profile

The 'Ndrangheta, based in Calabria in the far south of Italy, is now believed to be the most powerful of Italy's four mafia organisations.

13 August 2011

Facebook under attack

Hacker netwrok "Anonymous" say they are going to take it down on November 5th

Criminal Enclaves in Licit Economies: Exploring the Criminal Consequences of Shuttle Trade

CALL FOR PAPERS for the panel “Transnational Crime: Difficulties of Responding to the Evasive Beast” to be presented at 2012 International BISA-ISA conference in Edinburgh 2012. Deadline for the submission of abstracts is August 27, 2011. Abstracts should be sent to: yuliya.zabyelina@sis.unitn.it

Transnational Crime: Difficulties of Responding to the Evasive Beast.

The ways in which transnational crime and its countermeasures confront the traditional borders of crime control, national security, national politics and international relations have challenge the disciplinary boundaries of orthodox criminology, which has traditionally focused on matters internal to nation-states. This panel invites proposals that investigate challenges of responding to transnational criminal activities:

- THEORETICAL: alternative theoretical approach to understanding both the phenomena currently labeled transnational crime and state responses to them; orthodox and critical ways of labeling and responding to transnational activities. State institutional challenges of responding to transnational crime; world risk society.

- SECURITY: merging national security and police threats; national and “a-national” sites of law enforcement; transnational policing; balancing the paradoxical intersection of neo-liberal globalization and “tough” security policies; a “panopticon” state against crime; evaluating the private security market.

- SOCIAL: strategies of border management in terms of fighting illicit cross-border movements; border politics and border reconstruction; crime and social injuries: the problem of “illegalized” migrants and “criminalized” victims of human trafficking; established social divisions based on race, class, and gender by maintaining and extending countermeasures; “gated” communities.

- TECHNOLOGICAL: new technologies for better surveillance; criminal technological empowerment and methodological sophistication; responses to cyber crime.

11 August 2011

How Mexico's deadly gang tactics are spreading

Unpleasant stories about the Mexican drug cartels moving into the migrant trade. Its really a puff for a BBC radio programme, but it suggests that los/las Zetas are spreading their power beyond Mexico.

10 August 2011

Fuel smuggler's paradise: a day on the border between Libya and Tunisia

Remember this. the origins of organised crime in Libya and its links with Tunisia. Yet again, the West creates organised crime...Is it deliberate?

Shopping riots?

Weird stuff. Sort of cod sociology crossed with journalism. going to be a lot of analysis of the riots over the next few days.

Trafficked women trapped between Italian mafia and immigrant gangs

Film today [10th August 2011]on Al Jazeera

09 August 2011

Italian journalists and mafias

An interesting inquiry on the risks faced by journalists in Italy because of the mafias operating in the country. Here something shorter in english from Reporters Without Borders: http://en.rsf.org/report-italy,111.html

06 August 2011

Enter the Cyber-dragon

Operation Shady Rat...For some bizarre reason, security folk decided to use Vanity Fair to release their critique of alleged Chinese hacking.

05 August 2011

Guardians of Internet Security Are Targets

Broader article developing thoughts on McAfee's report yesterday. Points out that companies like mcAfee are themselves targets and that the computer security industry is having to raise its game.

04 August 2011

Mexico arrests 'deputy financier of Zetas drug cartel'

BBC piece on arrest of two leading figures of las Zetas cartel, former members of Mexican special forces. Article includes yet another map.

03 August 2011

Britain's biggest ever cocaine haul found

The Gouda gang strike again!
Note as usual, the value given is the "street value" after being cut with other chemicals...This would have been sold wholesale...not retail. The original link puts it at £300 million, but this becomes much more huge by the time the sub editors have had their way.

How does organised crime misuse EU funds

Better read this...critically, of course!

Camorra and the US strategy to combat TOC

Some Italian media have underlined how Camorra has been included in the recent US strategy to combat TOC as one of the more dangerous organizations threatening US national security and that sanctions program to block Camorra's property have been established.

Biggest series of cyber-attacks in history uncovered

McAfee are the source for this. My problem is always that when a company reveals this sort of activity, it has to be remembered that it has a product to sell. There was a 14 page report released by them on Wednesday that probably should be perused.

02 August 2011

Bootleg vodka causes headache for UK authorities

More on the illegal alcohol distilling trade

Photos of fraud suspects released

This is fairly rubbish. One of the individuals is responsible for £156 million of the alleged £200 million total...and there appears to be nobody from the City of London or any of our political parties...We have fraudsters. These arent they!

28 July 2011

'Ndrangheta is investing in the north-east Italy

Today the DIA (Direzione Investigativa Antimafia) of Padova (northern Italy) has seized assets equivalent to 3 million euro linked to a dangerous member of the 'Ndrangheta living in Verona. In the last years 'Ndrangheta seems to be heavily investing in real estate in the north-east of Italy.

UK Organised Crime Strategy

"Me too!" Shouts the UK government. "I've got an organised crime strategy, too. Just like Big Brother in the US".

Summer School on Fundamental Rights - 2011

Summer School organised by UNICRI

Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime

National Security Council Strategy. I havent read it yet, so no comments to make at this pointt.

Guns at Mexican Crime Scenes Linked to U.S. Sting

this is the Bureau on Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Some of "their" guns ended up at crime scenes. Controversial within the ATF.

DEA: Drugs-for-missiles terror deal stopped

hmm...A couple of Romanian based individuals charged with trying to sell heroin for missiles for Hezbollah. Informants may have been used to mount a sting. Another guy supposed to be trying to buy stuff for the Taliban. Lets see how the trials pan out.

Record £161m loot recovered from Britain's criminals in 2010-11

38,000 working in 6,000 groups. New government strategy about to be published to go with establishment of NCA.

25 July 2011

Italian cyber police hacked

Anonymous has started releasing previews of files leaked from the Italian Cyber Police (CNAIPIC). The total amount of data stolen has been estimated in 8Gb. A "revenge" for the role of CNAIPIC in the arrest of 15 members of the group in Italy and Switzerland at the beginning of July? (Here more in Italian: http://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2011/07/25/news/attacco_cnaipic-19587826/?ref=HRER2-1).

Honduran Weapons for Colombian Cocaine: The Paramilitary Trafficking Routes

Nice graphic, but the Us of A has turned out to be a major source of weapons...and agencies at the top!

New U.S. effort targets ‘transnational organized crime’ as threat to national security

Is there not a single person of intelligence in the Obama team? What a disappointment he has turned out to be.

Almost a quarter of entertainment enjoyed by Downing Street advisers was hosted by News International

But no crime was committed and there is no suggestion of corruption. 25% of all dinners eaten by Downing Street staff were paid for bt Rupert Murdoch...well, of course!

Police forces come together to create new regional surveillance units

and the legal basis for this is...?

Chaos for Trenitalia trains probably caused by copper theft

A huge fire at Tiburtina - a major train hub in Rome - is causing cancellations or long delays for several trains along Italian major north-south routes passing through Rome. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but copper theft was probably at the origin of the blaze. This time collateral damages for metal theft seem to be especially serious.

Next Generation National Security Leaders Program

CNAS is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the third annual Next Generation National Security Leaders Program 2011-2012. (U.S. citizens only)
As part of its mission to prepare and foster the next generation of national security and defense leaders, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the third annual Next Generation National Security Leaders Program 2011-2012.

For the third successive year, CNAS will gather a bipartisan group of future national security leaders to participate in a series of frank and open discussions on immediate and long-term U.S. national security and foreign policy challenges with the goal of developing a shared understanding of the nation's security interests and international priorities. During the program, Next Generation Leaders will engage with influential figures in the national security field in a series of candid discussions on several of the most pressing issues facing the United States.

Past topics have included the re-emergence of China and the future of East Asia, American interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Natural Security (the intersection of national security and natural resource scarcity, energy and climate change), and the effects of the economic crisis on national security. Next Generation Leaders will also have the opportunity to contribute to collaborative writing projects with their colleagues, participate in a variety of private, CNAS-hosted events, off-site visits and meetings, and potentially travel internationally.

Call for papers: IdPS Special Issue 2012

The Interdisciplinary Political Studies invites original contributions for its Special Issue on Transnational Crime to be published in February 2012.

The deadline for submissions is 14 October 2011.

Selection of papers for inclusion in the Special Issue will be through a blind review process that includes two independent referees, in addition to the assessment by the invited editor.

Manuscripts should:

* be prepared as for a blind review process. Each copy of the manuscript should include a separate title page with author names and affiliations, and these should not appear anywhere else on the manuscript. The title should be repeated on the first page of the article;
* not exceed 8,000 words in length including references as required by IdPS submission guidelines;
* be sent in electronic format to idps.journal@unisi.it no later than 14 October 2011, with Special Issue in the subject line.

For more information please see the attached call for papers, visit IdPS website or send an email to idps.journal@unisi.it

Call for papers: European Journal of Economic and Political Studies (EJEPS) (ISN: 1307-6000) is published twice a year by The Graduate School of Socia

Aims and Scope

European Journal of Economic and Political Studies (EJEPS) is an international peer-reviewed academic journal publishing research articles in the field of economics, business administration, international relations, political science, public administration, and related fields. The aim of EJEPS is to provide an intellectual platform for social-scientific studies, a platform in which research in alternative paradigms for economic and social inquiry could be presented and debated. The journal seeks to promote interdisciplinary studies over issues of theoretical, practical, and historical importance in dealing with the rich array of problems in economic, political, and social processes.


We welcome articles or proposals from all perspectives and on all subjects in the field of economics, business administration, international relations, political science, public administration.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF POLITICS

Turkish Journal of Politics (ISSN:2146-1988)is an international peer-reviewed journal of political science produced under the editorial sponsorship of the Social Sciences Institute at Fatih University, Istanbul. Open to contributions by all scholars, the editors invite submission of analytical/theoretical articles in the fields of international relations, comparative politics and political science. It does not publish strictly historical material, articles on current affairs, policy pieces, or narratives of a journalistic nature. Articles submitted for consideration are unsolicited.
Procedures for reviewing manuscripts are based on the anonymity of the author and the confidentiality of readers' and editors' reports. As author anonymity is preserved during the editorial decision-making process, self-references should be removed. Referees are drawn from Fatih and other institutions; published articles have usually been reviewed by the editors and at least two peer-reviewers.
Turkish Journal of Politics does not accept manuscripts that have already been published, are scheduled for publication elsewhere, or have been simultaneously submitted to another journal. Statements of fact and opinion appearing in the journal are made on the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply the endorsement of the editors or publisher.
The editors strive to complete the review process within four months.

We invite submission of analytical/theoretical articles in the fields of international relations, comparative politics and political science.

Summer School on Fundamental Rights - 2011 The protection of Fundamental Rights in European and International Systems 29 September - 5 October 2011

The third edition of the Summer School on Fundamental Rights will take place at the University Campus of Pomezia "Selva dei Pini", Pomezia (Rome), from 29 September to 5 October 2011. The course is organised by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, UNICRI, in cooperation with the Centre for Advanced Studies on Terrorism and Political Violence (Ce.A.S.) and the University Campus of Pomezia.

The International Summer School on Fundamental Rights aims to provide students and young professionals with a comprehensive understanding and detailed perspective on legal, economic and social aspects related to fundamental rights in European and International Laws.

Understanding the history and the context of the protection of human rights within the European and International Systems is crucial when examining the effects of Fundamental Rights Charters. Moreover, fundamental rights, which are considered an integral part of EU Laws and UN System, can be used to challenge the validity of International legislation or the actions of EU and UN Institutions. The Summer School aspires to enhance the knowledge about these topics and to introduce the best practices in this field.

The International Summer School adopts a multidisciplinary approach and the programme includes daily workshops that will offer participants the possibility to interact with highly recognised international experts on the most up-to-date topics regarding the protection of fundamental rights in European and International Laws.

The core faculty is composed of judges, university professors and officers from European and United Nations Institutions.

The programme will cover issues such as the actual debate on the United Nations Human Rights System; the evolution of Human Rights; the European Court of Human Rights and National and International Courts; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Fundamental Rights in the International Space of Freedom, Security and Justice; as well as Freedom of Expression in EU and UN Systems, Worker Rights and Economic and Social Rights.

The Summer School will take place in the international and stimulating environment of the University Campus of Pomezia, which is supplied with equipped classrooms, laboratories and sports facilities (e.g. swimming pool, football fields and tennis courts).

24 July 2011

Drug deaths, misuse and overdose statistics in England: see how they've changed

Really useful data on drug misuse in England from a variety of sources

Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik's plan to 'seize power' in Europe after London visit

Oh joy. A bunch of Right-wing loonies have reconstituted themselves as the Knights Templar and plan to seize power across Europe. Serb nationalists are involved.

Cárteles deben ser ubicados como terroristas: Buscaglia

According to Professor Edgardo Buscaglia, visitng Professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Mexican drug trafficking organizations such as Los Zetas or La Línea should be included in relevant "terrorist groups lists" in order to apply international anti-terrorism protocols and anti-money laundering policies against them.

Narco debilita a gobiernos de CA

According to Thomas M. Hernández, DEA's Chief Operations Officer, the incursion of Mexican cartels into Central America and the resulting territorial disputes against local gangs is the main reason behind the high levels of violence recently recorded in the region. Also, the presence of Mexican cartels in Central America has been critical in triggering higher levels of corruption and general political and social instability in the area. Mexican cartels, according to Hernández, have great interest in securing control of the Central America - Mexico corridor since, according to the DEA, 95% of all the cocaine that enters US territory travels this route before reaching US borders. Is it so?

Richard Nixon's 'war on drugs' began 40 years ago, and the battle is still raging

Piece to mark 40 years of failure. Paramilitary rhetoric is not the way forward. As always, the journalistic view, despite the more complex comments of his interviewees comes down to a black and white, either or conclusion. The issues of drug taking, misuse, addiction are far too important to let a journalist loose on them. Unpicking the various markets will take a properly risk-profiled strategy and a more equal relationship between states.

23 July 2011

Scores killed in Norway attack

Developing story. Beginning to look like a Norwegian right-wing extremist planted the bomb and carried out the massacre

22 July 2011

Oslo: Bomb blast near Norway prime minister's office

Breaking News. Shootings rumoured as well.

Old Bailey bomber charged over murder of British soldiers

Marian Price, jailed back in 1973 for bombing the Old Bailey, has been charged in connection with the killings of two soldiers at Massarrene Barracks in March 2009.

UK: Heroin a growing problem in Montgomeryshire

Historically Montgomeryshire hasn’t had a big heroin problem, but information suggests that heroin misuse is an emerging issue in the county due to the close links with the West Midlands

20 July 2011

"Joint venture" between Mafia and Stidda

Twenty-seven persons belonging to two different Mafia-type groups in Sicily have been arrested. Even if traditionally these two groups have been rivals, they are currently cooperating in order to improve their criminal businesses.

19 July 2011

'Murdoch death' hackers target Sun website

Hackers hacked? News International will be getting seriously annoyed...I suppose that's the idea, but often it's a bad idea to provoke a wounded animal

18 July 2011

Two Liverpool prisoners on the run after armed gang attack prison van in Salford

I suppose what surprises me most about this is that a bunch of Scallies managed to be up early enough to attack at 8.30 am in Manchester.

17 July 2011

Councils and police rebuked for hi-tech snooping on public

Surveillance Commissioner reports on use and abuse of RIPA powers in UK

The stolen Turners, the Serbian underworld, and a £24m insurance job

A curious story. It would help to be told more about the Serbian gang...but maybe you have to buy the book...

16 July 2011

Chinese-Italian business racket uncovered in Northern Italy

A major police operation in Veneto has dismantled a network of Italian and Chinese entrepreneurs involved in illigal immigration, tax fraud, and swindling the State. More than 1100 Chinese businesses throughout Italy are currently under investigation.

UNODC WORLD DRUG REPORT 2011

All you need to know!

Liverpool drug gangs behind five city shootings this week

Liverpool's woes continue. Someone needs to write a comparison with Gambetta's stuff on the Sicilian Mafia...the gangs seem to be small, but this struggle for territory may change the picture. On the other hand, the recent trials may have left an organisational vacuum. Somebody must have written about Liverpool since "Luke Street"...anybody know it?

15 July 2011

Pentagon reveals 24,000 files stolen in cyber-attack

Files taken from a contractor. Surprisingly little information provided, other than a foreign government responsible and that Obama signed some rules of engagement earlier this year. Details! Please!

14 July 2011

Italy: Police crack down on drug trafficking

The Calabrean 'Ndrangheta is the biggest importer of cocaine into Europe. The police operation involves six countries worldwide.

Boston explosion: five dead in huge fireball during "illegal vodka brewing operation"

This is Boston, Lincolnshire, not Boston, New York. "East Europeans" blamed by locals.

Gioia Tauro, capital of international drug trafficking

A big operation against international drug trafficking and 'ndgrangheta has led to numerous arrests and to the seizure to a conspicuous amount of cocaine.

12 July 2011

gambling, slot machines and oc

According to the Italian National Anti-Mafia Directorate Mafia groups are increasingly infiltrating the gambling business.

Mafia massacre leader jailed for life

Duisberg massacre leader jailed in Calabria...'ndrangheta trial

Chinese take a gamble on the pleasures of sin city

This makes me feel more than a little depressed. Casinos and brothels staffed by Thais and Russians built for Chinese customers in Laos...Globalisation at its worst. Money-laundering will be inevitable and loads of other stuff. Kapok City. KingsRomans is the company. Watch the name and search for the owners. Maybe they will buy Stoke City and turn the Potteries into an international playground...

11 July 2011

The Daughters of La Nacha: Profiles of Women Traffickers

Report from North American Congress on Latin america on La Nacha: a major female organised crime figure from the 1920s. Some discussion of contemporary female drug traffickers too.

Ceca's plea bargain: has justice been served?

There was a two=part interview in the Guardian with her. She's the widow of Arkan.

Rights groups fear wave of deaths as Thailand faces new drugs crackdown

Here we go again!

ECPR joint sessions of workshops

JOINT SESSIONS, ANTWERP 2012

Changes to the paper proposal process



Please note that the call for papers for the 2012 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Antwerp will be going out on 1 August 2011. This is slightly later than usual as this year the system for proposing papers for Workshops is changing. There will be a link included in the call for papers message pointing to instructions on how to propose a paper.

The new method of proposing a paper will mean that all proposals will come to ECPR via a database and you should therefore not contact the Workshop Directors directly with your proposal. Any proposals sent directly to the Workshop Directors will not be considered.

Once the deadline has passed the Workshop Directors will be given access to accept or decline your paper proposals. You should hear by mid- January whether or not your paper proposal has been successful.

10 July 2011

Migrants risk lives on smuggling boats

More than a thousand immigrants have reached Lampedusa in the last few days, included pregnant women and children. In one of the boats the engine had broken down and a fire was about to break out.

09 July 2011

Summer School gets serious!

Your blogger has become your bloggers! Several new bloggers have taken up the baton/mouse/whatever. There is also a facebook page for the Standing Group on Organised Crime, which we will try to integrate with the blog if mastery of tweetdeck achieves this. Serious partying at the bar Cuba in Ohrid last night does not seem to have impaired the new bloggers' ability and several new posts have appeared. Now let's see what the new volunteers from Essex can do to the Newsletter!

Mafia's toxic dumping 'increases cancer rates'

Organised crime can be fatal.

08 July 2011

New drugs: an Italian inquiry

There are important changes in the drug market. This interesting inquiry offers a good overview of changes in the consumers attitude as well as of the new drugs that have entered the market (some of them are so little known that they are not classified as illegal yet). Struggle against drug trafficking will have to meet new challenges.

The Interdisciplinary Political Studies (IdPS www.idps.unisi.it) invites original contributions for its Special Issue on Transnational Crime to be pub

Interdisciplinary contributions are welcome to renew the debate over the Achilles’ heel of studies on transnational crime—the conceptual clarity of the concept. The catchy concept of transnational crime alarms the international community about the dangers of criminal processes that not a single state alone can effectively respond to. However, the term does little to capture the variation in group size, organization, or scale of operations that matter in seeking to understand the extent and nature of the challenges posed by transnational criminal processes. The contributions should address the debate over criminal processes constituting transnational crime and the fundamental distinctions between illegality and illicitness, transnationalism and internationalism, and organized and disorganized criminal forms.

Unsettled remains the discussion in terms of the causality of transnational criminal processes. What are the conditions of a combination of criminogenic environments that incubate transnational criminal processes? Is it indeed globalization that promotes transnational crime by trade liberalization, transportation, and information communication technologies? Alternatively, does the state serve as a facilitator of transnational criminal activities, when failing to manage its political and socio-economic institutions or adopting contradictory and inaccurate policies?

A promising area of research is the exploitation of interactions between criminal and lawful actors. Criminal groups engage in complex networks with political and business actors ensuring mutually beneficial exchanges of services, an increase in revenues, as well as continuity and routinization of criminal activities. More sophisticated analyses of these connections are fundamental for the understanding of transnational criminal processes.

States have made positive developments in terms of homogenization of legal systems, minimization of risks, and development of global policy measures. Yet, the progress and the e fficacy of pioneering response strategies as well as the gaps in these initiatives should be explored by interdisciplinary research in diff erent national contexts.

Selection of papers for inclusion in the Special Issue will be through a blind review process that includes two independent referees, in addition to the assessment by the invited editor.

Manuscripts should:

• be prepared as for a blind review process. Each copy of the manuscript should include a separate title page with author names and a liations, and these should not appear anywhere else on the manuscript. The title should be repeated on the fi rst page of the article.

• not exceed 8,000 words in length including references as required by IdPS submission guidelines www.idps.unisi.it/submissions/

• be sent in electronic format to idps.journal@unisi.it no later than 14 October 2011, with Special Issue in the subject line.

Defining and Defying Organised Crime


Organized crime is now a major threat to all industrial and non-industrial countries. Using an inter-disciplinary and comparative approach this book examines the nature of this threat. By analysing the existing, official institutional discourse on organized crime it examines whether or not it has an impact on perceptions of the threat and on the reality of organized crime.

The book first part of the book explores both the paradigm and the rationale of policy output in the fight against organized crime, and also exposes the often ‘hidden’ internal assumptions embedded in policy making. The second part examines the perceptions of organized crime as expressed by various actors, for example, the general public in the Balkans and in Japan, the criminal justice system in USA and circles within the international scientific community. Finally, the third part provides an overall investigation into the realities of organized crime with chapters that survey its empirical manifestations in various parts of the world.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, criminology, security studies and practitioners.

The Bokov Affair: Russian high ranking police official detained, faces $46 mln embezzlement charges

The head of the CIS anti-organized crime bureau, Lt.Gen. Alexander Bokov, has been detained in Moscow on embezzlement charges, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday.

Bokov, whose 2009 registered annual income was one million rubles (about $33,000), has been accused of stealing $46 million.

The official is suspected of extorting $46 million in 2005 from a Russian businessman for assistance in buying a majority stake in a transport company, Markin said.

"The businessman handed at least $4.5 million to Bokov's accomplices in 2006, but Bokov didn't make any moves on the deal," the spokesman said.

2012 International BISA-ISA conference

British International Studies Association and the International Studies Association
Joint International Conference Edinburgh 2012.

Theme: Diversity in the Discipline: Tension or Opportunity in Responding to Global Challenges

Dates: 20th to 22nd June 2012
Joint programme chairs are Professor Colin McInnes Aberystwyth University (BISA) and Professor Karen Rasler Indiana University (ISA)

The conference theme/subject is announced here.

Call for papers - Submission deadline 1st September 2011

Submit individual paper proposals here.

Submit panel proposals here.

Submit roundtable proposals here.

07 July 2011

22nd World Congress of Political Science, IPSA, Madrid, 8-12 July, 2012

Paper submissions are invited for the 22nd World Congress of Political Science in Madrid, 8-12 July 2012.

Reshaping Power, Shifting Boundaries

In a globalising world, everywhere power is being reconfigured, creating opportunities for change:

  • New players are emerging on the world stage, reflected in G-20, the ‘BRICs’ and in North-South relations.
  • Climate change and the financial crisis have altered global dynamics.
  • Transnational governance is taking on new forms, such as the reformed EU and Mercosur.
  • Within states, there is increased devolution and the recognition of sub-identities.
  • State functions are increasingly being shared with non-state actors such as corporations and non-governmental organisations and are affected by the dynamics of an international society.
  • Substantial changes are taking place in social life including gender roles and the nature of the family.
  • Religious cleavages refuse to disappear, and may be evolving into a major axis of political and social conflict.
  • The Westphalian model of inter-state relations is not sufficient to cope with the challenges of global governance. This emphasises the importance of the dialogue between political science and international relations.

The nation-state remains the key crucible of power in terms of elections, public policy and in international negotiations, but it faces new challenges. Territory and power no longer align. Boundaries and borders are shifting.

Boundaries can be geographical, social, cultural, religious or economic. We need to understand how they are created and interpreted. Every boundary is an expression and exercise of power and this raises normative issues, particularly those relating to justice and the divisions between public and private and at the global level between North-South and South-South relations. The debate about the centrality of trust in social and political life has been reactivated.

How we frame these issues depends in part on our disciplinary assumptions and methodologies. We need to think again about how to conceptualise power, for example in terms of legitimacy, sovereignty or questions of global governance/locality. Boundaries within our discipline and with other disciplines are shifting. Space and scale are becoming increasingly important in the thinking of political science. What other tools or multi-method approaches do we need to respond to these changes? Political science can play an important role in informing the choices that come with the reshaping of power.

The main congress themes are:

We invite you to share your research on the reshaping of power and shifting boundaries at the World Congress of the International Political Science Association, in Madrid 2012.

North Korean girls escape to slavery

Another perspective on the earlier post, which gave the impression that the traffickers were benevolent. It didnt seem terribly likely when I read it, but I didnt expect to read the downside so soon!

In Mexico, forests fall prey to crime mafias

Depressing stuff. Sounds like the government will end up attacking the locals to stop them stopping the illegal loggers.

Three held over cigarettes haul

Cigarette seizure in Ireland

News of the World surveillance of detective: what Rebekah Brooks knew

These are shocking allegations. Even more shocking is how little was done at the time.

blog on Greek organised crime

Its amazing what my googling of Cyprus organised crime is turning up: The comments on the first post here describes a situation where 3 crime families control the Greek areas. the blog appears sadly infrequent, though.

OCCRP Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' Tobacco Underground Project

1999 report on organised crime situation in Europe

Ive posted this because today's speaker at the Summer School has just said that the Cyprus government denies that organised crime exists in Cyprus. They appear to have admitted it in 1999

US firearms head admits Mexico firearms sting mistakes

As well as more information on the curious supply of guns by a US government agency, there's a lovely graphic showing the spheres of influence of the drugs cartels

Shadowy world of Korea's people smugglers

Smuggling people out of North Korea

06 July 2011

Call for papers

The Interdisciplinary Political Studies (IdPS www.idps.unisi.it) invites original contributions for its Special Issue on Transnational Crime to be published in February 2012. The deadline for submissions is 14 October, 2011.

Italian mafia brokering Mexican drug trade

Interesting piece on 'ndrangheta and its alleged reconstruction of the international drug trade...

Report identifies Hashim Thaci as 'big fish' in organised crime

A bit more background to today's presentation.

Human Security, Organized Crime   and Terrorism Challenges in Kosovo’s   Perspective  

Here in Ohrid on the Summer School, we are listening to a presentation by a senior Belgian Police officer on the crime situation in the Balkans, particularly Kosovo. For all of you who couldn't make it, here's a background paper.

We went as a group to a restaurant called Chun last night. The combination of Slovenian draft beer and Macedonian red wine is not helping student concentration this morning!

operation against organised crime in Italy

Arrests in Bologna and Lecce. Aimed at Puglia mafias.

05 July 2011

The EU policy on organised crime between Stockholm and Lisbon

Your blogger took part in Professor Francesco Longo's Jean Monnet workshop on The EU policy on organised crime between Stockholm and Lisbon just ahead of leaving for the Summer School in Macedonia. There are links to project documents on the left of this webpage

In response to public demand

Your blogger is at the SGOC Summer School on Organised Crime in Ohrid, Macedonia. Having asked for volunteers to help with the blog and newsletter, he has created a Facebook Group to enhance communication. Apparently, if he learns Tweetdeck, he can integrate various net presences....Tomorrow?

26 June 2011

How hackers' spiteful squabble ended in a Scotland Yard raid

Excellent overview of what's going on with high-profile hacktivism

LulzSec: the members and the enemies

Guardian correspondent seems to have got a lot more info than the independent piece yesterday.

25 June 2011

Inside the secret world of the geeks with the power to unleash anarchy

Sort of interview with a sort of hacker...from the Independent

23 June 2011

FBI targets cyber security scammers

Yippee! Scareware shut down! Latvia involved in the scam. [and in closing it down...credit where it's due!]

19 June 2011

Battle against car crime being won

Reads rather like a press release. Its about vehicle thefts, not car crime. Generally agreed that theft of vehicles was replaced by theft from vehicles. Figures?

British student: my ordeal at hands of Greeks over trumped-up death charge based on "lies"

Very unpleasant story about the Greek police and the Greek criminal justice system...

Merchant ships could be armed to tackle pirate threat

Includes a "privacy fact graphic"...Private security firms offering protection, so UK government likely to allow merchant ships to arm themselves. I cant remember why they didnt allow this in the past, but they used to claim there were very good reasons!

15 June 2011

The war on drugs' bitter blowback

Mexico...and tales of the ATF selling guns to cartels, allegedly knowingly. Your blogger complained at the start of this insanity, but the role of US agencies turns out to be worse than his wildest imaginings

13 June 2011

Drugs barons accused of destroying Guatemala's rainforest

I'd love to see empirical research comparing drug barons and US beef barons for fast food companies. But read and be outraged greenies!

Turkish arrests intensify global war between hacker activists and police

Yet again, abuse of conventions against organised crime to arrest dpmestic dissidents. 32 members of Anonymous in Turkey? Yeah sure there are

Anna Raccoon's post on the Steven Neary saga

I referred to the role of bloggers in an earlier post about the Steven Neary case. Here's One of them, with loads of links explaining the case in more depth.

Spanish police website hit by Anonymous hackers

They claim it was in retaliation for the arrest of three Spaniards alleged to be "core" members of the group

Phone-hacking scandal: Jonathan Rees obtained information using dark arts

This is the article I referred to in the previous posts. Some astonishing allegations in it about what a private detective may or may not have done for journalists...

Police investigating a wider timescale for hacking scandal

This story continues to expand. This is a fairly tame version of the allegations now beginning to emerge. It's not just the timescale that is changing, but the nature of the hacking, too. A new name has entered the frame as well...I'll see if I can dig out the story from the Guardian.

Muslims call for action against hate crimes

Unpleasant stuff, but all part of the criminal picture. Report coming out in September by Bob Lambert.

Machete wielding bank robbers jailed

Sorry about the ad in this link. The story reminds us that bank robbers are still robbing banks. Organised crime still does the simple stuff as well as everything else.

Chief's war on 'jobsworth' police

Quotation from the article in the Telegraph:
"The Home Secretary, Theresa May, recently blamed police chiefs for creating most of the red tape that swamps their officers.
“A great deal of the day-to-day bureaucracy that police officers encounter is actually generated by their own force,” she said.
“Every single senior police officer should be asking themselves what they personally are doing to rid their officers of red tape.""

Stop blaming everybody else and change your culture, boys and girls in blue!

Mark Neary: victory over autistic son, 21, 'trapped in care'

This has been a nasty little story, and opens up a new area for criminologists: crimes of the bureaucracy. There has allegedly been a great deal of abuse of power, partly because councils and social services have been able to use confidentiality as a means to prevent public scrutiny of their actions. There are many more cases in the pipeline, affecting the vulnerable, be they single mums, the separated, the sick or the elderly. A number of bloggers have fought against this in the UK and deserve congratulations, especially if this now causes a change in behaviour on the part of public servants...some hope, eh?
This is another aspect of the superinjunction scandal. Its not just celebrity shagggers who use superinjunctions. It's "civil servants"...Our employees.

Four men jailed over global paedophile ring

Thought to have made £2 million over 7 years. Not a lot of detail about how the crime was organised.

IMF cyber-attack led by hackers seeking 'privileged information'

Probably a state-run effort, or even state-sponsored. At least somebody thinks the IMF is still important. There's a lot going on in cyberspace.

30 May 2011

Young guns for hire: gangs recruiting children for contract killings

Tale of the Kensal Green Boys [KGB] a street gang and their links to UK-based Turkish organised crime.

Mexican drug cartels muscle in on lucrative movie and music piracy business

More a matter of demanding a cut than actually producing the bootleg DVDs.

Haqqani insurgent group proves resilient foe in Afghan war

Washington Post article on the Haqqani network. "money from trucking, extortion and racketeering. The fighters conduct kidnappings, collect illegal taxes and shake down Afghan shopkeepers for protection fees." They seek to control three of the Eastern provinces of Afghanistan, based in Khost.

Liverpool’s multi-million pound trade in illegal cigarettes from China

Liverpool Echo investigation into illegal cigarette trade in Liverpool. This must be going on across Europe. Note that alcohol is also involved in the counterfeit trade.

26 May 2011

China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work

If you ever read Solzhenitsyn's "First Circle", there is a novel begging to be written in this story. Chinese prisoners slaving to create virtual reality characters or obtain artefacts to sell online. Gold farming, it is called. Wonder what the true story is and how much has been inverted here for a quick headline. is this cybercrime?
[and if you havent read First Circle, why on earth not?]

21 May 2011

Fraudsters cost UK Government £550m in a year

Telegraph article on KPMG report on fraud against public sector by criminal gangs. Links to other articles too.

The rich and powerful in handcuffs: one of the great sights of New York

Comment piece on differing attitudes to crime and punishment in different places at different times.

20 May 2011

lawyers no longer to front fraud probes

Big changes coming in UK fraud investigation. Improvement or complete sweeping under carpet? You decide! Let me know in the comments section!

18 May 2011

Trafford Council 'horrified' paedophile used library PCs

Allegedly a former member of the Wonderland Club, a paedophile network. How organised is organised crime?

15 held in money laundering probe

Operation Enigma carries out arrests around the UK. Further details will be revealed eventually...It really is an enigma!

Guidelines on DNA samples unlawful

Supreme Cort [as in England and wales] now agrees with European Court that ACPO guidelines are unlawful. scottish system of retention likely to be adopted.
Isnt it time we brought back some form of legal education for ACPO members?

Al Qaida in the midst of fierce succession battle

guardian names Saif al Adel as acting leader. Article questions role of al-Zawahiri. Who knows? I'll see what else is out there.

16 May 2011

Cyber-weaponry, virtual battlefields and the changing face of global warfare

We're all experts now..Misha Glenny has a new book out. Guess what it's about!

Wall St. titan Raj Rajaratnam convicted with help from wiretaps, which may get more use in white-collar cases

Ive had difficulties in uploading lately. A number of postings over the last three months dont seem to have made it to the blog, for which I apologise. I will try harder!
There is a feeling that this conviction is a sort of PR sop to those who want to see some financiers punished for the economic crisis. This case began long before the credit crunch and I would expect it to be appealed. The use of wire-tap eveidence is of great significance as it has historically only been used against organised criminals, not against white-collar crime.

UK Treasury facing daily 'hostile, pre-planned' cyber attacks

The first comment sums it up, somehow. The Treasury is doing a good enough job of wrecking the UK economy all by itself. There is no need for cyber-attacks!

12 May 2011

2 Former Prosecutors Arrested in Illegal Gambling Probe

The Moscow Times refers to the arrest as part of a "turf War" between the Investigative Committee and the Procurator's Office...Odd! Investigative Committee used to be part of Procurator's Office until relatively recently.

Hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam is convicted of fraud

This is a big insider trading case. There is no doubt that it will be appealed. Nor is there doubt that there will be Manhattan prosecutions of others, and that there will be implications for the City of London. But, as it says in the article, there is still pressure to bring some prosecutions relating to the financial crash. This was not such a prosecution.