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 (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.


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


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?