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


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:


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


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. .


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.