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: 
The ICIJ investigation: http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/icij/