17 December 2013

Cybercrime shopping list study points to falling prices

Interesting study of the going price for stolen computer and other details on criminal forums suggests that there's a glut of information and that the price is therefore going down.

Police target Salford 'untouchables' in dawn raids following investigation into drugs and guns

Normally, we look at Liverpool here, but Manchester is equally interesting. This article seems to hint at a rudimentary capo di tutti capi in Salford...

That $2.5 Million Classic Jaguar for Sale May Be a Fake

Only 33 ever built, but 100 on sale...

Ransomware creation kit 'sought by cyber-thieves'

Cybercrime marches on. Customisable off the shelf software being created for blackmailers and others without computer skills, but good ideas on how to make money.

Local take on origins of Boko Haram

Editor of Nigerian newspaper the Sunday Trust provides an account of the present situation regarding Boko Haram

SGOC panels at the ECPR General Conference, Glasgow 2014

Call for Panels and papers
ECPR General Conference
Standing Group on Organised Crime Section
3-6 September 2014
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Understanding and Tackling the Roots of Insecurity:
Terrorism, Transnational Organised Crime and Corruption

The Standing Group on Organised Crime (SGOC)’s section is organising a section at the ECPR General Conference in Glasgow in 2014 and would like to welcome panels/individual papers’ proposals on topics related (but not limited to) to the following topics:

1. Critical Reflections on the Concepts of Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption

2. Policy-Making Responses to Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption

3. The Nexus between Terrorism and Organised Crime

4. Violent Extremism and Radicalization

5. Law Enforcement Responses to Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption

6. Emerging Forms and Manifestations of Organised Crime

7. Contemporary Border Security Challenges

8. Non-State Responses to Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption

A selection of best papers presented at the SGOC section in Glasgow could be published in a Special Issue of The European Review of Organised Crime (EROC). For more information about the journal, please visit SGOC webpage.

Contact and submission details:
The deadline for full panels and individual papers is 15 February 2014. All submissions should be made online through the MyECPR part of the ECPR website. Should you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Yuliya G. Zabyelina, University of Edinburgh (yuliya.zabyelina@gmail.com) or Helena Farrand Carrapico, University of Dundee (Helena.carrapico@eui.eu).

10 December 2013

UK’s flawed counter-terrorism strategy

Same criticisms could be made of organised crime strategies too. Politicians ignore the academics who have done the research and surround themselves with groupuscules who reinforce their own prejudices. "Evidence-based policy?" "I know best, thank you!"

17 November 2013

Al-Shabaab is facing a bloody crisis of its own: After the Westgate atrocity, the terrorists are turning on each other

Title owes more to sub editor than to the article. Some interesting stuff about internal developments in Al-Shabaab.

04 November 2013

Cyber war is being won by ‘crook stars’

Note to lazy Independent journalist: cyberwar and cybercrime are not the same thing.

The Horn of Plenty: How piracy became a $413m business

Sorry readers. Your blogger has been researching shiftas in Ethiopia. back now and here's a cracking World bank Report into the financing of piracy.

31 October 2013

12 October 2013

06 October 2013

Terrorist financing: A "Forbes List" of the world's wealthiest terrorist groups

A tongue in cheek attempt to present a top 5 of the world's wealthiest terrorist networks. I promise to follow it up with some more serious thoughts on methodology.

How I bought drugs from 'dark net' – it's just like Amazon run by cartels

Account of journalists use of Tor and the Silk Road. The amount of academics and journalists studying the site makes me suspect that there will be another system already created. Interesting libertarian justification of illegality thrown in!

£1bn a month: the spiralling cost of oil theft in Nigeria

Well, it had to be going on, given that duty is so high that duty evasion has become very profitable. This article accuses all the players of being involved: the military, the oil companies, the refineries. Didn't Europol suggest that oil refineries were being bought by organised crime in last year's report? It seemed odd at the time, but no there are allegations of supply for such refineries. Similar things happening in Syria, probably Libya too. Get that solar power technology moving!

04 October 2013

Dodgy deals: One in 10 Italian contracts is corrupt, says EU anti-fraud office report

It would be worth finding the full report. I will check the OLAF website

02 October 2013

FBI arrests Silk Road drugs site suspect

Ross William Ulbricht arrested in San Francisco, Silk Road site closed down and many bitcoins seized.

Gangs from eastern Europe use budget airlines to commit crimes across the continent , says Europol chief

Times has a go at Bulgarians, Romanians and cheap air travel. I suppose the Murdoch press will be supporting UKIP in the next election?

Wainwright interviewed and appears to be alleging that Easyjet facilitates Romanian and Bulgarian card skimmers flying in in the morning and off home in the evening. Hmmmm....wonder if he's ever flown budget airline? Easyjet should be consulting their lawyers!

Somali militants mixing business and terror

Piece from New York Times on shifting funding mechanisms for al-Shabab

28 September 2013

China police rescue 92 kidnapped children: state media

Reuters news announcement. Internal people trafficking in China.

20 September 2013

The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History

Fascinating story. Remember also that bin Laden was supposed to have obtained a monopoly on honey via east Africa and the Yemen. You have to ask...who are the US based honey producers and how far is this a use of the courts to protect their business?

19 September 2013

Heroin Pushed on Chicago by Cartel Fueling Gang Murders

Long article from Bloomberg about the Mexico-Chicago connection.

29 August 2013

The commuting criminals: How London’s drug gangs turned to the Home Counties to beat the police

Displacement as usual. Been going on a while, according to my police sources. It's almost like twinning and not necessarily just a response to police tactics in London. Low risk high profit activity.

24 August 2013

Woman takes on Yakuza godfather over protection racket

Let's hope this works!

Cybercrime hits more than 9 million UK web users

Its nice to have figures, but it would be much more helpful if we could dig a little deeper into the data. How many of these people use anti-virus software for example? Which banks ar hit most often? etc. etc.

18 August 2013

Jailed Boston mobster's gang 'smuggled weapons to the IRA in coffins'

Sunday telegraph piece on an aspect of the terrorism/organised crime nexus. Usual cautions apply! Supergrasses tend to exaggerate their stories, but it would be an interesting link, if true.

17 August 2013

Three arrested over ‘large scale’ burglary spree

this will be a case worth watching as it may tell us something of how burglary gangs are organised or reorganising. Police allege this is linked to burglaries all over the country. One thing we know about the Irish is that they travel, with important diasporas in the UK, USA and Australia. Increasingly also in continental Europe. Most other European gangs would be getting into fraud, drugs, people trafficking, sex crime or cybercrime.

10 August 2013

How Colombian FARC Terrorists Mining Tungsten Are Linked to Your BMW Sedan

Fascinating story of conflict mineral extraction akin to events in the Congo. Someone has a business model that is being applied more frequently than formerly realised. Mobile phones and BMWs come from some very dubious sources.

09 August 2013

07 August 2013

Big data: police given access to British army's crime-fighting software

It isnt crime fighting software. It's data handling software being used to process large quantities of data and turn it/them into evidence. Video data as well as words. expensive and being used by Royal Military Police. Its a bit of a sloppy article, presumably that started off as a press release.

How Vulnerable Are Power Companies To Cyberattack?

Account of a meeting to discuss how to handle an attack on the power grid in the US and who might carry it out.

The real Bad Girls - extraordinary insight into London's female gang culture

Presumably, this piece is a taster for more to come? Article is a real teaser about female gang membership in the UK...and presumably primarily London?

06 August 2013

Interpol open source data on Solntsevo group in Europe

This material comes from the Russian mafia website, which is well worth exploring for material on Russian organised crime. It's difficult to make individual links to posts as it is a structured site.

05 August 2013

Tor 'deep web' servers go offline as Irish man is held over child abuse images

There will be more on this on geek webpages, but the story appears to be that the FBI managed to use malware to identify some users IP addresses. I'm not sure that our man from the Guardian hasnt entangled at least two, maybe three separate stories together. Firstly, there's a guy in jail in Dublin awaiting extradition proceedings. secondly, a number of users of Tor disappeared from the network over the weekend. Thirdly, the story this post began with. More to follow, I suspect.

03 August 2013

28 July 2013

Will Russian Hackers Cause the Next Financial Crisis?

Nice piece with several links to related articles.

Altered Images: Egypt's disinformation war

Interesting that the BBC can criticise propaganda from Egypt, but failed to do the same for some of the equally invented images from Libya and syria. Surely it's not all about taking sides? Emoticon with Groucho Marx eyebrows...

24 July 2013

List of 100 hacking firms given to MPs is ‘the tip of the iceberg’

Press getting worked up about this issue as the Leveson inquiry has concentrated on their invasions of privacy. It is turning out that SOCA knew about other companies in the commercial world doing exactly the same thing. They don't want to tell M.Ps too much about it. Wonder if they discussed it with the Director of Public Prosecutions?

22 July 2013

Whitey Bulger Case Puts Boston Mythology on Trial

Whimsical piece on organised crime, politics and the FBI in Boston...with a stress on all this being in the past

20 July 2013

Here's the original Private Eye report

The BBC report is absolutely shocking. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-23341818 especially when you read it in conjunction with the later report from the Independent that I posted earlier.

Police apologise for ‘harassment’ of forensic graduate

Repeat after me: "you have nothing to fear if you are innocent". Complete abuse of power by police officers, preventing a young woman from getting a job as a result of them harassing her and putting their harassment on the databases such that she turns up as a problem on a CRB check...and they STILL havent removed stuff from the necessary databases, despite admitting disciplining the oficers and apologising. Full story was in Private Eye. Smears followed in other parts of the press.

18 July 2013

Chan's chutzpah hits geomancers hard

Hints of all sort of fraud and related criminality here...but the full story isn't told...presumably laws of slander and libel keep stuff quiet?

17 July 2013

As police arrest British fugitives in Spain, are the days of the Costa del Crime numbered?

Piece I missed in the Guardian a couple of days ago. the end of Spain as a refuge and the likelihood of Thailand or even Romania becoming havens for British organised criminals on the run.

Coffee shops and compromise

An assessment of the state of Dutch drug policy

Home site of Ameripol

All about Ameripol...in Spanish, of course!

Spanish police arrest Briton in transatlantic cocaine gang swoop

Interesting mention of Ameripol, which I first heard of in Onati at last week's workshop on cross-border police cooperation. Soca quoted as saying that 52 of 65 wanted fugitives known to be in Spain have now ben arrested.

Who's who of the murderous Mexican drug wars

Piece in the Independent listing the cartels

Further piece on capture of Trevino

Included primarily because of the map provided and the brief discussion of whether a decapitation strategy against drug gangs might actually make the situation worse.

16 July 2013

'Neo-Nazi' singer Vikernes in French terror arrest

We shall see. His wife bought four rifles, and had a permit. He's a heavy metal musician and a foreigner. So far that's the evidence...Oh and he has previous for killing someone with a knife and burning down churches, according to the BBC.

Profile: the brutal cartel boss who took sadistic killing to new levels

Background on the Zetas and their captured and therefore probably ex-leader

Mexico Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino captured

Lets just hope there isnt someone every bit as brutal waiting to step into his shoes...

15 July 2013

At Commerce Dept., false alarm on cyberattack cost almost $3 million

You have to say that the IT department should have done better! Or did the management panic. Dilbert, where art thou?

The Case for Abolishing the DHS

This piece from Bloomberg. Save money. abolish the department of Homeland Security. Neo-libs vs neo-cons...its the final countdown!

Slavery is a $32bn industry so why aren't we following the money trail?

Lady Goudie argues that money laundering legislation is not properly framed to be used as a weapon against human trafficking

UK’s 2014 Opt-out Decision (Protocol 36)

These are the materials from the House of lords European select Committee that relate to the proposed opt-out by the UK from justice and home affairs cooperation prior to opting back into some of the measures. All to do with police cooperation and the Treaty of Lisbon.

Hundreds of police from across UK to be deployed to Belfast after loyalist violence flares for third night

This is one of the phenomena of the situation in Northern Ireland after the peace process. The hard men of the Protestant community continue to hold their parades and riot when they can't go where they want when they want. It is still a divided society, riddled with organised crime groups. the interesting thing here though, is that a policing problem is now being dealt with by mutual aid ie the "borrowing" of police officers from elsewhere in the UK rather than the Army.

Boko Haram leader calls for more schools attacks after dorm killings

Just to keep a sense of balance after the previous piece. This is what the extremists are doing in Northern Nigeria.

Obama's secret kill list – the disposition matrix

Scary title, but the article contains some insights into various powers of the Home Secretary and some case studies of individual alleged "extremists". the description of Obama's weekly meeting on who is going to die next is reminiscent of Stalin at his creepiest. It's all rather Wild West...Wyatt Earp gone high tech. Once these procedures have been in place for a while, it will be very difficult to return to something we can call "normal". Bin Laden continues to undermine democracy from beyond the grave.

13 July 2013

Italian mayoress who took on the 'Ndrangheta mafia

She resigned once, was persuaded to rescind her resignation and has now given up after little or no assistance.

12 July 2013

Great Train Robbery: How Bruce Reynolds became a writer

13th July 20.00 BST, Radio 4: the crime of the century. All about the Great Train robbery, cos it's the 50th anniversary

Link to the actual article posted below

The paper argues that kinship ties and sharing information on violent acts can be
interpreted as forms of ‘hostage-taking’ likely to increase cooperation among co-
offenders. The paper tests this hypothesis among members of two criminal groups,
a Camorra clan based just outside Naples, and a Russian Mafia group that moved
to Rome in the mid-1990s. The data consist of the transcripts of phone intercepts
conducted on both groups by the Italian police over several months. After
turning the data into a series of network matrices, we use Multivariate Quadratic
Assignment Procedure to test the hypothesis. We conclude that the likelihood of
cooperation is higher among members who have shared information about violent
acts. Violence has a stronger effect than kinship in predicting tie formation and thus
cooperation. When non-kinship-based mechanisms fostering cooperation exist,
criminal groups are likely to resort to them

Violence as a Source of Trust in Mafia-type Organizations

Link from a blog to new article by Campana and Varese in Rationality and Society. I'm particularly interested as I have just returned from a workshop on trust and international police cooperation in Onati, the Basque Country

26 June 2013

The Alternative World Drug report

the negative impact of  a law-enforcement based strategy

2013 UNODC World Drug Report

Report can be downloaded.

25 June 2013

With the Met, if you are innocent you have everything to worry about

Michael Mansfield, famous human rights lawyer, demonstrates that the innocent have plenty to worry about, especially if they get caught up in a police investigation that has been incompetently handled and they are trying to cover up.

16 people arrested over alleged £1m scam targeting pensioners

Is there nothing that organised crime won't do?

24 June 2013

US spreads blowback nightmare

the article is a documenting of the spread of terrorism in Africa in recent years. The point to note is that as it has spread, so too has drug-trafficking and probably many other forms of organised crime not as yet noticed. The military is brilliant at opening the door to illicit business....discuss

Five myths about the National Security Agency

James Bamford nails 5 myths the NSA would like you to believe about the legal framework in which it operates when exercising surveillance over the world.

23 June 2013

The other hacking scandal: Suppressed report reveals that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance companies routinely hire criminals to steal rivals' information

The words chosen in the headline are the independent's. If the state snooping doesnt worry you, and you can brush off the idea that journalists are poking around in your life, then how do you feel about insurance companies, law firms and even possibly celebrities snooping around you. "You have nothing to fear if you're innocent."...You certainly do if someone's out to get you!

21 June 2013

Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

The legal basis for NSA data surveillance.There will be some law text books that will need rewriting on the evidence of these documents. Do they apply to "organised crime" as well??

18 June 2013

West Africa piracy overtakes Somali ship attacks

There are links to other articles from this one, trying to explain a fall in the number of piracy incidents connected to Somalia

17 June 2013

Liverpool-to-Plymouth £1m heroin and cocaine gang sentenced

Meanwhile, down in the South-West, Liverpudlians go on holiday...

Matrix boss warns no criminal is “untouchable” after drugs sentencing

I think I posted the newspaper coverage at the time of the verdict. This is the sentence, and includes some allegations about connections between the heroin importers and the "Croxteth Crew", a Liverpool street gang.

Why are so many of the UK's missing teenagers Vietnamese?

Issues in here that I can remember being raised at European conferences back around 2000. Why is the wheel constantly being re-invented?

15 June 2013

Al-Qa’ida publishes guide for aspiring jihadists

Online guidebook for lone wolves and microcells.

Fitzgibbons jailed over £7m heroin drug deal (video and audio)

Another Liverpool family jailed for drug dealing. Lots of links in this Liverpool Echo story.

13 June 2013

Chinese 'Comment Crew' hackers emptied QinetiQ of top-secret military data

Shutting stable door...Horse gone...Why do you have to spy on all of us when you arent even very good at spying on the spies?...All phrases that spring to mind. But lots of links from this article to other sources. If the Chinese can do this, what are the US doing to them??

12 June 2013

6th International Conference on Surveillance and Society, Barcelona april 2014


Contemporary surveillance is characterised by ambiguities and asymmetries. Surveillance results from different desires and rationales: control, governance, security, profit, efficiency but also care, empowerment, resistance, and play. Furthermore it can have both positive and negative outcomes for individuals and these may lead to  intended or unintended consequences. Surveillance is never neutral.  Surveillance is always about power and that power is increasingly asymmetric. Surveillance practices are also changing and as 'smart' surveillance systems proliferate utilising and generating 'Big Data' new forms of ambiguity and asymmetry arise. In this context the conference wishes to explore the following key themes:


Smart surveillance
Democracy and surveillance
Resilience and surveillance
Cultures and histories of surveillance
Representations of Surveillance in Film/Art/Literature/Media
Surveillance and empowerment
Surveillance and human rights
Surveillance in knowledge economies
Regulating surveillance
Surveillance, privacy and data-protection
Participatory surveillance and police surveillance of online social networks
Surveillance, games and play
Theories of surveillance
Ethics of surveillance
Gender and surveillance
Algorithmic surveillance
Politics and governance of surveillance
Surveillance and big data
STS approaches to surveillance
Surveillance and sports
Resistance to surveillance
Non-technological surveillance
Surveillance and mobility

Call for expressions of interest for Special issue

Current Issues in Criminal Justice Call for expressions of interest for Special Issue

Expressions of interest for 2014 are now open.

Expressions of interest should include:
* Title of the Special Issue
* Name(s)/titles/affiliations of Guest Editor(s)
* A brief description of the scope of the Special Issue and a statement about its interest to the CICJ readership (2 paragraphs)
* List of submissions and article abstracts (if available) proposed for inclusion (title, name of author(s) and affiliations)
* Indication of whether contributing authors have been approached and/or confirmed
* Contact information for the Guest Editor(s).

Guest Editors are expected to commit to working regularly on the Issue, meeting a schedule compiled by the SLS Law Publishing Unit, for at least six months leading up to the Issue's publication. As such, an indication of availability and capacity (of each Guest Editor) to meet deadlines will be required.

As a guide, the Special Issue total word count should not exceed 60,000 words, with articles 6000-8000 words (incl references), Contemporary Comments under 4000, and Book Reviews about 1000.

Recent Special Issues include "Ethnography and Reflective Practice: Studying Crime and Criminal Justice" (July 2013), edited by Dr Max Travers (The University of Tasmania), Dr Judy Putt (The University of Tasmania) and Dr Deirdre Howard-Wagner (The University of Sydney); "Forensic Science and Justice: From Crime Scene to Court and Beyond" (July 2012), edited by Associate Professor Roberta Julian and Dr Sally Kelty (The University of Tasmania); "Beyond Prison: Women, Incarceration and Justice?" (November 2010), edited by Associate Professor Gail Mason (University of Sydney) and Professor Julie Stubbs (University of New South Wales). To view the content of past issues, search for "Current Issues in Criminal Justice" at <http://search.informit.com.au/>.

In addition to expressions of interest for Special Issues, the Editors welcome names of individuals who might be willing to edit a Special Issue at some point in the future, suggestions of topics for Special Issues, and names of individuals who may be approached to edit on a topic of interest.

Please email expressions of interest to Louisa Di Bartolomeo at law.criminology@sydney.edu.au by 31 July 2013. Please contact the Editors with any questions.

Associate Professor Murray Lee and Dr Arlie Loughnan
Editors, Current Issues in Criminal Justice

Liverpool gang jailed selling drugs in Ibiza

What we did on our holidays?

11 June 2013

Sardinian bandit hero returns to his criminal ways

There must be books and articles on this "counter-culture hero".

German committed over money-laundering claims tells of "hell"

You have nothing to fear if you tell the truth, are normal or whatever, eh, Wee Willie Hague? I wonder if we will ever get the full story on this case?

What spying apologists don’t tell you about “thwarted plots”

"At the very least, the fuzzy cases Feinstein and Clapper are boasting about demonstrate the need for far more transparency on these tools. If they’re justifying a gross incursion on American privacy, in part because they helped track down an informant our intelligence services lost track of — and created false positives based on hair bleach purchases — then we need to seriously reconsider their use."...Indeed!

Europe alarmed by US surveillance

Of course, Europe does not include Wee Willie Hague, the UK's freedom-loving Foreign Secretary. Crimes of the powerful include telling us we have nothing to fear "if we're normal." They also include smearing whistleblowers. the problem, messieurs les gouvernment, consists in you being caught exceeding your powers and breaking the Rule of Law, not searching for whoever "betrayed" you. They didnt betray you, they told the citizens that you were betraying them. Now, how do we prosecute you for breaking the basic laws of democracy?

10 June 2013

Jail for seven members of Mersey gang who raided cash machines across the country

More from Merseyside organised crime. All seems to have been a lot of work for small return...but where they up to a lot more in the community? article hints at as much...

08 June 2013

AIC list of publications on people trafficking

There's one here i must read immediately! The myth of the people trafficking business model!

Latest on Financial Crime from the AIC

This stuff's for Monty!

Latest Serious and Organised Crime publications list from AIC

Reading material for the next few weeks! There will be a test!

Latest cybercrime alerts from Australian institute of Criminology

Includes articles on child pornography and Australian Federal Police Reports

29 May 2013

US prosecutes '$6bn money-laundering hub'

More on Liberty Reserve. First hint that there are legitimate users who have lost money in this DoJ action. I wasnt able to find anything objective on the internet yesterday. The prosecutors account, namely that Liberty Reserve was allegedly set up for criminal purposes, seems to have gained total acceptance. EPay Tarjeta? Who are they, then?

Al Qaeda's scathing letter to troublesome employee Mokhtar Belmokhtar reveals inner workings of terrorist group

Some intriguing insights into structures and financial accountability. A full copy of the letter would be most useful. Belmokhtar accused of failing to provide monthly accounts and of not getting a decent ransom for a kidnap.

28 May 2013

The May Newsletter is out!

 In this issue, articles by:
Alessandra Cerreti (Anti-mafia Prosecutor, Italy)
Jürgen Storbeck (Founding Director of Europol)
Nelson Arteaga Botello (FLACSO-México)
Falko A. Ernst (University of Essex)
Alessandro Colletti (Università Roma Tre)
Anna Sergi (University of Essex)

European Drug Report 2013

EMCDDA launches new report on drug trends in Europe. Lots of stats and diagrams. All made easy for stupid journalists to regurgitate!

Liberty Reserve founder arrested in Spain

Arthur Budovsky arrested. Allegedly, Liberty Reserve is a no questions asked metod of moving money around the world. Article is a little confused, clearly taking Costa rica police statements and throwing some background at them. Probably needs a more measured piece to back it up.

27 May 2013

Nigeria Fear of fraud stifles Nigerian dotcom growth

You can shop on the internet in Nigeria, but whatever you do, dont pay for anything via the internet. Must be a way of sorting this out, surely?

21 May 2013

Human dimensions in organised crime, money laundering and corruption

The eleventh volume of Petrus van Duyne's Colloquium series. Your blogger just attended the 12th Colloquium at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and was very impressed at the way petrus manages to keep his authors on the empirical road.

18 May 2013

Gangsters and politics shake hands in Taiwan

Amazing allegations out of Taiwan. I dont know enough about the source to know what axe is being ground, but the argument fits with Lutetia Paoli's. It's politics stupid! Attempt to manipulate a leadership election in a Taiwanese political party by "organised crime"...but was there a mainland Chinese angle?

11 May 2013

Dutch media owner reveals youthful dalliance with IRA

If I can find the full interview, I will post it.

10 May 2013

From Chinese factory to UK households – realities of the trade in legal highs

Extract from a new book: Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How The World Gets High, by Mike Power is published by Portobello Books (

07 May 2013

03 May 2013

Cocaine flows through Sahara as al-Qaida cashes in on lawlessness

There's not a lot of evidence in the article for the al Qaeda assertion, but plenty of evidence that there are many who will take part for the money.

02 May 2013

TE SAT 2013 Terrorism Situation and Trend Report

Europol terrorism report

Murder victim was the leader of a criminal gang

Brief insight into a Lithuanian gang operating in Ireland and possibly elsewhere in Europe.

30 April 2013

Seven Croxteth Crew gang members jailed for total of 113 years

More news from the front line in my home city: Liverpool. Judges comment: “In this case drug dealing was not used as an end in itself but funding the gang’s principal  activity of feuding.”

12 April 2013

Police seize £12m worth of cocaine in Essex

Members of a gang from the North West of the UK arrested in Essex under operation Titan

Lulzsec members admit cyber attacks on CIA and Serious Organised Crime Agency

Lulzsec trial in Southwark. Apparently former leader of group has turned State's Evidence in the USA

Green green grass of home: police crack down on cottage industry of cannabis

Cannabis farms grow smaller, but police claim greater success.

23 March 2013

Cooking oil theft 'costs Treasury £25m a year in lost duty'

It has long struck me that everything else in the UK on which duty is ridiculously high is already smuggled, so oil must be...but how? We know about agricultural red diesel fraud, but biodiesel theft is a new one on me. Somewhere there is an organisation smuggling petrol...or at least evading duty on it. So how is it being done?

22 March 2013

Calling him a liar to his face - How Sir John Pease of Standard Chartered has been forced to eat his words about sanctions busting!

Rowan's blog. Always worth a read, but fine use of criminological theory to explain banker behaviour in the UK in this particular post.

Silk Road: the online drug marketplace that officials seem powerless to stop

Now hang on here..."Tor"..."Bitcoin"...we need to know about these. Anonimisation software disguising identity and place together with an accepted international currency. Cybercrime moving on, but partially facilitated by US attempts to undermine a variety of governments...unanticpated consequences indeed.

19 March 2013

17 March 2013

Are Russian killers on the streets of Britain?

Update on the Hermitage Capital fraud in Russia. Mysterious deaths and dark hints. Good stuff for a dismal Sunday!

13 March 2013

Even Mafia fails to escape grips of recession

Story of slimming down of Sicilian Mafia welfare operation in Palermo area

Police from Ulster and Irish Republic target smugglers in joint operation

IRA remnants, dissidents and traditional organised crime targetted in operation on both side sof border against agricultural diesel fraud. Same network dealing in Chinese tobacco and counterfeit vodka.

10 March 2013

How Facebook could get you arrested

Extract from new book by Evgeniy Morozov "Click here to save everything: technology, Solutionism and the urge to fix problems that dont exist." Algorithmic surveillance.

06 March 2013

The map of 'Ndrine in the world

Ndragheta and its links in a graphic. Always fun to get a map!

Briton hunted as police crack IRA and Mafia fraud scheme

Bit of a jumble of a story. Torygraph interested in the dissident Republican angle, but having difficulty shoehorning it into what appears to be primarily a Spanish-Italian operation. Ndrangheta allegedly involved, but journalist manages to mentioned Camorra too. The only clear piece of information is that Italian police want to find a Belfast based individual and have arrested a couple of Italians in Spain. Oh and some villas have been built in the South of Italy. The book and film will no doubt follow. Maybe there's a better article in the Italian press.

26 February 2013

Hacking incidents and the rise of the new Chinese bogeyman

Useful sceptical view. Points out that everyone [ie states] is doing it and that China isnt as secure as it is presented. The military-digital complex can be more profitable than the military-industrial complex, he says.

Comment is free The Banksy mural affair: art market or art racket?

Move along there. Nothing criminal going on here. How the rich attempt to gain prestige and tax refunds by dabbling in art and how the dealers play both ends against the middle. Not really surprising stuff gets stolen, eh? I suppose graffiti is mysteriously disappearing all over Chicago as you read this...Will it be tax-deductible to buy a building with a Bansy on the wall soon? "I was preserving it for the nation. Oops...it fell down..."

16 February 2013

Horsemeat scandal linked to secret network of firms

Not really sure that this article isnt smoke and mirrors about smoke and mirrors. Essentially, it is saying that there are companies at the heart of the scandal that hide their true owners.

Chicago has a new Public Enemy No 1 - Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman... the world’s most powerful drug trafficker

Piece from the Independent on the role of Chicago in the import and manufacture of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico

14 February 2013

Russian-led cybergang broken by police

The Ransomware virus. You get a message from Europol or a national police force claiming to be fining you 100 euros for looking at child porn, file sharing or terrorist sites. Clever stuff. Not too much and all recently created offences with high media exposure. Better to pay and keep quiet!

12 February 2013

Skills needed to fight cybercrime

National Audit Office assesses UK state of cybercrime threat and response. Some useful figures in the report.

The Comment Group: The hackers hunting for clues about you

Frustrating article that appears to tell us loads about a specific Chinese group, but in the end doesn't quite. Its really about making employees more phishing aware.

04 February 2013

Death of Russian mobster sparks fears of turf war in Sochi

What's going on in Sochi? Comments on the state of Russian organised crime after the death of a "thief in law".

02 February 2013

Interactive map of drug smuggling routes to Norway

I think this is my first post in Norwegian! handy little graphic. fairly easy to work out what most of it means too.

01 February 2013

EU drug markets report: key findings

Press release on yesterday's report on the EU drugs market. Lots of useful links at the bottom including one to the full text. Interesting comments on the changing nature of organised crime too.

30 January 2013

Italy fears for 'vanishing' heritage after arrests over sacking of historic library

Someone is stealing Italy's old books, and probably paintings too...on behalf of the wealthy. There's a surprise.

25 January 2013

Fall in UK crime rate baffles experts

Oh No it doesnt. Actually, experts have lots of explanations, starting with just how suspect the statistics have become, because they dont record fraud, retail crime or internet crime adequately. Criminology isn't dead...it just smells that way!

24 January 2013

China police bust extortion ring

I have a feeling this blog has already picked this up somewhere really obscure, but if it's reached the irish Times, then it must be worth re-posting!

Iran creates fake blogs in smear campaign against journalists in exile

Something else for your bloggers to lose sleep over. Is this state cyber-terrorism?

23 January 2013

Latest issue of Standing Group on Organised Crime Newsletter

Volume 10 Issue 1 is out and can be downloaded from the site linked in the title to this post. New look and a new editorial team as well as a new website. More news will follow

18 January 2013

The death of Moscow's Don: Aslan Usoyan gunned down outside his favourite restaurant

Doesnt tell us much about what illegal businesses he was involved in. Makes the point that he was a Kurd, well-connected and one of the last of the old guard.

14 January 2013

Corleone does not belong to the Mob

The major of Corleone, Leoluchina Savona, apologized with the families of mafia's victims on 20th anniversary of Riina arrest. Corleone is a small town in the province of Palermo, Sicily, which is moslty known as the birthplace of several Mafia bosses, both fictional and real.

13 January 2013

Dognappings: organised gangs behind a surge of dog thefts across the country

If it can be sold, it will be stolen...If it has excise duty on it, it will be smuggled. If it is banned, it will be both. Yet again, police arent interested and dont investigate. Another reason why Torygraph readers are disenchanted with the police?

12 January 2013

Who, What, Why: Why do criminals smuggle garlic?

Same old lesson. Bring in a tax and you'll create smugglers, even of garlic!

Three more arrests over phishing scam targeted students

scam targeting student loan scheme. students asked to update bank details and accounts then raided by criminal network

08 January 2013

Surge in Belfast violence blamed on resurgent UVF

Oh joy! UVF leaders implicated in the flag riots and prominent activist suggests that the police are Catholics. Down the road of mean steeples we traipse again...

Traders' email messages give frauds away, study shows

new software developed by Ernst and Young together with FBI shows key phrases in rogue traders messages to colleagues. But presumably, you have to exercise surveillance over everyone? privacy issues? good heavens, dont be silly!

The Grime Behind the Crime

George Monbiot...controversial eco-warrior who has days when he thtinks nuclear power is the answer, draw our attention to research that demonstrates an intriguing correlation between lead pollution and violent crime.

07 January 2013

'We're happy to help MI5 – but coercing us to spy is unacceptable': British Somalis say intelligence agents asking for too much

Same old, same old. this was going on back in the 60s with students pressurised to spy on lefties. Just go to the Tory party mate. They'll sell their grandmothers just to feel important :-)
NKVD used to do this under Stalin. Stalinism appears to be winning the battle with democracy in a multicultural world...

Police 'not very interested' in stolen $1 million Matisse painting found in Essex

Sort of sums it up, doesnt it..."a million quids worth of stolen property...nah, sonny, we only deal with stuff over £5million. Try the mangel wurzels from the county forces, eh?"

06 January 2013

Standing Group on Organised Crime Panels at ECPR Plenary

ECPR General Conference
Bordeaux 5-7 September 2013
Standing Group on Organised Crime Section
We are extremely happy to inform you that a Standing Group section entitled ‘Transnational Organised Crime in a Globalised World’ has been accepted for the ECPR General conference, which will take place in Bordeaux from the 5th to the 7th of September 2013. It will be composed of 9 panels on the following topics:
  • Transnational organized crime and terrorism
  • Transnational organized crime, corruption and State infiltration
  • Transnational organized crime and ‘Gangster Politics’
  • Organized crime in cyberspace: governing, controlling and exploring cyber crime activities
  • Transnational organized crime and Criminal mobility
  • Transnational organized crime and Human trafficking
  • ‘It’s all about the money’: Exploring the inter- relation between transnational organized crime and the economic crisis
  • The internal/ external continuum in transnational organised crime
  • Putting OC in place: How situational crime prevention can inform enhanced policy design
We would be delighted to receive any expressions of interest for any of the panels. In order to submit your abstracts, please refer to the ECPR website (www.ecprnet.eu).The deadline for Paper proposals is 1 February 2013.
Best Wishes,
Helena Carrapico (Section Chair/h.carrapico@dundee.ac.uk)
Daniela Irrera (Section co- chair/dirrera@unict.it)
Panel Details:
  1. Transnational organized crime and terrorism
Chair: Bill Tupman (w.a.tupman@ex.ac.uk)
Co- chair: Liz Campbell (liz.jane.campbell@gmail.com)
The distinction between terrorism and organised crime has increasingly been blurred by governments and policy makers in order to escape due process in investigation and prosecution, and justify national security approaches, that involve suspending human rights. This panel wishes to look at whether the gloablization of reponses has genuinely reflected globalization in the nature of terrorism and organised crime?
  1. Transnational organized crime, corruption and State infiltration
Chair: Anna Sergi (asergi@essex.ac.uk)
Co- Chair:Anita Lavorgna (anita.lavorgna@gmail.com)
This panel looks at an analysis of the links between corruption and organised crime, in particular the way in which organised crime groups exploit state institutions, affect voting processes and move away from violent street crimes, either in traditional crime settings and in new trends of white collar crime.
  1. Transnational organized crime and ‘Gangster Politics’
Chair: Panos Kostakos (panos.kostakos@gmail.com)
Co- chair: Petr Kupka (kupka@fss.muni.cz)
Why is it that politicians behave like gangsters and gangsters like politicians? In order to better understand the linkages between organized crime, politics and economics (legitimacy vs. legality), this panel will extrapolate and explore theoretical and behavioral synergies between the licit and illicit worlds.
  1. Organized crime in cyberspace: governing, controlling and exploring cyber crime activities
Chair: Helena Carrapico (Helena.carrapico@eui.eu)
Co- chair: Javier Argomaniz (ja51@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Given modern societies’ increased reliance on borderless and decentralized information technologies, cyberspace has been identified as an easy target for actors such as organised criminals, hacktivists or terrorist networks. Such analysis has been accompanied by governmental calls to step up the fight against unlawful online activities, namely through increased cooperation among law enforcement authorities, the approximation of legislations, and public- private partnerships. This panel welcomes papers exploring cyber crime activities and methods, as well as their control by governmental and/ or international actors.
  1. Transnational organized crime and Criminal mobility
Chair: Felia Allum (f.s.allum@bath.ac.uk)
Co- chair:Helena Carrapico (Helena.carrapico@eui.eu)
This panel seeks to understand and analyse the different forms of groups, markets and activities involved in criminal mobility. It will seek to analyse the different dynamics and logics behind criminal mobility in order to develop some theoretical and practical considerations as to how to understand it better and fight it more efficiently.
  1. Transnational organized crime and Human trafficking
Co- chair: Laura Requena Espada (laura.requena@uam.es)
The moving of people across borders illegally is organised in different forms, people smuggling, facilitation and trafficking. To understand the dynamics of the illegal movement of people, this panel wishes to explore the different forms of how such crimes are organised and sustained.
  1. ‘It’s all about the money’: Exploring the inter- relation between transnational organized crime and the economic crisis
Chair:Yuliya Zabyelina (yuliya.zabyelina@sis.unitn.it)
Co- chair: Benjamin Farrand (Benjamin.farrand@eui.eu)
The global economic crisis has limited the ability of the State to provide for the economic and social well-being of its citizens, particularly as a result of austerity measures. As often happens, where social and economic needs are not fulfilled by legitimate enterprise or State function, organised crime steps in to accommodate these needs. This panels seeks to analyse the impact that the global economic crisis has had on organised crime activities and to explore organised crime groups’ strategies of adaptation to the current economic context.
  1. The internal/ external continuum in transnational organised crime
Chair: Francesca Longo (lonfran@unict.it)
Co- Chair: Daniela Irrera (dirrera@unict.it)
The panel aims at investigating the implication of the external dimension of JHA for the European security concept with particular focus on the reliance of the TOC issue in the process of interlinking EU domestic and external security.
  1. Putting OC in place: How situational crime prevention can inform enhanced policy design
Chair: Anita Lavorgna (anita.lavorgna@gmail.com)
Co-Chair: Falko Ernst (faerns@essex.ac.uk)
Departing from the local- and sphere-specific constitution of OC-phenomena, we examine how revisited models of situational crime prevention can pertinently inform policy approaches to traditional as well as novel forms of OC.

05 January 2013

One of our dinosaurs is missing: The global hunt for prized Tarbosaurus fossil

Independent tells tale of an organised crime group specialising in smuggling dinosaur fossils. Florida bnased dealer allegedly smuggling fossils out of Mongolia via Britain. UK police claiming igmorance...seems reasonable!

01 January 2013

China’s ten biggest criminal cases of 2012

From the Qinghai daily News, reported by the Danwei website. They almost certainly arent what we would call the ten biggest criminal cases, but its a step forward for China to allow the media to report these areas, because they demonstrate the existence of negative aspects to China's society. Mostly though, crimes that would be recognised as such in the rest of the world.