Organised Crime

Former judge says Mokbel has grounds for release, accuses police of criminal behaviour

A former judge now representing Tony Mokbel pro bono has accused Victoria Police of criminal behaviour and says the drug lord has grounds to be freed from prison. Tammy Mills The Age A cavalcade of defence lawyers representing the who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld appeared before the Lawyer X royal commission on Wednesday. The commission is investigating the conduct of the force and its prized informer, former gangland barrister turned supergrass Nicola Gobbo. Lawyers for Mokbel, drug traffickers Francesco… Former ... Read More »

Mexico’s Hydra-headed Crime War

It may seem that Mexico’s crime war, which has left over 100,000 dead in its wake, could not get any worse. Falko Ernst ICG But interviews with gunmen in deadly Tierra Caliente show that it can, as criminal organisations break into smaller and smaller parts, driving up the death toll. The body, dumped under a highway overpass, is charred beyond recognition. At the morgue, it takes four days to identify it. A day longer, and authorities would have laid the corpse ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford. Anatoly Kurmanaev The New York Times MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. “It’s ... Read More »

The very big business of organised crime costing Australians millions a year

Australians were tricked out of nearly half a billion dollars by scammers in 2018 with reported losses the “tip of the iceberg”, said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) deputy… Julie Power The Age/The Sydeney Morning Herald/The Canberra Times She attributed a 44 per cent spike in losses – a $149 million increase – by consumers and businesses to increasingly sophisticated scammers: “They’re organised crime, they’re very big business and they’re very tech… To avoid detection by banks and money ... Read More »

104th anniversary of Turkey’s founding evil

The Armenian Genocide is Turkey’s founding evil. Cengiz Aktar Ahval Is it possible for a system that was founded on this atrocity – the liquidation of the non-Muslim citizens of the Ottoman Empire – to work properly? How can this huge loss determine Turkey’s situation today? Here are a few examples, from many thousands, of the political and social cornerstones of the system that fosters a culture of denying equal citizenship, extortion, denying responsibility, and accountability, impunity, and making people ... Read More »

Who remembers the Armenians?

Why does the US assist in Turkey’s denial of genocide? ‘Who remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?’ Dominic Green The Spectator Hitler asked in August 1939. Raphael Lemkin did. In 1944, Lemkin, a Polish-born Jew, published the theory of ‘genocide’. Lemkin’s models were the ongoing genocide of Europe’s Jews, and the Meds Yeghern, the ‘Great Calamity’ of 1915-16: the systematic murder of Armenian Christians by the Ottoman Turkish state and its local helpers. Today, on the 104th anniversary of the beginning ... Read More »

Will 2020 Democrats condemn the Armenian genocide?

Only four lawmakers running for president have signed on to remembrance resolutions Niels Lesniewski Roll Call Whether the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to a genocide is still a fraught political question for U.S. presidential candidates more than a century later. The question for now is how many of the growing field of candidates might weigh in on Wednesday for the annual commemoration. April 24, 1915 is generally considered to mark the start of actions that led ... Read More »

Turkey’s Killing Fields

“The Thirty-Year Genocide” Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924 By Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi By Bruce Clark The New York Times Using the word “genocide” to describe an episode of mass killing has consequences. If the horrors are unfolding now, it invites other countries to intervene and punish the perpetrators. If the unspeakable events are in the past, the word’s use can affect the way they are discussed, by historians or ordinary people. Once the term “genocide” has ... Read More »

The Church of Living Dangerously: How One of America’s Biggest Pastors Became a Drug Runner for a Mexican Cartel

He looked like Sammy Hagar, preached like Billy Graham, and brought a 350-pound tiger to church. David Kushner Vanity Fair Then he shot heroin with his son and was busted at the border for running drugs for a Mexican cartel. A little after five A.M. on December 11, 2017, a gray Volkswagen Passat inched through the darkness of Tijuana toward the brightly lit Customs and Border Protection port of entry at San Ysidro, California. It was in the SENTRI lane, ... Read More »

Greece to demand war reparations from Germany

Greek lawmakers on April 17voted through a resolution demanding the payment of German war crime reparations, an issue long disputed by Berlin. ATHENS- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet A parliamentary committee last year determined that Germany owes Greece at least 270 billion euros ($305 billion) for World War I damages and looting, atrocities and a forced loan during the Nazi occupation in World War II. “These demands are always active. They were never set aside by Greece,” parliament speaker Nikos Voutsis told reporters this week. With cross-party ... Read More »

Deutsche Bank faces action over $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme

Exclusive: in confidential internal report seen by the Guardian, bank says scandal has hurt global brand Luke Harding The Guardian Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of “senior management” because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, a confidential internal report seen by the Guardian says. The bank admits there is a high risk that regulators in the US and UK will take “significant disciplinary action” against it. Deutsche concedes that the scandal has ... Read More »

‘Nothing changed at all’ for ISIL sexual violence victims: Nobel laureate Nadia Murad

Despite finding widespread support globally, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad has said she feels disappointed that none of the ISIL militants who raped and tortured Yazidiwomen have been… İpek İzci – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “I got e-mails from all over the world. Some people encourage me, some say that they embrace me and my people, some others offer help. I have been exhausted in the last two years. I work hard in the advocacy of vulnerable people, but nothing has changed at all. That makes me very upset,” she told daily ... Read More »

How a simple act of kindness from a stranger ended my career as a neo-Nazi

‘There was no defining moment that made me become a neo-Nazi – but there was one defining moment that made me stop,’ writes Tom Olsen who now helps police in Norway de-radicalise extremists. Source : SBS Insight Preview Above: Tom Olsen discusses the moment his neo-Nazi beliefs were challenged. Watch the full episode on On Demand. When news broke last week that a gunman had stormed a mosque in New Zealand, unlike most, I didn’t ask myself ‘How could someone do that?’ I ... Read More »

Brazil gunmen shoot at convoy carrying nuclear fuel in Angra dos Reis

Gunmen have attacked a convoy of trucks carrying uranium fuel to a nuclear power plant near the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, police say. BBC The convoy came under attack as it drove past a community controlled by drug traffickers in Angra dos Reis, a tourist city 145km (90 miles) from Rio. Police escorting the convoy responded and a shootout followed. No-one was injured or detained. The convoy reached the Angra 2 plant safely 20 minutes after the attack. ... Read More »

Gold and Grief in Venezuela’s Violent South

Across swathes of southern Venezuela, army units, Colombian guerrillas and crime syndicates jostle for control over gold mines funnelling hard currency to President Nicolás Maduro’s government. ICG Outside powers should stop considering military intervention and instead help broker a peaceful transition in Venezuela, lest chaos ensue. What’s new? Venezuelan crime syndicates and Colombian guerrilla groups are creating new threats across southern Venezuela as they compete for control of the region’s valuable mineral resources. Tensions and violence have spiked in recent ... Read More »

Sixth wastewater report reveals Australians spend over $9.3 billion a year on drugs

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission today released the sixth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program providing longer-term insights into drug consumption as the… Using wastewater data between August 2017 to August 2018, it is estimated that more than 9.6 tonnes of methylamphetamine is consumed in Australia each year, as well as more than 4 tonnes of… The street price of this quantity of these four drugs is valued at around $9.3 billion, underlining the ... Read More »