Organised Crime

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 »

El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts; Faces Life in Prison

The Mexican crime lord known as El Chapo was convicted on Tuesday after a three-month drug trial in New York that exposed the inner workings of his sprawling cartel, which over decades shipped tons of drugs into the… Alan Feuer The New York Times The guilty verdict against the kingpin, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, ended the career of a legendary outlaw who also served as a dark folk hero in Mexico, notorious for his innovative smuggling tactics, ... Read More »

France declares day marking ‘Armenian genocide’

France has declared a national day of commemoration to remember the 1915 Armenian genocide. The announcement is set to provoke an angry response from Turkey. DW French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday declared April 24 to be a national day to commemorate the 1915 Armenian genocide. Macron made the statement at an annual dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France, fulfilling a 2017 campaign promise. France was among the first countries to denounce “the murderous hunt of ... Read More »

Guzmán trial: Drug lord tortured and murdered rivals, says witness

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally tortured and murdered his rivals, his former bodyguard has said at a trial in New York. BBC In the most gruesome testimony to date, Isaias Valdez Rios described seeing “El Chapo” brutally beat at least three men before shooting them. Guzmán denies charges including trafficking and money laundering. If guilty, he could be jailed for life. The ex-boss of the Sinaloa cartel was held in 2016 after escaping from jail. He used ... Read More »

Migrant caravans are making their way to the US border — but the journey is far from easy

Imagine you’re 13 years old. You don’t want to sell drugs for a gang, so one of their thugs tries to kill you. Foreign Correspondent By Eric Campbell ABC You have no family, so you flee for your life, crossing jungles and rivers on a dangerous 4,000-kilometre journey to find safety. When you finally arrive, you face American soldiers who’ve been authorised to kill you. We spent three days with that boy. His name is Daniel and he’s one of ... Read More »

Informer 3838: A web of deceit

In 2009, four Victoria Police officers would find themselves guarding their most valuable intelligence asset as she hid in the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali’s Kuta beach. Tammy Mills & Chris Vedelago The Age That year the lawyer-turned-informer, code-named 3838, had been receiving a stream of anonymous text messages and phone calls promising reprisals if she didn’t “stop telling lies” and “stop talking”. Police wanted to protect the lawyer until she could appear as a key witness in the most ... Read More »

In her own words: Why a top criminal barrister became Informer 3838

Informer 3838 is a Victorian defence barrister who has represented a who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld, including major drug traffickers, murderers and Mafia figures. The Age She began providing information to police in mid-2003 and was a registered informer from 2005 to 2009, providing information about criminal associates and clients, some while she was simultaneously representing them in plea deals and court proceedings. She received a $2.88 million compensation payment from Victoria Police in 2010. Informer 3838 no longer has ... Read More »

Mexico: Forced Disappearance, an Ongoing Crime

As human rights lawyers, we generally don’t rank the crimes we document. But after interviewing the families of countless victims over the years, I’m convinced there’s no crime more cruel than the “disappearance” of a human being. Daniel Wilkinson HRW Published in El Universal In 2003, during one of my first research trips to Mexico, I interviewed women in Guerrero state who had lost family members during the country’s “dirty war” in the early 1970s. Their missing loved ones were presumed ... Read More »

Life Under Gang Rule in El Salvador

Over the last three years, gang violence has killed nearly 20,000 people in El Salvador, propelling tens of thousands northward in search of safety. ICG With U.S. help, the Salvadoran government should try to counter gangs with crime prevention as much as with law enforcement. Nearly 20,000 Salvadorans were killed from 2014 to 2017. That’s more violent deaths than in several countries that were at war during those years, such as Libya, Somalia and Ukraine. The murder rate – an ... Read More »

A Rising Tide of Murder in Venezuela’s Mineral-rich South

Dead bodies are appearing across the Orinoco river basin of southern Venezuela. Bram Ebus ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group consultant Bram Ebus explains how the killings are linked by jostling among criminals, guerrillas and soldiers for mineral wealth amid the country’s wider socio-economic meltdown. What happened? A spate of mass killings in southern Venezuela is stirring international concern as the country’s political and economic crisis continues to drive a migrant exodus. On 14 October, at least seven miners were murdered ... Read More »

Mexico mothers search for mass graves after tip-off

A group of Mexican mothers looking for their missing children is digging up a site in the eastern state of Veracruz in search of mass graves. BBC A spokeswoman for the group, called Solecito, said the mothers had received an anonymous tip-off. The mothers fear that more than 400 people could be buried in shallow graves in the area. Hundreds of bodies have already been found in other nearby clandestine graves in the past two years. Solecito was founded two ... Read More »

UN’s 10-year plan to tackle world’s drug problem has been ‘spectacular failure’ as production and consumption soar, report says

Drug-related deaths increase by 145 per cent and cultivation of opium poppies increases by 130 per cent, figures show Samuel Osborne Independent The UN’s 10-year global strategy to eradicate the world’s illegal drug market has been “a spectacular failure of policy”, a report by a network of 174 NGOs has concluded. The report said there had been a 145 per cent increase in drug-related deaths over the last decade, culminating in around 450,000 deaths per year in 2015. It also found that despite a ... Read More »

The Life and Death of a Mexican Hitman

Researching how Mexico can uproot the scourge of organised crime, our Senior Analyst Falko Ernst befriends a doomed hitman on the run from his past. Falko Ernst ICG Talking to the sicario in the Michoacán underworld, he learns much about the deadly challenges the new government faces. It’s 7pm on a Sunday, and night is falling in this Michoacán town. The heat of the day is past, and there’s a pleasant breeze. The first visitors to the park have left for dinner, ... Read More »