Thursday, December 30, 2010

South American drug barons funding al-Qaida

Latin American drug barons have been exposed as a crucial source of funds for al-Qaida by paying them to ensure the safe passage of cocaine across North Africa and towards Europe.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Additional Cocaine Sites Uncovered In Gambia???

For now, we will name two sites where tons of cocaine are concealed in the Gambia. We are talking about billions of dollars of street value of cocaine hidden somewhere in the former British colony. How comes that Gambia’s anti narcotic officers are unable to trace the hidden cocaine? Why is the National Drug Enforcement Agency transferred to the President’s office? How can the NDEA investigate the President when it is answerable to the Head of State? How can Jammeh effectively supervise the NDEA when there is a conflict of interest here? Is Jammeh aware of the information circulating allegedly linking him with the arrested South American nationals currently going to court on cocaine trafficking? Who owns the hidden cocaine?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

In Kenya, Huts Far Off the Grid Harness the Sun - NYTimes.com

Yet while these off-grid systems have proved their worth, the lack of an effective distribution network or a reliable way of financing the start-up costs has prevented them from becoming more widespread.

“The big problem for us now is there is no business model yet,” said John Maina, executive coordinator of Sustainable Community Development Services, or Scode, a nongovernmental organization based in Nakuru, Kenya, that is devoted to bringing power to rural areas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ramification of links Between Western Sahara Separatists and Al Qaeda Hard to Ignore

The Malian security forces latest arrests of major suspected drug traffickers belonging to the Algerian backed Polisario Front come to confirm a long running accusation by the Moroccan government of collusion between the Western Sahara separatist group, Sahel bandits and the terrorist organization ' Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb “(AQIM).
This development, certainly, will put more pressure on the international community to hasten finalizing the status of the [Western Sahara] provinces with the adoption of a modified version of the Moroccan Autonomy Plan. Major capitals forced to face the dangerous ramification of keeping the Algerian area of Tindouf lawless and in the hands of a [Western Sahara Separatist] militia incapable of securing an area riffled with drugs, weapons and terrorists.

.:Middle East Online ميدل ايست أونلاين:.

He added that it was known as 'Polisario' because 90 percent of its members come from camps of the Polisario Front, which is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Bomb Has Finally Exploded in Albania’s Face :: Balkan Insight

In light of the Council of Europe report on KLA crimes in Albania, Tirana must stop ducking responsibility for such abuses and start investigating crimes, whoever committed them.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

VOA | Wikileaks Cable Suggests Sierra Leone Government Involvement in Cocaine Bust | Africa | English

Charge d'affaires for the US Embassy in Freetown, Glenn Fedzer, wrote in the secret cable that President Ernest Bai Koroma personally directed police not to investigate then Transport Minister, Kemoh Sesay.

Sesay's brother Mohamed, arrested as a key suspect in the cocaine bust, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

Sierra Leone's government disputes the information in the cable, saying it reflects the subjective viewpoint of an individual and is not based in fact.

Unisa Sesay is Communications Director at the Office of the President:

'Absolutely, as I said, they are far removed from reality and one starts doubting in fact the sources of this type of information,' said Sesay. 'Because you know our newspapers are full of a lot of speculations, rumors. So I mean it is absolutely untrue- What is in those cables is not true at all.'

The cable also suggests that the appointments of Kemoh Sesay as Transport Minister and his brother as manager of the National Football team were possibly made to facilitate drug trafficking.

WikiLeaks: Peruvian Army Connected to Drug Trafficking

Drawing from news reports that are seemingly confirmed by an unnamed source (redacted in the document obtained via Peru's La Republica newspaper), the document dated 12 March 2009, paints a disparaging picture of an army that takes payments from drug traffickers to allow passage of illegal narcotics, sells drug traffickers excess fuel supplies (presumably to process the coca into cocaine hydrochloride or HCl), and may even control some drug routes themselves.

Corruption rife in Morocco, Transparency International alleges (Magharebia.com)

Thirty-four per cent of Moroccans admit to having paid a bribe in the past 12 months, according to a recent study by Transparency International.

Venezuela nabs Dominican Air Force colonel with airplane full of drugs :: Dominican Watchdog

The facts In agreement with the information obtained by DL in sources the DNCD, the lieutenant colonel Quinones it was catched in Venezuela with a drug shipment it tried when them to remove from that country.

Diariolibre.com adds that Quinones aroused the suspicion of Venezuela’s authorities when he arrived as a 'hitchhiker' aboard a Dominican airline, but passed through the immigration desk as a crew member.

Police 'Find Sanader's Secret Bank Accounts' :: Balkan Insight

Austrian police have found secret bank accounts belonging to embattled former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader, which reportedly hold some €1.2 million, Croatian media report.

Committee Adopts Kosovo Organ Trade Report :: Balkan Insight

The Council of Europe's Legal Affairs Committee today adopted a draft resolution calling for investigations into allegations that top Kosovo officials were part of an organised crime network that trafficked organs.

Thaci: Marty's Report is Scandalous and Filled with Lies :: Balkan Insight

Kosovo Serbs "Won't Join Thaci’s Government" :: Balkan Insight

United Serb List leader Radmila Trajkovic said that her list, a coalition of parties, does not want to join Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's government.

Kenyan |MP moves to censure US envoy

Reporting on the cables, German newspaper Der Spiegel said: “Almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of [Kenya's] President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.”

The envoy described President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet ministers as beneficiaries of grand corruption.

ANALYSIS - West may tolerate Kosovo crime for sake of stability | Reuters

ANALYSIS - West may tolerate Kosovo crime for sake of stability | Reuters

Citifmonline - General News - Don't take NDC's war on drugs seriously - MP

But according to Hon. Osei Kwame Prempeh, the revelations clearly indicate that the drug war [in Ghana] is far from over.

He told Citi News that President Mills’ confession to the US Ambassador that elements of his government are already compromised clearly shows that all is not well.

The Nsuta Kwamang Beposo MP is of the view that if statistics about drug related arrests shows a reduction, as the NDC has been touting, it can only be because there are compromised elements in the government.

Mozambican caught with R18m in cash - Africa - IOL | Breaking News | South Africa News | World News | Sport | Business | Entertainment | IOL.co.za

A series of United States cables leaked by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks allege the Ayoob family's involvement in drug trafficking networks through Mozambique and southern Africa.

Drug Barons In Mills’ Gov’t? Tony Aidoo Downplays WikkiLeaks’ Report | General News | Peacefmonline.com

[Ghana's] Head of Policy Evaluation and Oversight Unit of the Government, Dr. Tony Aidoo, has sought to downplay UK-based WikkiLeaks damaging details that President Mills believes “elements of his government are already compromised” in the drug trade, and asserts that it is not surprising for a developing country like Ghana to be faced with drug trafficking challenges.

Citifmonline - General News - NACOB Boss vows not to share intelligence again

Ghana’s Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has threatened that he will no longer share intelligence with Ghana’s Western partners over drug trafficking between the two regions.

Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong’s threat follows the leakage of confidential discussions he had with some embassy officers of the US over the worsening narcotics problem in Ghana as well as leaked discussions between Ghana’s President and the Assistant Secretary to US President Barack Obama.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jamaica Gleaner News - Jamaica soft on drugs - Cuba - Lead Stories - Wednesday | December 15, 2010

The cable, which is among more than 200,000 obtained by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, stated that Cuban anti-drug officials were frustrated with Jamaica's efforts to battle drug trafficking in the region.

US embassy cables: West African drug trade is 'becoming institutionalised' | World news | guardian.co.uk

Douglas termed the drugs trade and other criminal activities in the West Africa as 'becoming institutionalized,' especially in Guinea Bissau and increasing so throughout the coastal states. She indicated that the UK has a good understanding about how the drugs arrive to West Africa, but not how they go North from there and how they are related to terrorist issues. Carter said the Northern transit routes are varied across land, air, and sea and that to date there is no information to indicate that the narcotics trade has links with terrorist activities, in particular AQIM. He did add that the Hizbollah networks in West Africa might tap into the drug trade due to its high levels of profit. Douglas agreed it was important to stymie the drug trade before it becomes more institutionalized, before it destabilizes the region further, and before terrorists begin using it as a source of revenue.

WikiLeaks cables: UK's anti-drugs fight in Ghana 'beset by corruption' | World news | The Guardian

According to the cables, Ghanaian narcotics control board (Nacob) officers working with British officials:

• Actively helped traffickers, even calling the criminals on their mobile phones to tell them when to travel to avoid detection.

• Sabotaged sensitive drug scanners provided to the Ghanaian government.

• Channeled passengers including pastors and bank managers and their wives, into the security-exempt VVIP lounge despite suspicions they were trafficking drugs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kosovo PM is head of human organ and arms ring, Council of Europe reports | World news | The Guardian

Kosovo's prime minister is the head of a "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Europe's debt crisis: When things turn ugly | The Economist

There is a brewing tension within Britain over the sense that the budget is being balanced on the backs of the working class, while City bankers continue to pull in massive bonuses. It's a tension that will be familiar across Europe; in country after country pain is being exacted on those who feel themselves to be victims, at the behest of those who seem to be doing just fine. In country after country, occasional eruptions of public passion will come close to boiling over, as they did yesterday in Britain. And the real austerity has only begun; the cuts next year will be far more severe than what's happened already. Inevitably, some real trouble will develop somewhere; the near-miss, finally, won't miss. And in the ugly politics that follows, truly distressing scenarios, like a departure of one or several countries from the euro area, could suddenly seem much more realistic.

Document: Mexico can't control border - El Paso Times

'Limited resources also undermine the effort: while there are 30,000 U.S. CBP officers on the 1,926-mile Mexican/U.S. border, only 125 Mexican immigration officials monitor the 577-mile border with Guatemala,' the document states.

'The weakness of the state (Guatemalan government), the pervasive violence, the widespread corruption, and the country's strategic location for drug trafficking are creating a very dangerous cocktail.'

America's Third War: Fighting Drug Cartels in Guatemala - FoxNews.com

“When you have drug traffickers afraid of other drug traffickers, you know its getting pretty bad,”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Corruption could push Kenya back into violence: cable - Yahoo! News

Kenya could descend into violence worse than during the crisis that followed the 2007 election unless reform is speeded up and corruption tackled, a US cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday claimed.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Largest Caribbean drug case points to high level corruption in Dominican Republic :: Dominican Watchdog

The information that corrupt Dominican officials provided intelligence and operational support to the drug trafficking ring is included in the charges filed against Figueroa Agosto and Antonio “Toño Leña) del Rosario Puente by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico.

“The accused and his associates obtained intelligence and assistance from corrupt officials for the purpose of promoting their drug trafficking activities,” reads the indictment of Rosario, who is in custody.

In Figueroa Agosto’s case the indictment says that he and other members of his network paid corrupt authorities to avoid arrest.

“It was part of the means used by the group of José David Figueroa Agosto and his associates to make illegal payments to the police and corrupt authorities to avoid being detained,” the indictment reads.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has also charged former senior Dominican navy officers Miguel Antonio Suárez and Carlos Rossó Peña, accusing them of having used navy boats to pick up and deliver drug loads dropped offshore.

Federal authorities allege they used their rank as Dominican naval officers “to coordinate the airdrops of bundles of drugs in the coasts of the Dominican Republic and then use official ships and Dominican sailors to recover the bundles of narcotics and to bring them to land.”

PayPal Cuts WikiLeaks From Money Flow

PayPal Cuts WikiLeaks From Money Flow


So WikiLeaks should start using hawala?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pambazuka - Building Africa's tax havens

From the Seychelles to Liberia, African countries are creating financial centres that demand little or no taxation. Khadija Sharife provides a run-down of the places to hide away money from the taxman.

Crime Situation in Africa

Extensive research frοm public sources hаѕ shown thаt thе preponderant role οf thе West African criminal networks οf organized crime іn South Africa іѕ a serious threat tο thе European Union іn particular.

Organised crime in Bulgaria

Organised crime is one of the most serious problems facing Bulgaria. Money laundering, drug trafficking and counterfeiting are hampering economic development. Russian mobsters, including notorious crime figure Michael Chorny, are thought to have links to Bulgaria.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Battle For Rio | World | Epoch Times

On the one side stands organized crime, on the other underpaid, corrupt police. In the middle, are the citizens of the city.

Is Kenya a ‘swamp’ of corruption?

Leaked reports from the American embassy in Nairobi have tainted the country as “a swamp of flourishing corruption”.

According to a German magazine-Der Spiegel- “Almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of the government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga”

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Latin American Herald Tribune - Crossing the Border: Mexico’s Drug Cartels Expand Recruitment of Americans

So far this year, according to the records, 10 El Paso residents have been detained in Mexico’s murder capital on drug-related charges, equaling the number arrested in all of 2009. Four suspects from the Texas border city have been arrested in Juarez this week alone. “Among the transnational criminal organizations there is a clear intent to recruit binational (Mexican-American) citizens or Americans because it is so easy for them to move around. It is easier to come and go,” said University of Texas at El Paso researcher and political scientist Antonio Payan.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Standard | Online Edition :: City slum where gangs spread terror to keep law

The gang survives by extorting from businesses in a section of the slum and from residents under the guise of providing security.

It presents itself as a vigilante group with authority to do community policing.

'We usually engage the boys to maintain law and order because often we are short in supply of legitimate security personnel,' says an administrator in Kibera whose identity cannot be revealed because he is not authorised to comment on such issues.

Radio New Zealand : News : World : Rio police fight back against gang campaign

Gang members have been blocking roads, burning cars and shooting at police stations for three days.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bulgarian PM talks how the Mafia has infiltrated the government - Vote For Myself

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov (2009-) explains how 30 pages long report with recommendations from the Secret Service alleges that the Mafia has infiltrated a lot of the public administration in Bulgaria and how there is a concerted plan for assault upon the Bulgarian Institutions by the Mafia which is interested in their becoming subservient to its malign practices and the public servants being afraid and corroborating with the Mafia in milking the national wealth of the country and the European funds as well.

Albania: Police Bust Narcotics Network :: Balkan Insight

In cooperation with several other countries, Albanian police busted an international narcotics network smuggling drugs from Panama to Albania.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

General: More troops need African language skills - wtop.com

And he said that while a number of Special Operations forces are trained in African languages and cultures, the military is not moving fast enough to provide similar training to other troops.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tsvetanov: Bulgaria emerges as exporter of organized crime :: EMG :: SEE news

Silvio Berlusconi's allies ‘helping mafia spread across Italy’ - Telegraph

Mr Saviano alleged that the ‘Ndrangheta had expanded far outside its traditional power base in the southern Calabria region and had infiltrated Italy’s rich northern Lombardy region, including Milan, Italy's business and fashion capital.

BBC News - Guinea declares state of emergency after poll clashes

But Mr Diallo accused the security forces of 'savage brutality' against his supporters and members of his Peul ethnic group.

Before the run-off both Mr Diallo and Mr Conde - who comes from another ethnic group, the Malinke - had promised to include each other in government.

Despite the Peuls' economic dominance, no member of their community has never been president, while the Malinke have been heavily represented among the country's military rulers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Massive cocaine haul worth 250m pounds seized on Italian container ship after tip off from British police

It was found on a container that had been loaded on to an Italian flagged ship in Brazil and which was then unloaded at the port of Gioia Tauro in the Calabria region, heartland of the local mafia known as the N’drangheta.

Monday, November 15, 2010

South American gangs flying vast quantities of cocaine to Europe | World news | The Guardian

Because there is no radar coverage over the ocean, big aircraft can cross the Atlantic virtually undetected.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dominican agents bust a Police major with 400K of cocaine :: Dominican Watchdog

The assistant antinarcotics Police chief in the central city San Francisco de Macoris was caught Wednesday afternoon with 400 kilos of cocaine as he was about to take to the Capital together with three other Dominicans and two Colombians, the head of the Antinarcotics Agency DNCD said last night.

Quantitative Easing Explained

The Federal Reserve Is Launderng Money

Money Laundering for Somali Pirates is Good Business | Public Intelligence

The sea pirates use the financial hub of Dubai and Somalia’s southern neighbour Kenya as key transit points to launder the millions of dollars in ransom money by organised and wealthy gangs.

UK is cocaine capital of the western world; Number of young Britons using the drug up by 50% | Daily Mail (London, England), The Newspaper | Find Articles at BNET

This means Britain has left other countries which face major cocaine problems - in particular the U.S. and Spain - far behind in the league table of those worst-affected.

Latin American Herald Tribune - Spanish Police Take Down Major Drug Ring

The ring had an extensive import-export business infrastructure between Argentina and Spain which included their trans-Atlantic container traffic.

DRUG TRAFFICKERS USED HEARSE TO TRANSPORT DRUGS IN ARGENTINA - Dialogo forum Breaking News From South America the Caribbean

An international gang of drug traffickers detained by the authorities used a hearse to transport drugs in northern Argentina, near the border with Bolivia, the Gendarmes (the border police) announced.

Spanish authorities disrupt major Latin American drug trafficking network

Leaders of the criminal operation traveled frequently between Argentina and Spain to supervise the illegal enterprise.

Friday, November 12, 2010

More than 5,000 Dominican agents linked to crimes in just 3 years - DominicanToday.com

Drug trafficking has seeped the echelons of the very people assigned to fight it, with more than 5,000 military, Police and Antinarcotics (DNCD) agents charged, penalized or expelled in the last three years.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Daily Nation:- Africa-|Guinea’s Sekouba Konate, the coup leader with a difference

He regularly travels to Lebanon and has strong ties to the community which plays an important role in the Guinean economy. His critics say he does not like power, he likes money - and his stint in the top job has been profitable.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Police crackdown on British organised crime on the Costa del Sol

Tuareg Rebels Joining Battle Against Al-Qaeda in the Sahara?

A small number of Tuareg are believed to be working for AQIM as drivers and guides, though there are also unconfirmed reports that a Tuareg imam from Kidal named Abdelkrim has become an amir in the AQIM organization (Liberation [Bamako], October 31; Jeune Afrique, October 9). Though direct Tuareg participation in AQIM activities may be limited, there are signs, nonetheless, that the massive influx of cash into the region from AQIM-obtained ransoms has had an indirect benefit to the Tuareg and Arab tribes of the region."

Bulgaria: Bulgarian Court Frees Alleged Top Crime Boss - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

The motive of the magistrates was Baretata's ailing health related to urinary tract infection and the endured stress from waking overnight often to go to the restroom.

Drug wars in Mexico, Colombia push drug trade to Dominican Republic - CSMonitor.com

As authorities in Mexico and Columbia crack down on the drug trades in their countries and the US-Mexico border becomes harder to sneak across, drug rings are moving their operations into the Caribbean.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Corrupt west African nations 'running global crime'

He gave a scathing assessment of the state of law enforcement in the Western world, speaking of police forces more interested in ''glory grabbing'' and competing with other agencies for funding than in understanding and tackling organised crime. ''The only winners in that type of environment is the criminals. Law enforcement has had to take a short-term focus, because that is what their political masters take.

''Most damning of all, however, is that governments have seen dealing with serious organised crime as the responsibility of law enforcement alone.''

In a speech before Mr Hughes, the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Simon Overland, agreed that governments needed to take up the baton instead of expecting police to fight an ''unwinnable war''.

''I get nervous when, from a public policy point of view, we start talking about wars on organised crime, because [it's] a war that you can never win and never end.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Morocco Takes Down Drug Traffic Ring Linked to Terrorists - War On Terror News

The Moroccan government is calling for regional action in the face of growing collaboration between drug traffickers and terrorists in the Sahel.

Morocco's Interior Ministry confirmed Friday in Rabat that police had arrested 34 members of an international drug trafficking ring that had ties to the terrorist group, al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb.

Authorities said the traffickers, who also had links to South American drug cartels, were transporting cocaine and marijuana from South America to Europe, via North Africa.

Crime gangs 'behind Serb violence'

"'Organised crime has been connected with violent fan groups and extreme political organisations,' Tadic said.

Mungiki planning to attack police officers

“They are planning to reactivate the sect’s hit squad whose duty will be to eliminate any security officer found to be an easy target and also to identify security personnel who are executing sect members for possible elimination,” read part of the report.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Global mafia corrupting east Africa

Of some nations in east Africa - though he chose not to name any - Mr Hughes said: ''Their infrastructure is broken, corruption is rife, it's endemic in many of them, and what we're seeing is enclaves of organised criminals - Colombians and Venezuelans, Russians and Asians - getting in and exploiting the government and law enforcement.''.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AFP: Europe must reinforce African armies or 'move': Niger

Somalia got away from us and northern Mali is in the process of getting away from us," said Marou, speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of a meeting organised by the lay Catholic community Sant'Egidio.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Combating Organised Crime in Kenya - The African Blog

The other question repeatedly asked by the citizens is whether the police have the capacity to provide and maintain security in areas where mungiki and other organised criminal groups thrive? The mungiki draws its members from poor communities and gives members a sense of purpose, cultural and political identity, as well as income.

Indeed, mungiki have a strong threshold in slum areas where they operate, thus making it increasingly difficult to effectively ensure security and enforce the rule of law. They purportedly have taken up duties that the state has not sufficiently provided such as security, transport, and even traditional government functions such as collection of garbage. Extortion seems to be the order of the day, as citizens have to provide ‘a small fee’ for these services. Failure to pay the expected fees results in death or loss of property through arson or malicious damage.

The mungiki sect mirrors the discontent arising from severe unemployment and landlessness caused by Kenya’s rapid population growth. Its leadership claims to have over three million members around the country and have infiltrated civil service, factories, schools and the uniformed forces. Such members do not necessarily sport dreadlocks – like the mungiki - but support and finance the sect behind the scenes.

Bulgaria: Gray Economy 10% of Bulgaria's 2010 GDP - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

Bulgaria's gray economy is worth about BGN 7 B per year, according to Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev.

This is about 10-12% of Bulgaria's projected 2010 GDP, Plevneliev said during a surprise inspection of construction sites together with Labor Minister Totyu Mladenov.

About 25% of the Bulgarian gray economy is made up of the construction sector – or about BGN 1.7 B in absolute value.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Militant Islam gains ground in the Balkans - GLG News

Across the Balkans, minority Wahhabi groups seek to convert mainstream Islam to their more militant interpretation through the operation of cultural centers, mosques, schools and at times by battling for control of majority Muslim organizations and community-owned property. A majority of the region's Muslims are secular and analysts caution against overstating the Wahhabi threat.
'It should not be ignored, but neither should it be exaggerated,' said Hajrudin Somun a former Bosnian ambassador to Turkey and history professor at Sarajevo's Philip Noel-Baker International University.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home: Morocco dismantles drug trafficking criminal network, Interior Ministry

The network, which has branches in Latin America, Europe and Africa, is specialized in the trafficking of hard drugs (cocaine) and chira, transported to Europe by land, sea and air, a statement of the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

Former Touareg rebels eager to quash al-Qaeda

Ex-Touareg rebels in Mali are ready to join the fight against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), AFP reported on Sunday (October 10th). "We are waiting for the green light from the Malian government chase al-Qaeda in our desert," a former rebel said. Pursuant to the terms of the 2006 Algiers Agreement, elite units of ex-rebels trained by the Algerian military would reportedly participate in the counter-terror fight under the command of the Malian army.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ennahar Online - Security in the Sahel: difficult to achieve

The leader of the Algerian Tuareg Idebir Ahmed finds it increasingly difficult to ensure security in the Algerian part of the Sahel, in an interview published Monday in the Algerian daily El Watan.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jamaica Gleaner News - Jamaica's war on gangs - Lead Stories - Sunday | October 10, 2010

Caribbean societies are reportedly being devastated by the highest rates of violent crime in the world. According to the United Nations, Bahamians, Jamaicans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans and Trinidadians are four times more likely to die by gun violence than a North American

Saturday, October 9, 2010

US lambasts G Bissau ‘drug tsar’ | Breaking News, World, Business, Sports, Enterteinment, Video News, World News

The US voices its disappointment at Guinea-Bissau’s move to reinstate an alleged drugs kingpin as the head of the navy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FORMER SECURITY CHIEFS LIKELY TO DIE IN PRISION!

Three former Gambian security chiefs currently held at the State main Central Prison Mile Two, on drug, economic crime, and other related offences are likely to die in jail due to poor health condition, stress related illnesses, and hunger, prison sources here said. The three former officials: Bun Sanneh, Ousman Sanneh, and Essa Badjie are between “life and death” thanks to the “neglect, and persecution” they suffered in the hands of the country’s law enforcement agencies. The men suffered both mental, and emotional torture. They have been denied access to a balanced diet, proper sanitary conditions, and decent dwelling, prison sources alleged.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Somalia's Al-Shabab Spreads Its Message In Kenya

Dini, who is originally from Somalia, says al-Shabab has gained sway at two major mosques, where radical imams now encourage followers to return to Somalia and fight with the group.

'They use people for their political agenda,' Dini says. 'They pay people money -- we don't know where they get it -- they bring together children, women, people who are uneducated.'

‘Ndrangheta blamed as bazooka is found near Calabrian courthouse | Europe News

Southern Italian mobsters trying to intimidate law enforcers who are targeting them, police say.

Mozambique: The drug crossroad

The British NGO Chatham House said that Mozambique has become an international drug trafficking hub. It is a crossroad between the producing countries of Latin America and Asia, and Europe consumers. After heroin, the Mandrax and the marijuana in the 80s, cocaine is transiting now by this southern African country. The report is based on the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the UK's Department for fight against organised crime.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why has Britain become a battle ground for foreign gangs? | Immigration Guide

The upsurge has took off neatly in a past eighteen months, mostly as a outcome of tougher immigration controls by a United States. Yardie gangsters find it not usually simpler to come in Britain though can additionally have bigger increase than in a US, where a travel cost of heroin has slumped.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tadic: Serbia is stronger than any criminal structure :: EMG :: Business news from Serbia

Serbian President Boris Tadic said that Serbia today is stronger than any criminal structure, but that its institutional capacity for efficiently combating organized crime was not fully mobilized until this year.

Comments :: Business in Somalia: Why 'hawala' firms are crucial to rebuilding the economy

It is a misnomer to call these Somali remittance companies. While the owners and origins of these companies are Somali, most of them have operations in the Gulf, United States, Europe and East Africa and almost all are, in fact, owned and managed by citizens of these countries.

According to Waldo, Somali nationals own less than 15 hawalas while the overseas-owned remittance companies could number in the hundreds.

It is the close partnership and networking between the overseas hawalas and the local Somali hawalas that gives the impression that they are one and the same.

While the remittance companies rely mainly on the business of migrant money transfers from Western economies for family maintenance and investment in Somalia, individuals and businesses within the country use them as crude savings banks, depositing funds for short periods.

According to the KPMG report, this quasi-banking role continues to generate the most interest amongst major remittance companies. In fact, Dahabshiil is currently constructing a bank in downtown Hargeisa.

However, most other remittance companies face major constraints in converting themselves into banks, not the least of which is the lack of a centralised government and financial regulatory authority.

Hawala Tech and Banks in Somalia | ICTDev dot org

While the political ramifications of Hawala are hugely important and interesting in the post-9/11 world, what I find more pertinent are the mechanics and how technology is changing the way it works.
The East African newspaper put out a good visualization today on the way that Hawala currently operates in the form of remittances from Western nations to the Middle East and finally to Somalia. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) serves as a central clearing house for both simple cash transfers and more complicated import/export relationshipsAs can be seen, the person in the US or Europe gives money to a branch agent in their country. This is sent to a central country clearing house, then onto a UAE clearing house, then to a Somali agent and finally to the individual who collects the funds in Somalia.
It used to be that Somali local private operators could only communicate by HF radio (yes, they did it before this via trust networks, family ties and paper), but when the mobile phone revolution hit Africa in the 90′s the communications were made more efficient. At first this was through satellite phones, and now by the robust local mobile phone network.

World divided over new scramble for African land

A World Bank report has confirmed that 45 million hectares of land in developing countries were bought in 2009, a tenfold jump from the previous decade.

Moreover, two-thirds of these controversial “land grabs” have been in Africa where critics say public and governmental institutions offer weak defences against western multinationals and Far Eastern state companies seeking farm land for food and biofuels.

While many development agencies and African campaigners are aghast at the latest news some believe that good land development projects are exactly what the world needs to solve the food crisis as they bring investment, knowhow, and transport links, as well as creating jobs.

New approach in anti-Mungiki war

Unlike in past crackdowns, police are now gunning for top members instead of youths at bus parks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tackling the smugglers | Trinidad Express Newspaper | News

And recent reports of cocaine floating up on beaches of Trinidad is more proof that the waters around the island may be a drug transshipment highway. Fishermen admit many amongst them are involved in the profitable, if dangerous and illegal, business.

Friday, October 1, 2010

G/Bissau ex army chief in prison six months after mutiny

The former head of the army of Guinea Bissau is still being held in prison without a formal charge six months after a mutiny led by his deputy, a rights activist and a judge said Thursday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guinea massacre victims' families unable to gather - wtop.com

The families of the 157 people killed in a massacre in Guinea last September were barred Tuesday from entering or approaching the soccer stadium where the killings occurred on the one-year anniversary of the slaughter.

Crime, Europe and West Africa - Real Time Brussels - WSJ

It’s not just drugs coming from South America. Weapons, people, toxic waste, diamonds are all trafficked through the region and into Europe. And it’s not just organized crime, Annemie Turtelboom, Belgian minister for home affairs, told the conference organized by the Belgian presidency of the European Union and Interpol. Terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are increasing their influence in the region, she said.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guyana Inquirer - Caribbean Business News

The Prime Minister added that national governments alone cannot solve the problem because of its global dimension and reiterated a call by former T&T President, Arthur Robinson, for international drug trafficking to be included as a crime within the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Monday, September 27, 2010

tehran times : Iran, Malaysia sign deal to fight drug trafficking

According to Malaysian police, the majority of drug smugglers arrested in Malaysia are from Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, and Bulgaria.

AFP: A year after Guinea massacre, culprits still free

One year after the massacre of 157 people in Conakry, no army official suspected of taking part in the killings has been brought before a court in Guinea, which is still riven by political divisions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A new Mafia revealed – Italy alleges crime families ruling Toronto | Mafia News Report

Italian authorities claim that they have uncovered a new face to the Mafia operating in Toronto. They claim that there are now seven dominant mafia families in the city of Toronto , Canada and they each have a boss who sits on a influential board of control or commission. These families took control of the criminal underworld in Toronto by taking control of the global drug trade and establishing a consistent flow of cocaine mostly from Argentina. A report from Italian prosecutors says these seven families are made up mostly of member who are of Calabrian origins. Each of these families are active in extortion , drug trafficking , illegal gambling , and production of forged materials among many other criminal operations.

The rules of the ‘Ndrangheta | Posted | National Post

In Saturday’s Post, Adrian Humphreys writes about the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia. For a gang of outlaws, the ’Ndrangheta has a lot of rules and etiquette to adhere to, according to a prosecutor’s report in Italy:

Zambia: Chibolya: inside the forbidden ghetto

There is a police station situated on the eastern border of Chibolya and John Howard. The police station bears the township’s name, but the locals just call it “Pentagon”. The police, however, are clearly not welcome in Chibolya where they are treated as outlaws.

There is even an invisible off-limit line for cops right at the mouth of Gaza Street.

“We can’t go there in uniform,” one female police officer once told me.
And the gangs do not hesitate in showing their indignation at the mere sight of a cop in uniform who over-steps the off-limit line.

About three years ago, while reporting on the Muslim community in the area during Ramadan, I witnessed first hand a violent scene when scores of stone-throwing residents forced a police vehicle out of their compound.

The police officers had been in pursuit of a minibus driver who had apparently thrown away the traffic rule book. Hence, Chibolya has also become a safe haven for law-breakers.

Yet, things do turn even nastier for the police on Gaza Street.
About three months ago, two police officers were beaten after they tried to help a man whose phone had been stolen. When the victim and the two police officers arrived on Gaza Street in a taxi, all hell broke loose.

The taxi had its windows shattered, while the two cops were stripped of any valuables. They escaped from the scene bare-footed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

US Boosts Ties with Breakaway Somali Regions | News | English

The United States says it plans to strengthen ties with two breakaway regions in Somalia to try to undercut a growing threat from Islamist extremists.

Mexican drug cartels flood across borders - Panama Guide

MEXICO'S drug-fuelled violence is flooding across Central America as cartels deepen roots in a region that needs more aid to counter organised crime, the presidents of Panama and Costa Rica said.

|It’s a catch-22 situation in Mungiki

Deep in his heart, Mr Mwaura wants to leave the sect and lead a normal life. However, the man from Kangema is in a dilemma.

“If I dissociate myself with them (colleagues), they will know that I have developed cold feet. I don’t know what will befall me. I don’t even want to imagine it. Meanwhile, the security people know that I am Mungiki and I don’t know how to convince them otherwise,” said the bitter sect member.

To him, the only option is to go and live somewhere far from Central, Nairobi and parts of Rift Valley like Nakuru, Naivasha and Laikipia, where Mungiki cells are active.

“These people (Mungiki) are very vicious. If you get out of the caucus for some time, they start following you and they are capable of doing anything. At least I have a reprieve because I have come out of jail and I asked to be exempted from extorting money from the matatu operators as a way of evading the police,” he said.

Mr Mwaura is one of the many youths trapped in a catch-22 situation over whether to quit and face the wrath of the other sect members or stay put and continue to suffer under the heavy police crackdowns.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Italian Cops Arrested In Naples Drugs Probe

Italian Cops Arrested In Naples Drugs Probe

Eight Italian police officers have been arrested in the Mafia-ridden city of Naples on suspicion of drug trafficking, according to reports.

Bosnian Police Arrest 60 Smugglers � VOA Breaking News

Authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina have arrested about 60 people, including 22 police officers, on suspicion of smuggling cigarettes and luxury goods.

EU continues KFOR fuel smuggling probe :: EMG :: Business news from Serbia

Soldiers from the NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR, are suspected of selling fuel intended for military purposes from one of their bases to petrol stations.

KFOR said in a statement last week that some soldiers were suspected of having 'been involved in the case of fuel smuggling, tax evasion, and misuse of economic authorisation'.

1,515 kilos of cocaine found on British yacht off C�diz

Spain continues to be an entry point for cocaine to Europe. Last year nearly 26.5 tons of the drug was intercepted, an amount 9.5% down on 2008.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mauritanian army continues fighting with AQIM | NewsyStocks.com

This fighting left a death toll of 12 on the side of AQIM and six on the side of the Mauritanian military.

French forces arrive in Niger with official consent | French Tribune

After Niger’s consent, about 100 French specialists in anti-terrorism were sent to Niamey.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Russian Mafia Infiltrates French Riviera | New England Organized Crime

"Mafia kingpins from the former Soviet Union have moved into the French Riviera and are taking over with “quasi-military” precision.

“Everything from burglary and money laundering to vice is controlled by the Mob from former Communist countries,” said one police officer, who was involved in the arrest of 69 members of a Georgian syndicate in March.

Partners in Crime: The U.S. Secret State and Mexico's "War on Drugs"

Judging the results, one might even think the drug war solely exists as the principle means through which wealthy elites organize crime.


Either that or the "War on Drugs" is simply a vehicle for sadists to get their jollies by sending people off to prison.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kosovo: NATO Peacekeepers Probed For Organized Crime

"'Some KFOR soldiers are under suspicion of having been involved in the case of fuel smuggling, tax evasion, and misuse of economic authorization' the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo stated. The KFOR’s announcement came right after the EU rule of law mission (EULEX) stated it has detained five persons within its ongoing investigation into organized crime.

Gangsters in Algeria?

These terrorist activities grow out of the horrific Algerian civil war in the 1990s. AQIM was originally the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), a slightly-less brutal offshoot of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), who tactics -- which included the massacres of entire villages -- upset even Osama bin Laden. Both groups had ties to AQ, and the GSPC officially merged with AQ in 2006, becoming AQIM.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Network of spies threatens Somalia

But the militia has as many as 1,000 spies living in government areas, many in strategic places near the airport, port and the presidential palace, he said. Cells also operate in mosques and Koranic schools.

Italy Seizes Mafia-Linked Assets Worth $1.9 Billion - BusinessWeek

Italian police seized 15 billion euros in assets from organized crime groups in the 14 months through August, Maroni said on Aug. 15. Among the seizures was Rome’s Cafe' de Paris, famous for appearing in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film “La Dolce Vita.” Investigators said the cafe' was owned by the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia.


I can only assume that, in response, the Italian mob is now diversifying its investment portfolio to include assets located in other, less seizure-prone jurisdictions.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jamaica Gleaner News - Dudus better for Tivoli than Bruce, cops - Letters - Monday | September 13, 2010

Jamaica Gleaner News - Dudus better for Tivoli than Bruce, cops - Letters - Monday | September 13, 2010: "It seems that the people of Tivoli were better off under the leadership of their infamous don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. If the reports coming out of Tivoli are true then Mr Coke was doing a far better job than what the Government and the police are able to do.

The Government, and to a lesser extent the police, have failed to capitalise on the opening to rebuild the community, and prevent it returning to its former state. As their failure begins to become clearer the police are busy trying to convince us to believe them instead of the citizens while in the same breath they are hastily putting up military-like cordons around the community."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New armed drug-trafficking groups menace Colombia - UK Wired News

A new generation of armed drug-trafficking groups in Colombia has replaced a right-wing paramilitary army demobilized in 2006, a local think-tank says.

Brazil is militarizing its borders to stop illegal drug trafficking.

While the army already had authorization to intervene in case of need, the novelty is that now the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and the Navy may proceed without waiting for the police.

Cocaine Destined for Europe Seized in Senegal

The Senegalese capital has become a major transit point for drugs coming from Latin America and destined for Europe, according to Customs officials.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Balkan based organized crime activities gaining ground - International Analyst Network

Under section Concerns about cocaine along the Balkan route (p 83):“While most cocaine shipments from South America continue to be directed towards Western Europe… some shipments to East Europe and the Balkan countries have been noticed by enforcement agencies.”





Further back in recent times, while the 2005 UN Drug report identifies Kosovo Albanian organized crime groups responsible for controlling heroin market, the 2007report, additionally, identified them as developers of the new traffic routs through which they augment their heroin trade with South American cocaine:

“This raises concerns about the development of new trafficking routes and/or the incorporation of cocaine into the range of products offered by traditional heroin trafficking groups operating along the Balkan route,” says the report then added that Albanian drug gangs control ports in Romania, in addition to ones in Montenegro (Bar) and Albania (Durres).

“Some cases of cocaine shipments via the Black Sea to Romania and via the Adriatic Sea to Montenegro often organized by Albanian criminal groups have already been observed,” says the report.





Thus the traditional narcotics market structure has evolved further over the previous years and now the smugglers are able to exploit both the main road corridors of the region from East to West and South to North, but also got a hold of the main sea trade import bases and revealed themselves into a greater and global role.

Drug mules at Sao Paulo airport

The largest contingent comes from South Africa, where an existing drugs problem, alongside a massive gulf between rich and poor, has created an environment in which women are prepared to take huge risks in order to earn quick money. If they are caught, they face prison terms of between three and 15 years, with the right to just two phone calls a year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guinea Bissau turns to Angola to help reform army | News by Country | Reuters

Ireland's navy in frontline against Colombia cocaine smugglers | World news | guardian.co.uk

With Colombian drug-smuggling networks increasingly targeting the south-west coast of Ireland as a back door for trafficking cocaine into Europe, the Irish navy is playing its part in trying to shut off that gateway
....
"It is a very rugged coastline and there are areas around it which are very isolated. We have many small islands that are sparsely populated so they make ideal areas to land goods or to try and ship goods into this country. It all lends itself to narcotics being landed in Ireland," says Doyle as one of his trainee cadets scans a series of islands to the west with binoculars.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Donkeys smuggle drugs from Bosnia to Croatia - General News - Croatian Times Online News

The donkeys have been adopted by the drug smugglers as they are trained to navigate the inhospitable mountain terrain between Herzegovina and Croatia.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cocaine epidemic in Australian NSW state_Asia Pacific--China Economic Net

"The latest NSW crime statistics, obtained by The Sun-Herald, showed the use of cocaine across the state has increased by more than 50 percent in the past two years"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Courier: Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke and the phenomenon of garrison communities

But some residents of Tivoli Gardens have openly embraced the system, saying that Coke’s presence in the community made them feel safe. Many residents demonstrated and barricaded the community after Prime Minister Golding gave the go ahead for Coke’s extradition request by the United States to begin albeit months of delaying tactics. Even after Coke’s extradition to the US in June and the deaths of more than 70 persons during the civil unrest where gunmen attacked the security forces and burnt at least one police station, the residents maintained that there was order in the community prior to the civil unrest with no incidents of rape and an 8:00 p.m. curfew implemented by Coke for all those who went to school.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tea in the Sahara: a road trip through the Libyan desert - The Guardian

Following an ancient trade route across Libya, Sara Wheeler enounters Berber life, and finds that trade and smuggling are still alive and well.

Hunt of the Sea Wolves- Ships may use Northwest Passage to avoid Somali pirates




Apparently roving Eskimos are not a problem.

Criminals benefit from Dutch trading mentality | Radio Netherlands Worldwide


Mr Leistra says the large number of different nationalities that live in the Netherlands is an added bonus; criminals have contacts all over the world. Colombian cocaine traffickers use the Netherlands as the gateway to the rest of Europe by utilising the Colombian community in the Netherlands: 'first the drugs, usually cocaine, leave South America and are transported via the Antilles or Suriname.

However, lately the drugs have gone directly to Nigeria. The gangs use men and women, known as drug mules, to smuggle the coke into the Netherlands. It's a real international network. Slowly but surely, an international Mafia is developing and Dutch criminals and are taking a share of the business'.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dominican Republic dismantles international drug trafficking ring

"Authorities have dismantled an international drug trafficking ring whose reach extended from drug-producing countries in South America to the shores of the United States.

AQIM could use polisario's hired guns to intensify activities, US expert

The polisario's fighters are far more skilled than the typical AQIM recruit, said Pham who wrote several articles on AQIM.

Bulgaria: Nearly Half of All Bulgarians Tolerate Gray Economy - Poll - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

"The poll conducted by the Bulgaria Industrial Capital Association shows that about 45% of employers and 50% of workers are fine with being involved in the gray economy as long as it brings some income."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why should Guyana trust Suriname?

Suriname is also still perceived as an export platform for illegal narcotics to Europe. Surinamese drug cartels are suspected of having negotiated with Colombia’s terrorist rebel movement – the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – in guns-for-drugs transactions. Narcotics-trafficking and everyday contraband-smuggling would likely continue or increase and other crimes could go unpunished. The free movement of persons that will be facilitated by the fact that Suriname is a member of CARICOM and, therefore, the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, could put the Guyana-Suriname border on the Corentyne River further under stress.

Drug gangs, smugglers in Mexico and U.S. are increasingly disguising couriers in phony uniforms

Drug gangs, smugglers in Mexico and U.S. are increasingly disguising couriers in phony uniforms:

Caribseek Curacao News | Drug dealers exploring new ways to transport drugs - St Maarten Island Time

Caribseek Cura�ao News | Drug dealers exploring new ways to transport drugs - St Maarten Island Time:
Authorities are calling the attention (to the issue) especially with the abuse of the youth. Youngsters of 15, 16 year olds are involved in taking packages to the post office to supposedly take them to their relatives in the Netherlands.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tax havens protecting Hawala operators

Tax havens protecting Hawala operators: New Delhi: Indian efforts to trace Hawala operators involved in money laundering and terror financing are facing hurdles due to non-cooperation of many countries where these racketeers operate, according to a global task force.

The unhelpful countries include tax havens like Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas and Switzerland. To get around the hurdles being created by these countries India is trying to strengthen its tax treaties with them.

'The authorities (Indian) have indicated that part of their frustration in trying to tackle this (Hawala) problem is the lack of co-operation that they receive from some countries where the transfers originate,' said the multi-national Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organisation founded in 1989 by the G7 (group of seven industrialised nations) to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I've Adopted A Pen Name

Greetings readers.

I realize that there are not a whole lot of you, but I do have reason to believe that there are a few of you out there.

Please note that henceforth I shall be adopting a pen name, Mercutio, taken from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet This is, of course, a literary affectation.

As Mercucio, I've also started a new blog, A Plague on Both Your Houses, in which I shall take aim at both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints which pollute current American political talk (I will not call it "discourse." ) My post below, about Sharpton and Beck, illustrates the sort of thing I will be saying there.

Cheers, and I am respectfully

Mercucio (a.k.a Duncan C. Kinder)

Al Sharpton: Glenn Beck Rally Distorts King's Dream

Al Sharpton: Glenn Beck Rally Distorts King's Dream

This is correct. Beck indeed does distort King's dream.

But then so does Sharpton.

Which goes far to explaining how Beck can get away with his stuff.

King's dream was admirable. But with charlatans like Beck and Sharpton playing games with it; perhaps it's time we all woke up.

Balkan based organized crime activities gaining ground | Serbianna Analysis

Balkan based organized crime activities gaining ground | Serbianna Analysis:
Thus the traditional narcotics market structure has evolved further over the previous years and now the smugglers are able to exploit both the main road corridors of the region from East to West and South to North, but also got a hold of the main sea trade import bases and revealed themselves into a greater and global role.

Angola Press - Politics - Stability in Guinea Bissau require proper pensions for war vets - consul general

Angola Press - Politics - Stability in Guinea Bissau require proper pensions for war vets - consul general:
The consul general of Guinea Bissau today considered that political and military instability in his country could end by granting, in first place, proper pensions to freedom fighters, as percursors of the country's independence.


Speaking to Angop, Jose Isaac Monteiro Silva stated that the war vet pension should lead to dignified retirement to the military who left the bush long time ago and still have uncertainties about their future, adding that many organizations only criticize Guinea Bissau but none has risen to grant effective support.

The effects and risks of drug trafficking in The Gambia and West African countries - All West Africa News

The effects and risks of drug trafficking in The Gambia and West African countries - All West Africa News:
Drug traffickers in Gambia and West Africa in general are allegedly using new techniques and entry points in their shipments which allow them to efficiently trade both drugs and suspected firearms. This not only puts the internal security of the Republic of Gambia and other affected states at risk, but also, reduces the countries economical growth a good example being Nigeria.

Trafficking business has now become very sophisticated following alleged involvement of high ranking government officials. The police are also suspected to have been involved through receiving bribes from these mafia leaders to protect the drugs on airports when landing.

Latest reports reveal that opium is now making its way from Afghanistan, through the Middle East and into West Africa which is then repackaged to go to potential markets in America.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bulgarian PM talks how the Mafia has infiltrated the government

Bulgarian PM talks how the Mafia has infiltrated the government:
The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov (2009-) explains how 30 pages long report with recommendations from the Secret Service alleges that the Mafia has infiltrated a lot of the public administration in Bulgaria and how there is a concerted plan for assault upon the Bulgarian Institutions by the Mafia which is interested in their becoming subservient to its malign practices and the public servants being afraid and corroborating with the Mafia in milking the national wealth of the country and the European funds as well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mexican drug cartels expand reach in Central America | Reuters

Mexican drug cartels expand reach in Central America | Reuters:
Central America is struggling to contain rising violence as powerful Mexican drug cartels, facing an escalating government crackdown at home, expand southward and intensify operations in neighboring nations.

America plays the Apollo Option: killing from the sky Fabius Maximus

America plays the Apollo Option: killing from the sky: Fabius Maximus

Chet Richards, on Fabius Maximus' blog, suggests that the Greek god, Apollo, who would strike from afar, serves as a metaphor for targeted assassinations by the United States against targets such as the latest al Qaeda No 3 or the democratically elected head of some government we do not like, such as Iran's Akminijad, Venezuela's Chavez, or whoever is running Hamas right now.

Political assassination has a hoary history. To use a few classical Greek illustrations, Agamemnon was slaughtered upon his return from Troy while Philip of Macedon was taken out either by his wife or by his son, Alexander. And using newfangled technology to kill one's enemies is well known. For example, Lisa Jardine, in The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun , describes the shockwaves that assassination by the newly invented pistol sent through the courts of Renaissance Europe. And Q always has some novel contraption for 007.

While Richard's use of Apollo as a metaphor is intriguing, I prefer Zeus, who would hurl thunderbolts at opponents from afar. The entire concept of "fire from heaven" is a more robust metaphor with fits in with not only the drone attacks that Richards describes but also with the Shock Doctrine that Naomi Kein describes. The modern American capitalist, like some neoPlatonic alchemist, brings fire down from the heavens and hurls it - be it through arcane financial instruments or through drone strikes - at its targets.

This "fire from heaven" metaphor further explains why our capitalist - warriors use drones, fighters, and other aircraft rather than agents in the 007 James Bond tradition. It also explains the curious lack of interest the United States has displayed in the 19th Century Great Game despite inviting parallels with the current situation. For to be a 007 or to play the Great Game demands social skills.

And that the United States does not have.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fox News Is Funded by Terrorists

Jon Stewart: Fox News Omits Facts to Further Its "Fear-Driven Narrative":


To oppose terrorists, turn off Fox News:



"Jon Stewart: Fox News Omits Facts to Further Its 'Fear-Driven Narrative'

Jon Stewart: Fox News Omits Facts to Further Its 'Fear-Driven Narrative'

Tonight, Jon Stewart discussed Fox News and its reports about the funding sources of the 'Ground Zero Mosque.' Specifically, Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. But Fox never mentions his name... or that he's a part owner of its parent company."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire and D.I.Y. Festival, August 28, 2010

Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire and D.I.Y. Festival, August 28, 2010:
Celebrate New England D.I.Y: August 28, 2010! Rhode Island’s own Mini Maker Faire, featuring hands-on making, building & hacking, culinary crafting, garage technology, arts and creativity for sale, and robots, culminating with a Waterfire in the Creative Capital, Providence, RI.

Africa's Informal Economy Revealed | Fast Company

Africa's Informal Economy Revealed | Fast Company:
Making a product for the African market isn’t as easy as shipping off CAD files to China; the makers of the product must be included in the design process from the start. Only the jua kali know how to make a product in a way that leverages local resources and networks, and including them in the process means that the product will be produced and distributed in a sustainable and scalable way.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Land grab in Africa: Emerging land system drivers in a teleconnected world

Land grab in Africa: Emerging land system drivers in a teleconnected world:
A cluster of deals are identified in the eastern part of the African continent in countries like Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Madagascar, while other large recipient countries are Sudan, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In ten of the identified recipient countries the deals represent more than 5% of the current agricultural area – in Uganda more than 14%, in Mozambique more than 21% and in DR Congo more than 48% of the agricultural land! Thus, the consequences of the land deals can be expected to be very large for the local population and environment, with impacts such as agricultural intensification, forest degradation, displacement of local populations, increasing local food insecurity and increasing poverty. All in all, the international land investments have emerged as a new significant driver of land system change in an increasing teleconnected world.

Cocaine Symptoms - Guatemala and other central American countries becoming more violent than Mexico

Cocaine Symptoms - Guatemala and other central American countries becoming more violent than Mexico

Friday, August 13, 2010

Suriname ex-dictator Bouterse, a convicted smuggler, sworn in with other heads of state absent | Washington Examiner

Suriname ex-dictator Bouterse, a convicted smuggler, sworn in with other heads of state absent | Washington Examiner:
A former coup leader, convicted drug trafficker and accused murderer swore to uphold the country's laws at his inauguration Thursday without mentioning concerns in Suriname and abroad about his return to power — this time through the democratic process.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bulgaria's government, judiciary at each other's throats over alleged plot | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 12.08.2010

Bulgaria's government, judiciary at each other's throats over alleged plot | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 12.08.2010:
Bulgaria's judiciary has been accused of corruption after suspects accused of plotting to kill the prime minister were released - due to lack of evidence. The EU has warned Sofia to tackle organized crime and corruption.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Spain’s Cocaine Trade Dominated by Bulgarians, Romanians � Hollywood goodfella

Spain’s Cocaine Trade Dominated by Bulgarians, Romanians � Hollywood goodfella:
The Spanish police have found that Bulgarian and Romanians are specialists in the trafficking of cocaine, reports the Spanish paper ABC.

Half of the persons arrested in Spain for organized crime activities are reported to be foreign citizens, including many Eastern Europeans.

While the Bulgarians and Romanians are found to be frequent dealers in cocaine trafficking, the trade itself is reported to be organized most often by Columbian and Spanish citizens.

Kosovo Albanians, Serbs Cooperate in Drug Trafficking

The drug trafficking mafia of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo is increasing using Kosovo Serbs for smuggling narcotics, according to the Serbian service for combating organized crime.

The Serbian police services are investigating the information that the Kosovo mafia is cooperating with organized crime groups from Serbia, using Kosovo Serbs as intermediaries, reported the Serbian newspaper Blitz.

The Serbian drug traffickers are reported to have very strong connections with the Croatian and Bulgarian drug dealers. Their cooperation with the Albanians, however, is generally believed to be much weaker, and there has been very little mutual penetration between Serbian and Albanian mafia groups in general, says a source from Serbian police.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Former DAS agents arrested for narco tip-offs - Colombia news | Colombia Reports

Former DAS agents arrested for narco tip-offs - Colombia news | Colombia Reports:
Two former operatives from Colombia's intelligence agency DAS were arrested for allegedly leaking information to the criminal organisation headed by the drug-lord and paramilitary Pedro Olivero Guerrero, alias 'Cuchillo.'

Sufi States Inside The State

Sufi States Inside The State:
>Some Sufi orders for religious and historical reasons succeeded in founding autonomous states inside other sovereign states. In Senegal for instance, many clerical city-states and Jihadi villages emerged as independent beings following some particular historical events. These city-states in Senegambia enjoy total autonomy from the central state, and run their territories as independent structures in all fields. In Kurdistan, the Sufi Derwish in Boiveh has a total control over their religious ceremonial lives and autonomous running of their administration and services. Yet, the Boiveh Derwish brotherhood can’t be considered fully as a state because it is still undergoing many pressures by the Iranian state and has no historical impregnation in time.

Police arrest head of Kosovo Central Bank on suspicion of corruption, raid offices and home | Washington Examiner

Police arrest head of Kosovo Central Bank on suspicion of corruption, raid offices and home | Washington Examiner:
She said police were looking for evidence of abuse of official position, accepting bribes, tax evasion, trading in influence and money laundering.

Letter From Port of Spain | Foreign Affairs

Letter From Port of Spain | Foreign Affairs:
A recent election in Trinidad and Tobago was a hopeful sign that the country is willing to take on its powerful drug gangs. But corruption and gang violence are entrenched forces that the new government may not be able to overcome. Is the country on the verge of unraveling?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dirty money drawn to financial markets | The Jakarta Post

Dirty money drawn to financial markets | The Jakarta Post:
The stellar performance of Indonesia’s financial market in recent years has made investments in securities and also currencies a top choice for money laundering, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) says.

Financial markets are attracting money launderers, as opposed to the traditional laundering methods of investing in hard assets such as real estate, due to higher investment returns, better liquidity of assets and legal loopholes, experts say.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BBC News - Mozambique becoming a drug-trafficking hub - Interpol

BBC News - Mozambique becoming a drug-trafficking hub - Interpol: "Mozambique is increasingly becoming a hub for trafficking drugs from Latin America to Europe, Interpol warns."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Go-Jamaica :: Guyana airports are having drug lapses :: Caribbean

Go-Jamaica :: Guyana airports are having drug lapses :: Caribbean:
Benn said that if this continues to happen it will be a strong indication that they are only seeing ten per cent of what goes through.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

ARCAblog: “Stealing Caravaggio: The Odessa File”

ARCAblog: “Stealing Caravaggio: The Odessa File”:
According to police and criminologists, the Ukraine is rife with Organized Crime, with the Balkan Mafia particularly active. Their history of stealing art for trade or collateral in deals for drugs and arms suggests that this latest theft is another that can be attributed to them. They almost certainly, however, do not read art history publications like Burlington Magazine, which published the 1993 article proving that the Odessa Taking of Christ was a copy.

So, is the last laugh on them? Are the under-educated Mafia undone by their own lack of research? Unfortunately for poetic justice, no. The thieves are not the only ones who may have missed the Burlington Magazine article. Most people think that the Odessa painting is an original—especially if they believe most world newspaper articles, which reported that it is an original Caravaggio worth $100 million. It seems that most newspaper reporters did as little research as the thieves. Among other criminals, the thieves can present newspaper clippings “proving” that their stolen Caravaggio is original, and simply ignore those who might point out its inauthenticity.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome to Freedom Newspaper Online

Welcome to Freedom Newspaper Online:
Two senior officials of Gambia’s National Drug Enforcement Agency have been arrested, following their alleged involvement in facilitating the release of suspects linked to drug trafficking, the Freedom Newspaper can authoritatively report. The suspects were recently nabbed with a large quantity of marijuana—only to be released on bail by the NDEA command in Sibanorr. The conditions attached to their bailing never went down well with some local staffers of the NDEA—amidst allegations of official corruption.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dubai Becoming Major Center For Drug Smuggling | AHN

Dubai Becoming Major Center For Drug Smuggling | AHN:
“Traffickers use the modern and accessible facilities in the emirate, such as the airports and ports, trying to move narcotics from their home countries to their destinations,” Gen. Abdul Jalil Mahdi, director of Dubai Police’s anti-narcotics department told The National, an Emirates-based newspaper.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Good Governance Article - Trust.org

Good Governance Article - Trust.org:
'Corruption is a very crucial element in human smuggling because it makes the process smooth ... you can easily get false documents and pay bribes to move from one place to another,' Raviv told TrustLaw in an interview.

Raviv said IOM’s research -- based on interviews with over 800 illegal migrants -- had revealed alleged corruption and complicity between human smuggling rackets and migration officials in most east and southern African countries.

“The journey is made possible because of limited border controls all the way to South Africa,” Raviv added.

Corruption Weaknesses in Kosovo Pinpointed :: BalkanInsight.com

Corruption Weaknesses in Kosovo Pinpointed :: BalkanInsight.com:
The weakness of public procurement officers, politically motivated appointments to the boards of publicly owned companies, the lack of funding and support for anti-corruption authorities and the struggling judicial system are pinpointed as the key areas of concern in the fight against graft.

Procurement officers, responsible for the spending of around 20 per cent of Kosovo’s GDP through public institutions’ tenders, are particularly vulnerable to political pressure, according to the draft report by the Kosovo Stability Institute, IKS, seen by Balkan Insight.

The analysis, Untying the Knot, which is to be published later today, reveals that procurement officers have been physically intimidated by politicians and that their precarious position within institutions means they are easily swayed by pressure.

Friday, June 25, 2010

AFP: Guinea-Bissau president names mutiny leader as army chief

AFP: Guinea-Bissau president names mutiny leader as army chief:
"Guinea-Bissau's president has named as army chief General Antonio Indjai, who led a mutiny and threatened to kill the prime minister in April, a source in the presidency said Friday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BBC News - Why West Africa cannot break its drug habit

BBC News - Why West Africa cannot break its drug habit:
Traditionally it was Latin Americans doing the deals but now Russians, Ukrainians, Dutch, Lebanese and Moroccans are thought to be involved, with many more acting as middlemen and agents on the ground.

There are also reports that Nigerians, who use their infamous international criminal networks to disperse the drugs once in Africa, are now working direct with the drug producers in Latin America.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Private security firms in the Balkans harbor corruption, observers say | World | Deutsche Welle | 19.06.2010

Private security firms in the Balkans harbor corruption, observers say | World | Deutsche Welle | 19.06.2010:
Organized crime in southeastern Europe often operates under cover of private security companies. International groups warn that the EU should be cautious about letting Balkan countries into the bloc too quickly.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Art forgeries: does it matter if you can’t spot an original? - Telegraph

Art forgeries: does it matter if you can’t spot an original? - Telegraph:
Some argue that it is irrelevant who painted a picture, it’s the quality that counts. But, as a fascinating new exhibition sets out to explore fakery in art, Martin Gayford begs to differ.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Organized crime has globalized and turned into a security threat

Organized crime has globalized and turned into a security threat

A new UNODC report shows how, using violence and bribes, international criminal markets have become major centres of power

VIENNA, 17 June (UN Information Service) - "Organized crime has globalized and turned into one of the world's foremost economic and armed powers," said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the launch of a new UNODC report on The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment. The Report, released today at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, looks at major trafficking flows of drugs (cocaine and heroin), firearms, counterfeit products, stolen natural resources, and people trafficked for sex or forced labour, as well as smuggled migrants. It also covers maritime piracy and cybercrime.

Work on the Report was initiated following concerns expressed by UN countries, the Security Council, the G8, and other international organizations about the threat posed by transnational organized crime, and the need to counter-act it. Producing the report was a challenge due to the fact that evidence on the subject has thus far been limited and uneven. "Despite the intrinsic difficulty of doing research on crime, UNODC was able to document the enormous power and global reach of international mafias," said Mr. Costa.

The Report shows the extent to which illicit flows affect the entire world. "Today, the criminal market spans the planet: illicit goods are sourced from one continent, trafficked across another, and marketed in a third," said Mr. Costa. "Transnational crime has become a threat to peace and development, even to the sovereignty of nations," warned the head of UNODC. "Criminals use weapons and violence, but also money and bribes to buy elections, politicians and power - even the military," said Mr. Costa. The threat to governance and stability is analysed in a chapter on "Regions under Stress".

The UNODC report on features a number of high-impact maps and charts that illustrate illicit flows and their markets. "Illicit trades involve all major nations: the G8 and BRIC countries alike, as well as regional powers. Since the world's biggest economies are also the biggest markets for illicit trade, I ask their leaders to help the United Nations fight organized crime more effectively. At the moment there is benign neglect towards a problem that is hurting everyone, especially poor countries that are not able to defend themselves," said Mr. Costa.

The Report's main findings are that:

* There are an estimated 140,000 victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation in Europe alone, generating a gross annual income of US$3 billion for their exploiters. "World-wide there are millions of modern slaves traded at a price not higher in real terms than centuries ago," said Mr. Costa.
* The two most prominent flows for smuggling migrants are from Africa to Europe and from Latin America to the US. Around 2.5-3 million migrants are smuggled from Latin America to the United States every year, generating US$6.6 billion for smugglers.
Europe is the highest value regional heroin market (US$20 billion), while Russia is now the single largest national heroin consumer in the world (70 tons). "Narcotics kill 30,000-40,000 young Russians per year, twice the number of Red Army soldiers killed during the invasion of Afghanistan in the decade of the '80s," said Mr. Costa.
* The North American cocaine market is shrinking, because of lower demand and greater law enforcement. This has generated a turf war among trafficking gangs, particularly in Mexico, and new drug routes. "Along the entire Atlantic coast of Latin America cocaine is trans-shipped into Europe via Africa," said Mr. Costa. "Under attack, some west African nations risk failing."
* The countries that grow most of the world's illicit drugs, like Afghanistan (opium) and Colombia (coca), receive the most attention and criticism. Yet, most drug profits are made in the destination (rich) countries. For example, out of a global market of perhaps US$55 billion for Afghan heroin, only about 5 per cent (US$2.3 billions) accrues to Afghan farmers, traders and insurgents. Of the US$72 billion cocaine market in North America and Europe, some 70 per cent of the profits are made by mid-level dealers in the consumer countries, not in the Andean region.
* The global market for illicit fire-arms is estimated at US$170-320 million per year, which is 10-20 per cent of the licit market. Although the smuggling of arms tends to be episodic (i.e. related to specific conflicts), the amounts have been so large, to kill as many people as some pandemics.
* The illegal exploitation of natural resources and the trafficking in wildlife from Africa and South-east Asia are disrupting fragile eco-systems and driving species to extinction. UNODC estimates that illicit wood products imported from Asia to the EU and China were worth some US$2.5 billion in 2009.
* The number of counterfeit goods detected at the European border has gone up by a factor of ten over the past decade, for a yearly value of more than US$10 billion. As much as half of medications tested in Africa and South East Asia are counterfeited and substandard, increasing, rather than reducing the chance of illness.
* The number of piracy attacks off the Horn of Africa has doubled in the past year (from 111 in 2008 to 217 in 2009), and is still rising. Pirates from one of the world's poorest countries (Somalia) are holding to ransom ships from some of the richest, despite the patrolling by the world's most powerful navies. Of the more than US$100 million annual income generated by ransom, only a quarter goes to the pirates, the rest to organized crime.
* More than 1.5 million people a year suffer the theft of their identity for an economic loss estimated at US$1billion, while cybercrime is endangering the security of nations: power grids, air trafficking and nuclear installations have been penetrated.

These are just a few examples of the wealth of new evidence included in the UNODC Report that also makes a number of suggestions on how to deal with the threats posed by the globalization of crime.
In the first place, Mr. Costa called for "disrupting the market forces" behind these illicit trades. "The breaking-up of criminal groups per se does not work, as those arrested are immediately replaced," he said. He cautioned that "law enforcement against mafia groups will not stop illicit activities if the underlying markets remain unaddressed, including the army of white-collar criminals - lawyers, accountants, realtors and bankers - who cover them up and launder their proceeds. The greed of white collar professionals is driving black markets, as much as that of crime syndicates."

The Report insists that, since crime has gone global, national responses are inadequate: they displace the problem from one country to another. It calls for global responses on the basis of the UN (Palermo) Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) which was adopted in 2000. "Crime has internationalized faster than law enforcement and world governance," said Mr. Costa. "The Palermo Convention was created precisely to generate an international response to these trans-national threats, but is often neglected," he said. "Governments that are serious about tackling the globalization of crime should spur the nations that are lagging behind in the implementation of the Convention," said the head of UNODC.

He also called attention to the difference between countries being unwilling rather than being unable to fight organized crime, appealing for more development and technical assistance to reduce vulnerability of poor nations. "When states fail to deliver public services and security, criminals fill the vacuum," said Mr. Costa. "Reaching the Millennium Development Goals would be an effective antidote to crime, that in itself is an obstacle to development," he added. He also called for greater attention to criminal justice in peace-building and peace-keeping operations: "since crime creates instability, peace is the best way of containing crime," he said.

"Criminals are motivated by profit: so let us go after their money," said Mr. Costa. "We must increase the risks and lower the incentives that enable the bloody hand of organized crime to manipulate the invisible hand of competition," said Mr. Costa. He called for more robust implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, more effective anti-money laundering measures, and a crackdown on bank secrecy.

* *** *
For further information contact:
Walter Kemp
Spokesman and Speechwriter, UNODC
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: walter.kemp@unodc.org

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bulgarian Police Head Busted for Blackmailing | Bulgaria

Bulgarian Police Head Busted for Blackmailing | Bulgaria:
The Head of the Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) from the Bulgarian city of Pazardzhik has been arrested in a police operation.

Gambia: Editorial: Jammeh Selling Ten Tons Of Cocaine??

Gambia: Editorial: Jammeh Selling Ten Tons Of Cocaine??:
If the President is not engaged in cocaine trafficking or shady business practices, how on earth he (Mr. Jammeh) is able to amass such a wealth in a span of 15 years?

Italian mafia’s fortunes confirm trash is good business

Italian mafia’s fortunes confirm trash is good business:
The biggest growth in revenues (from 3.9bn to 5.2bn euros) came from the handling and disposal of trash, such as spent computer parts which were sent to Africa or East Asia.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Report: Drug trafficking via Turkey on the rise

Report: Drug trafficking via Turkey on the rise:
İstanbul, Çanakkale straits new pathways for smuggling cocaine

All of the cocaine smuggling operations busted by Turkish security forces took place in İstanbul. Police say that the İstanbul and Çanakkale straits are the routes of choice for cocaine smugglers, who opt to utilize Bulgarian and Romanian-flagged ships, which have the right of free passage through the straits, to transport cocaine shipments to Russia.

Police teams said that in 2009 over one ton of cocaine was seized in Greece, noting that in connection with this, cocaine was smuggled through the Turkish straits and out through the Black Sea.

Sahara is Fertile Ground for al-Qaeda - Grendel Report

Sahara is Fertile Ground for al-Qaeda - Grendel Report:
The northern halves of Mali and of neighboring Niger, the eastern part of Mauritania and the southern tip of Algeria are now 'red zones' banned for travelers by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, which maintains close ties to the region — a French colony until the 1960s. American and British authorities have also issued strong terrorism warnings.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It may be impossible to protect the North American grid against catastrophic events | Homeland Security News Wire

It may be impossible to protect the North American grid against catastrophic events | Homeland Security News Wire: "Making sure the North American grid continues to operate during high-impact, low-frequency (HILF) events -- coordinated cyber and physical attacks, pandemic diseases, and high-altitude nuclear bomb detonations -- is daunting task; the North American bulk power system comprises more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, thousands of generation plants, and millions of digital controls; more than 1,800 entities own and operate portions of the system, with thousands more involved in the operation of distribution networks across North America.

Transnational ‘land grabbing’ now a global concern

Transnational ‘land grabbing’ now a global concern:
Transnational “land grabbing” has become a global concern, prompting organizers of the world’s largest conference on the rice industry this year to place it on the agenda.

Reputed mafia bosses in Bulgaria acquitted | Earth Times News

Reputed mafia bosses in Bulgaria acquitted | Earth Times News:
The trial began four years ago and is, so far, the largest involving reputed mafia in the country. The court verdicts came just weeks before the next European Union report on Bulgaria. Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007, has been repeatedly criticised for having an ineffective judicial system.

The Mafia likes the Netherlands Dutch news | Expatica The Netherlands

The Mafia likes the Netherlands Dutch news | Expatica The Netherlands:
“Holland is at the centre of Europe’s cocaine routes. This is largely thanks to the Port of Rotterdam and the proximity of Germany. The Netherlands is also a favourite place for the criminals to invest their illicit profits or to go to ground. It’s not like they’re in the country just to traffick cocaine. They also need to do their money laundering.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jamaica’s assertive gangs symptom of deeper crisis

Jamaica’s assertive gangs symptom of deeper crisis:
The lands of the Caribbean archipelago are in crisis, perhaps their worst ever, a condition that stands in stark contrast to thriving South America. The Caribbean economies have been unable to find a niche in a globalized world economy. Jamaica’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 130 per cent, one of the highest, and its unemployment rate is 14.5 per cent. Even Puerto Rico, once the most prosperous of all islands, is bankrupt.

Since its inception, the Caribbean has been the most globalized region in the developing world — in terms of the powers that made it, the populations that formed it and its integration into the world economy as “King Sugar” financed several European empires. After independence, the islands latched onto special access and privileges in the markets of the old and new colonial powers.

Yet with globalization and liberalization, these privileges evaporated (the banana regime with the EU comes to mind; tax havens may be next), and Caribbean nations have been left holding the bag. Even tourism, hailed as the region’s last best hope, is succumbing to global trends. As the airfare share of a travel package gets lower, a Thai vacation can be cheaper than a Jamaican one.

Globalization embraces some and tosses out others. The Caribbean is being tossed out.

BBC News - Two tons of cocaine seized in The Gambia

Two tons of cocaine seized in The Gambia:
At least two tonnes of cocaine with a street value estimated at $1bn has been seized in The Gambia, bound for Europe

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Uganda airport fights increasing drug trafficking - Afrik.com : Africa news, Maghreb news - The african daily newspaper

Uganda airport fights increasing drug trafficking - Afrik.com : Africa news, Maghreb news - The african daily newspaper:
Police at Entebbe International Airport said Monday that they are worried about the increasing number of drug traffickers from the region and other parts of the world using Entebbe airport as their conduit.

MAJOR COCAINE “CATCH” IN GAMBIA

MAJOR COCAINE “CATCH” IN GAMBIA:
The impoverished nation of the Gambia is gradually becoming a safe-haven for drug cartel networks—notably drug dealers from South America, Guinea Bissau, and the country’s indigenous local citizens who used the West African country to traffic cocaine and other dangerous drugs, the Freedom Newspaper can report

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nile is our God given right!

Nile is our God given right!:
“Broadly speaking, the conflict of interest exists between the seven upstream and two downstream nations. Egypt and Sudan want to maintain the status quo of the monopoly of the utilisation of the Nile waters as per the agreements of colonial powers of the 1929 and 59, while the seven upstream nations insist on equitable utilisation of the water resources,” Dr. Yacob added.

The East African: �- News�|Egypt furious over new Nile Water deal threatens legal, 'other' action

The East African: �- News�|Egypt furious over new Nile Water deal threatens legal, 'other' action:
The upstream countries want to be able to implement irrigation and hydro-power projects in consultation with Egypt and Sudan, but without Egypt being able to exercise the veto power it was given by a 1929 colonial-era treaty with Britain.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mafia’s waste disposal business flourishes in Italy in 2009

Mafia’s waste disposal business flourishes in Italy in 2009:
The mafia’s waste disposal and illegal dumping business in Italy continued to flourish in 2009, defying the global economy’s woes, environmental organisation Legambiente said on Friday.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pambazuka - Plugging Africa's leak

Pambazuka - Plugging Africa's leak:
Illicit flows have been a consistent and crippling problem in African countries. The Global Financial Integrity study found that illicit funds from the continent have continued to ratchet upwards every decade since the 1970s at an average rate of 12 per cent per year. In fact, Africa is a net creditor to the world – it ‘gives’ back to the world through illicit capital flight at least twice, and in some regions thrice, the amount of capital it receives in external assistance. No wonder, then, that this staggering loss of capital seriously hampers Africa's efforts at poverty alleviation and economic development, decade after decade.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guinea Bissau drops treason charge against Bubo Na Tchuto

Guinea Bissau drops treason charge against Bubo Na Tchuto:
Guinea Bissau has dropped charges against controversial former navy chief, Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto, a notorious drug baron who fled to Gambia after been accused of attempted coup plot in 2008.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Al Qaeda's No. 3 believed killed in Pakistan - latimes.com

Al Qaeda's No. 3 believed killed in Pakistan - latimes.com


Actually, he was al Qaeda No. 3.5.

Caribbean re-emerges as a drug corridor | GlobalPost

Caribbean re-emerges as a drug corridor | GlobalPost:
Five Dominicans killed for knowing too much about a drug lord. Spiking murder rates in Puerto Rico. Shootings in the normally paradise-like islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Long before Kingston, Jamaica, erupted in violence last week, the Caribbean was already becoming an increasingly dangerous way station for drug traffickers.

With the United States and Mexico working to tighten their border, which is the preferred drug trafficking route, the Caribbean is “re-emerging as a corridor” for South American drugs to get to the U.S., said Dominican security expert Lilian Bobea.

Editorial: Who is in control in Guinea Bissau?

Editorial: Who is in control in Guinea Bissau?:
Already the issue of drug trafficking remains a domineering subject in international discourses; and anytime it is raised Guinea Bissau is sure to be mentioned. Its military leaders are in the middle of it. Clearly both Gambia and Senegal are getting their fair share of the problem there - for the former in the form of drug issues and the latter in the form of rebel incursions and probably also drugs.

Monday, May 31, 2010

IS GHANA REALLY THE CENTRAL OF THE AFRICAN CRIME NETWORKS? | Feature Article | ModernGhana.com News

IS GHANA REALLY THE CENTRAL OF THE AFRICAN CRIME NETWORKS? | Feature Article | ModernGhana.com News:
The Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana's capital, plays as a clearing Portr, a crucial role. Furthermore, the ports of Tema and Sekondi are used. At the border post Aflao (Togo), Elubo and Sampa (Cote d'Ivoire) plays also from many things. In 2004 alone, in Ghana, approximately 620 tons of cocaine seized 71 tons of heroin and 765 tons of cannabis. The amounts involved are significant.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

B92 - News - In focus - New survey on corruption in Serbia

B92 - News - In focus - New survey on corruption in Serbia:
Some 90 percent of Serbian citizens believe that corruption is a customary occurrence in Serbia.

Bulgaria: Latin American Cocaine Increasingly Enters EU through Bulgaria - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

Bulgaria: Latin American Cocaine Increasingly Enters EU through Bulgaria - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency:
An increasing amount of cocaine from Latin America is reaching Western Europe through the southeastern part of the continent, according to the EMCDDA data.

Even though the major amount of the Latin American cocaine still goes directly to Western Europe, the counties of Central and Eastern Europe are emerging as a convenient new transit route, according to Laurent Laniel from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, as cited by BGNES.

The cocaine traffickers are said to be using more and more the Balkans where there is already a thick network of channels for all kinds of trafficking – human, drug, or arms.

Threat from drug trade knows no borders | The Post

Threat from drug trade knows no borders | The Post:
Possibly the most disturbing social and political reality, one that we cannot seem to deal with, is that this terrible industry has increasingly become the only option for the millions who live in perpetual poverty.

Quite simply, drugs are the only part of our great 21st-century global, free-market society they can get their hands on, like Jamaica’s 21stcenturyRobin Hood.

Jamaicans see little to choose between drug gangs and bloodstained soldiers | World news | The Observer

Jamaicans see little to choose between drug gangs and bloodstained soldiers | World news | The Observer:
But growing suspicion that the army operation to capture Christopher 'Dudus' Coke and extradite him to the US turned into a bloodbath of extra-judicial killings is threatening to sweep away public support for the government's attempt to assert control over what has been called a 'state within a state'.

Drug peddling on the rise | Nigeria

Drug peddling on the rise | Nigeria:
The recent arrest
of a deportee, Ene Patrick, 34, and eight others for allegedly
smuggling about 11.45kg of illegal substances have further confirmed
experts’ worries on the rising cases of drug trafficking in the country.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Drug subs ‘bringing cocaine to Britain’ | The Sun |News

Drug subs ‘bringing cocaine to Britain’ | The Sun |News:
Rear Admiral Anderson added 'We re starting to see the use of submarines on the West coast of South America. 'The expectation is that if they re successful there they will start to use those more exotic means in other passages.'