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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bailed Kyle Thain and James Harris return from Spain

Posted On 23:06 0 comments

 

Two men from Essex accused of attempted murder in Spain have returned to England. Kyle Thain, 24, and James Harris, 29, had been in Spain for the past seven months after being accused of attacking two men in an Alicante bar in July 2011. The pair, both from Southend, were held in a Spanish prison for four months without charge. They have now been allowed to return to England on strict bail conditions. Mr Harris returned to the UK on Tuesday and his friend Mr Thain arrived at Stansted Airport on Wednesday evening. New lawyer As part of the conditions of their return to the UK, both men must sign in at the Spanish consulate in London twice a month. Speaking before her son Mr Thain's arrival, Sharon Harris, said: "I am so excited and nervous at the same time. "I still can't believe it. I won't be happy until I've got my arms around him at the airport." Both men have protested their innocence and have said they can prove they were elsewhere at the time of the attack. They were released from jail in November and given their passports back after each paid £6,000 in bail, but were told they could not leave the country. A new lawyer has now negotiated their return home. Pablo Sebastian, a Spanish lawyer working in Alicante with offices in Hadleigh in Essex, has been helping the boys' families secure their release. "We are very relieved to have them home," he said. "It is an improvement because they are back with their friends, family and at their jobs." 'Lives disrupted' Mr Sebastian said the men's "impeccable behaviour" while on bail in Spain had persuaded the Spanish judge to allow them back to the UK. It is thought the men's families have paid about £25,000 to cover travel, accommodation and legal costs since the pair were arrested. The men must now wait to hear if they must return to Spain for a trial. Richard Howitt, MEP for the East of England, is now calling for a change in European law to ensure minimum standards of justice across all member states. "The idea they have been several months in prison, outside the country and suffered such a huge financial loss is unacceptable," he said. "If we had a system whereby you respect and uphold each other's system of justice, then Kyle and James could have come home seven months ago. "But their lives have been totally disrupted, as have their families', which is why we need better standards of judicial co-operation at European level."


Gang murdered drug dealer then blew up his house

Posted On 12:20 0 comments

 

Drugs gang executed one of their dealer's and then blew up his house to cover-up the murder, a court heard this afternoon. Colliston Edwards, 38, of no fixed address and Andre Johnson, 25, also of no fixed address are accused of shooting Leroy Burnett, 43, after he kept back some of their money from drugs deals. Max Walter, 21, of no fixed address was then recruited by the pair to blow-up his house in Crichton Road, Battersea the Old Bailey heard. Mr Burnett was allegedly a low level drug supplier, who dealt drugs in Wandsworth Road and the Nine Elms area on behalf of Edwards. Edwards, whose street name is Lousy, was allegedly a drug dealer who commuted between Doncaster and South London and worked in a team with Johnson, known as Tallman. The court heard that Lousy had two mobile phones and gave out the numbers to his customers, travelling to their homes to sell the drugs. He allegedly expected Mr Burnett to carry out sales and look after his phones whilst he was away in Doncaster, but problems arose when Mr Burnett started miscounting money owed to him. Prosecuting, Aftab Jaffbrjee said: "There was simply no reason other than this pernicious deed of drugs supply to cost Leroy his life. Ads by Google Build Eco Friendly Visit us Today for Carbon Reduction Eco Tips for Construction Industry! www.CutCarbon.info Election Boundary Changes Constituencies are changing. Have your say on our report, Autumn 2013 independent.gov.uk/boundarychanges "He was executed in his home having been shot in the head at point blank range. There was nothing else that accounted in his life for such a brutal attack. "Walter then blew up the entire house causing destruction to the building and the street." Edwards and Johnson are both on trial for joint enterprise of murder and intending to pervert the course of justice. They deny having anything to do with the murder or the cover-up. Walter has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and arson, but denies being reckless as to whether life was endangered. The trial which opened this afternoon is expected to last six weeks.


Drug gangs report blasting UK cities as dangerous

Posted On 11:25 0 comments

 

 Comment By Professor Alan Stevens Drug gangs report blasting UK cities as dangerous is too confusing The problems are nowhere near as deep in Manchester or Liverpool as they are in Rio de Janeiro – or even San Francisco A masked municipal policeman stands outside a shopping mall in MexicoAP On one hand it is right to state that there are communities in British cities suffering from social exclusion and marginalisation and that this contributes to their drug and crime problems. But on the other, these ­problems are nowhere near as deep in Manchester or Liverpool as they are in Rio de Janeiro or Ciudad Juarez – or even San Francisco or Los Angeles. The problem with the INCB report is that the wording is unclear. It gives the impression that its comments on no-go areas could apply equally to all of these cities. But it should have been more careful in specifying which ones it was referring to. The cities in Central and South America have more extreme ­problems which come from bigger social inequalities. They are dramatically more affected by crime and health problems. For example, in the past few years in Rio there have been repeated attempts to crack down on the areas controlled by violent drug markets. For a while these places were no-go zones. But authorities have acted in a militaristic fashion in the past year as they prepare for the World Cup.


British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control

Posted On 11:19 0 comments


British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control, a United Nations drugs chief said yesterday. Professor Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said there was “a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities” in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. The development of “no-go areas” was being fuelled by threats such as social inequality, migration and celebrities normalising drug abuse, he warned. Helping marginalised communities with drugs problems “must be a priority”, he said. “We are looking at social cohesion, the social disintegration and illegal drugs. “In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which develop which become no-go areas. “Drug traffickers, organised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas.” Prof Ghodse called for such communities to be offered drug abuse prevention programmes, treatment and rehabilitation services, and the same levels of educational, employment and recreational opportunities as in the wider society. The INCB’s annual report for 2011 found persistent social inequality, migration, emerging cultures of excess and a shift in traditional values were some of the key threats to social cohesion. As the gap between rich and poor widens, and “faced with a future with limited opportunities, individuals within these communities may increasingly become disengaged from the wider society and become involved in a range of personally and socially harmful behaviours, including drug abuse and drug dealing,” it said.


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Colombia Makes Mass Arrest of Gang Linked to Sinaloa Cartel

Posted On 22:26 0 comments

 

Colombia's police have announced the arrest of 34 suspected members of the Galeano Clan, a drug trafficking group which allegedly had links with the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel and with Guatemalan criminal organizations. Those arrested are suspected members of a group called the Galeano Clan, which the authorities say has ties to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and to Guatemalan trafficking groups the Lorenzanas and the Mendozas. The 34 suspects are set to be extradited to the US to face trafficking charges. In the course of the investigation against the group, which began in July last year, the authorities seized 11 tons of cocaine and 25 airplanes. Police chief General Oscar Naranjo  said that 90 percent of cocaine production in Colombia's southeast passed through the group's hands. InSight Crime Analysis The fact that this little-known group was apparently responsible for such a large proportion of the cocaine production in one part of Colombia draws attention to the role of smaller gangs in the country's drug trade, while much of the authorities' attention is focused on the neo-paramilitary groups (BACRIM). The operation is an example of the Colombian authorities' ongoing use of extradition as a tool against criminals -- Naranjo said it was the largest capture of people wanted to face charges in the US in the country's history. If the group does have close links with the Sinaloa Cartel this would be further evidence of the Mexican gang's expansion in Colombia. In September, the authorities seized $250 million in assets that supposedly belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel.


Monday, 27 February 2012

Britain’s crime hot spots revealed

Posted On 09:02 0 comments

 

The findings, posted on an interactive website, will allow the public to discover how many cases of robbery, vehicle crime and other offences take place in their area – and to rank areas from best to worst. Oxford Street in London's West End was revealed to be the shopping destination surrounded by the most crime. During 2011, there were 656 vehicle crimes, 915 robberies and 2,597 violent crimes within three quarters of a mile of the Oxford Street branch of John Lewis. There were also 5,039 reported instances of anti-social behaviour – equivalent to 14 a day. High streets and shopping centres in Bristol, Brighton and Derby also featured in a top 10 of crime hot spots, according to the website ukcrimestats.com.  A spokesman for the New West End Company, which represents Oxford Street traders, said: "We need to remember that this is an area with extremely high footfall, with over 200 million visits a year. This data needs to be seen in context. "Oxford Street has seen an overall reduction in crime over the past 10 years, with our lobby for harder sentencing on crime having a positive impact." The Croydon postcode CR0 was found to have the highest number of crimes reported last year, with 5,000 more than any other postal area. The south London suburb was the scene of some of the most severe rioting last summer. During 2011, 2,081 burglaries, 3,258 violent crimes and 8,316 instances of anti-social behaviour were reported in the CR0 postcode district. Dan Lewis, the chief executive of the Economic Policy Centre, the Right-of-centre think-tank which carried out the analysis and created the website, said: "On the one hand it is good that the Government is now publishing such detailed crime statistics, but the official police website does not allow the public to put these figures in context. "It has taken us, as a private sector provider, to harness this data in a way which is much more helpful to consumers. "It's not just important that the Government becomes more transparent, it's vital that what information is published is actually useful to the public." Seven of the 10 schools with the highest number of crimes within three quarters of a mile of their gates were in London. Two were in Portsmouth and one in Bristol. Almost 8,250 acts of anti-social behaviour, robbery, vehicle crime or violent crime were reported within three quarters of a mile of Charing Cross railway station in London last year, 1,700 more than Newcastle's central railway station, which had the second-highest crime rate. There were also high numbers of crimes around stations in Birmingham, Blackpool and east London. Anyone craving a life free from crime should consider a move to Wales. Nearly a third of the 50 postcode districts with the lowest number of reported crimes last year were in Wales, with several on the island of Anglesey. Official figures suggest that the Welsh village of Garndolbenmaen, on the edge of the Snowdonia national park, had one reported crime last year – a single case of anti-social behaviour. Steve Churchman, who runs the village shop serving the 300 residents, said the area was "like Beirut" when he moved there from London eight years ago. "We had a real problem with anti-social behaviour back then," said Mr Churchman. "There was this gang of kids. We had a phonebox vandalised, a bus stop graffitied and a few break-ins." Mr Churchman said the falling crime figures in the village were a result of pushing for convictions on those residents who stepped out of line and having police office and community support officers out on the beat. The children who caused the trouble had grown up and were now "nice lads", he added.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Top cop’s declaration of war has Maniac Latin Disciples reeling

Posted On 05:25 0 comments

 

The intersection looks like countless others on the Northwest Side. Lots of trees, well-kept frame homes, a plant-filled traffic circle. But there’s also a street sign spray-painted with a blue pitchfork — the symbol of the Maniac Latin Disciples. It’s Barry and Spaulding. “B.S.” for short. The gang members who call it their turf, however, have a new name for the neighborhood surrounding B.S. “It’s like the Bermuda Triangle,” one high-ranking gang member told the Chicago Sun-Times. “As long as you fly around it, you’re OK. But the minute you drive in there, you get sucked in [by the police.]” Barry and Spaulding is Ground Zero in the Chicago Police Department’s all-out war on the Maniac Latin Disciples. In a rare interview, the ranking gang member made it clear Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s call to “obliterate” the gang was not just cop bravado. The unwanted police attention has driven gang members off the street corners where they sell drugs and has kept rivals from claiming the turf, the Maniac Latin Disciples lieutenant said on the condition of anonymity. He said the last time the gang saw anything close to this level of heat from the cops was in 1978 during Operation Pot-Roc — named for the gang’s turf at Potomac and Rockwell — when dozens of members were arrested on drug charges. “But we’ve never been called out like this,” said the gang member. “They’re saying we’re a menace to society. It’s like the Al Capone days when they called him Public Enemy No. 1.” The Maniac Latin Disciples were founded in Humboldt Park in the 1960s and have 300 to 500 members across Chicago, along with suburban factions, police say. Officers have made more than 1,800 arrests of the gang’s members since the police war was declared in June. They also have recovered 24 guns and impounded more than 100 cars. And they’ve filled out hundreds of “contact cards,” the documents police complete after they stop or frisk gang members. Maniac Latin Disciples members are now under gang orders to keep violence to a minimum because of the police crackdown, the ranking member said. Still, they’re continuing to arm themselves for self-defense, he said. “Everybody’s toting a gun,” he said. “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six. You can’t disarm because you’re vulnerable.” The Avondale Park shootings Maniac Latin Disciples member Antonio Bucio is the one who brought on the heat, police say. Bucio allegedly shot two young girls, ages 2 and 7, on June 8 in Avondale Park on the Northwest Side while he was gunning for rival Latin Kings. The 2-year-old was grazed in the head. The 7-year-old was shot in the back. Both survived. The shootings provoked McCarthy to declare war on the entire gang — “group accountability,” as he calls it. “We’re going to obliterate that gang,” he told police brass in a meeting in June. “Every one of their locations has to get blown up until they cease to exist.” An imprisoned leader of the Maniac Latin Disciples is furious at Bucio because the police attention is now undercutting the gang’s drug sales, sources say. The leader ordered Bucio’s expulsion from the gang, sources say. Chillingly, he also ordered fellow gang members to approach Bucio in the Cook County Jail and cut off his facial tattoo: a “D” with horns representing the gang. Bucio has it tattooed next to his right eye. “Rip the tattoo off of his face!” was the leader’s order. Only the intervention of other Maniac Latin Disciples in the gang’s hierarchy prevented the gruesome command from being carried out, sources say. “The kid did what he did, but he’s just a soldier,” according to the Maniac Latin Disciples member who spoke to the Sun-Times. “He [Bucio] brought so much heat to the family, I would cast him out, too — but not so violently.” The city sticker flap The gang was in the headlines earlier this month when City Clerk Susana Mendoza axed the design for the city’s 2012-13 vehicle sticker because symbols on the sticker might be “misconstrued” as honoring the Maniac Latin Disciples. The design by a 15-year-old student artist was selected in an online contest. The stickers were just days away from being printed when the allegations of the hidden gang signs arose. The teen’s mother denied he was in a gang or that he put gang symbols in the entry. Law-enforcement databases list the teen as a suspected Maniac Latin Disciples member who denied an affiliation with the gang, sources say. The sticker flap heaped even more unwanted attention on the gang. The city’s heightened attention is evident in the number of contact cards officers have completed for Maniac Latin Disciples. Between June 9 and Jan. 29, officers filled out 1,175 contact cards for the gang, officials said. The information is stored for a year, according to the department. The gang’s faction near Barry and Spaulding is really feeling the pressure. That’s because “B.S.” is close to Avondale Park, the Latin Kings’ territory where the two girls were shot. The pressure is keeping Maniac Latin Disciples off their corners — as well as their rivals like the Latin Kings and Spanish Cobras who don’t want to get stopped by the police, either. Some Maniac Latin Disciples in the hottest areas are traveling to the gang’s other strongholds where they’re given a time slot to sell their drugs. “You’re more than welcome to go to another set and make money,” the ranking gang member said. “If you have to take care of something now, you call on your cell phone, get to where you need to go, take care of business and go back home. These shorties [younger members] aren’t used to being cooped up. Now you have dozens of cars constantly driving around and the police are pulling them over.” He said he knows seven associates whose cars have been impounded. “Most of the shorties don’t have licenses or insurance,” the ranking member said. “They’re easy to pick off.” He said a lot of them aren’t reclaiming their seized cars because they don’t have the money. Some of the seized cars contained hidden guns the police didn’t find, he added. Asked if he thinks the police will let up, the gang member acknowledged, “Stopping the violence is the only way. They know we’ll always be selling drugs. The cops will tell you, ‘I won’t trip out about you having weed in your pocket to feed your kids.’ But when you start shooting across schoolyards and shooting little innocent kids and s--- like that, they’re not going to tolerate that. I get mad. I’ve told the mother-f------ shorties in our mob to stop doing that f------ b-------. How do you think the parents feel? That’s our neighborhood.” With more and more of the gang’s members going to jail, the Cook County Sheriff’s criminal intelligence unit has been speaking to jailhouse sources to develop new information on the gang’s hierarchy and its dealings. The Chicago Police Department is using that information to build new criminal cases against the gang, sources said. Another gang under the spotlight The Maniac Latin Disciples isn’t the only gang with a bulls-eye on its back. Members of the Spanish Cobras and YLOCs were implicated in the murder of off-duty Chicago Police Officer Clifton Lewis, who was shot to death during a robbery on Dec. 29 while moonlighting in a security job at a West Side corner store. After murder charges were announced against Tyrone Clay and Edgardo Colon, the police superintendent threw down the gauntlet against the Spanish Cobras, too. “This case revolves around Spanish Cobras,” McCarthy told reporters on Jan. 7. “And I can assure that group accountability is going to be pursued vigorously and there will be fall-out. We’re going to take care of business with that.” The ranking Maniac Latin Disciples member said he knows that rival Spanish Cobras are getting hit hard. He’s hearing from his guys that the Cook County Jail is seeing an influx of them. “Cobras are hot right now because of the cop [Lewis],” he said. “I grew up near the Cobras. I know they’re getting popped off.” Surprisingly, the gang member said he didn’t know police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s name — even though the superintendent is the source of the Maniac Latin Disciples’ recent troubles. But he does know McCarthy’s face from the TV news as the “top dog who gives the orders to the foot soldiers.” “All I know is that people are hiding under rocks because of him,” the gang member said. McCarthy’s commanders responded that their strategy is working. Leo Schmitz, former head of gang enforcement and current Englewood District commander, said, “They’re afraid of us. They’re afraid to shoot. I’d call it a winning situation. We’re going to stick around until the superintendent says back off.” Shootings are down Police say the Shakespeare police district, just south of where the girls were shot, has seen a dramatic decrease in shootings. Between Jan. 9 and Feb. 5, for example, there weren’t any shootings in the district, compared to seven for the same period of 2011, police said. Calls for police service also have dropped dramatically in areas where the gang is concentrated, officials noted. The gang has strongholds in three police beats in the Shakespeare District. Beat 1423 saw calls for police service drop from 127 for the last six months of 2010 to 56 for the last six months of 2011. The other two beats — 1411 and 1412 — have seen calls for service drop as well, the department said. The Logan Square neighborhood includes parts of all three police beats. Larry Ligas of Logan Square Concerned Citizens, a frequent department critic, acknowledged the neighborhood has grown safer since the department put the hammer down on the Maniac Latin Disciples. Ligas said there’s “very little corner activity” involving the gang, although he said he’s still concerned about armed gang “shorties” riding around on bicycles. “The MLDs have been a problem for too long,” Ligas said. “I commend the mayor, I commend the superintendent. But I hope it’s not all ‘p.r.’ fluff and they move on.”


police say hundreds involved in gangwar

Posted On 05:23 0 comments

 

Police said hundreds of people were involved and four have been arrested in a fight at a Ripley, Tennessee apartment complex Thursday night. Police converged on the apartment complex on Gay Street twice Thursday. "We got the phone call at four o'clock," said Ripley City Attorney Steve Crain.  "Thought we had it taken care of at 5:30.  Had another outbreak." Investigators estimate a crowd of 300 people were in the area during the outbreak of fights. "I mean, anywhere you go, it's violence," said Gay Street resident LaShay Taylor.  "It don't make any sense at all.  I'm just speechless." Residents said they have grown accustomed to problems in the community. "It's these gangs," said Gay Street resident Corey Pearson.  "So we need to get a grip on these gangs." Gangs reportedly use the street as a battle ground and often come there specifically to fight. "Gang problems have come from the major cities and they have invaded small towns like Ripley," said Crain.  "You run up and down Highway 51 and every city is going to have some gang-related issues." Ripley police found at least one loaded gun and arrested three adults and one juvenile. "It was handled with no gunfire, no known injuries," said Crain.  "There were four arrests.  I can't go much further than that because the investigation is ongoing." Police said other arrests are likely and they plan to provide extra patrols throughout the apartment complex. "We are trying to head off anything," said Crain.  "Anytime you've had an incident like this, there's a possibility there may be another outbreak." Friday, Gay Street residents said they are fed up with violence in their community. "I got two little boys, and they can't even come outside and enjoy it," said Amelia Taylor.  "They've got to come in the house as soon as night hit, because somebody might shoot.  No telling what might go on around here." Gay Street residents said they are still recovering from the disastrous night. "It was chaos," said Kim Langley.  "It was crazy."


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Forces open fire on Kerobokan jail, which houses Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine

Posted On 23:37 1 comments

 

INMATES at an Indonesian prison in Bali, which holds 12 Australians, have taken over the jail again after a second night of riots. Some 400 heavily armed police and military forces were gathered outside the overcrowded Kerobokan prison, which holds 1,000 inmates, including 12 Australians convicted of drug smuggling. "The prisoners took over the prison again, which forced security personnel to fire warning shots into the air," provincial military command spokesman Wing Handoko told AFP. "The rioters wanted their friends being treated in the hospital to be taken back because they were afraid they would be mistreated by security forces," he added. An AFP reporter heard three minutes of continuous gunfire, but it was not clear if there were any casualties. A flaming torch made of rags wrapped around a pole was flung from inside the prison and landed near a television vehicle, but was extinguished before the fire could spread.  Riots continue in Kerobokan prison The prison was without light because electricity, cut off during Tuesday's rioting, still had not been restored by authorities. "There are 51 foreign prisoners from 17 countries at the prison. We will give them special security if the situation warrants," Handoko said before the shooting. It was not clear whether the most recent riot was close to the wing where Australian or other foreign prisoners are housed. Shouting and the rattling of the prison's inner gates were heard before police opened fire, but after the shooting silence and darkness descended upon the jail with inmates and security forces in a tense stand-off. Heavily armed forces had stormed the prison early Wednesday to regain control after inmates took over the prison during a night of arson and stone-throwing. All 12 Australian prisoners at Kerobokan, including two on death row and six serving life sentences, were safe after that trouble, Australia's foreign ministry said after Indonesian police had regained control of the facility. Some 100 heavily armed police and military had stormed the jail on the holiday island at around dawn on Wednesday, firing volleys of rubber bullets. Officials said they intervened after attempts to negotiate with the rioting prisoners had failed, and after some inmates managed to get hold of firearms. Three inmates had been injured in the legs, and a police officer was lightly hurt, police said. Among the Australians at the jail are convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby and a group known as the "Bali Nine", who were caught attempting to smuggle drugs from Bali. Up to 1,000 armed security forces backed by armoured vehicles and water cannon were stationed Wednesday morning outside the jail, which is in a suburban area of Bali seven kilometres from the tourism hub of Kuta beach. But police said the situation had returned to normal by late afternoon, and that only about 30 armed personnel had remained outside. Police and local reports said Tuesday's trouble began when one inmate stabbed another prisoner on Sunday, touching off reprisals that erupted into a full-blown riot. Prisoners began trashing cells and throwing stones at the guards who were forced to abandon the jail - built for just 300 inmates but now housing more than three times that many prisoners, both male and female. Police said the inmates were in charge for more than seven hours - from around 11pm Tuesday until 6.45am the following morning. Prison staff said the jail's registration office, including the files of prisoners, was destroyed in a blaze. After the rioting Tuesday, Michael Chan whose brother Andrew Chan is one of the Bali Nine, said he was worried about his brother given that during a previous riot "things got pretty bad, and they were in lockdown for a couple of days". Corby's family said she was well, with the women's wing of the prison untouched by the violence. There have been a number of riots at the jail in recent years, including one triggered by a police drug raid in June. It is one of Indonesia's most notorious prisons, with a combustible mix of inmates including convicted murderers, sex offenders and others guilty of violent crimes.


Sweden's Chicago grapples with deadly wave of shootings

Posted On 17:03 0 comments


A wave of execution-style shootings and a police station bombing in Sweden's third largest city have sparked fears that gangster violence is taking hold in a Nordic country widely seen as one of the world's safest places. Only minutes into the new year, a 15-year-old was found with gunshots to his chest and one to his head outside an apartment block in one of Malmo's poorest and most troubled districts, where firefighters have occasionally sought police protection. Eight killings have occurred across the city since a 36-year-old with links to organised crime was gunned down in a parking lot in May last year. The latest victim, a 48-year-old man, was found shot in a car at the end of January. None of the murders have been solved, and now some newspapers are calling Malmo "Sweden's Chicago". "Why don't police have better control?" national daily Svenska Dagbladet asked in an opinion piece, suggesting Malmo look to New York which slashed its crime rates in recent decades. For their part, police refuse to reach the conclusion that the bomb at the police station and the killings were definitely linked, which would gangland violence is out of control. "We believe it's linked to the prevalence of weapons. It is big. But I can't say why we have a larger share here than in Stockholm," Hans Nordin, Deputy Chief Commissioner of Police in the Skane region of southern Sweden, told Reuters. With a population of just 300,000, Malmo is one of Sweden's roughest cities, long a base for smugglers because of its proximity to Denmark, with which it has been connected by a bridge since July 2000. Roughly 40 percent of Malmo's population are first- or second-generation immigrants and one in three is unemployed, compared with a national rate under nine percent. Among young immigrants, the rate is nearly 40 percent. Formerly a prosperous industrial town, much of the old industry has declined and jobs have vanished. Gangs took root here decades ago, starting with motorcycle groups and increasingly dominated by immigrants, at first thanks to an influx in the 1990s of refugees of Balkan wars and then, over the past 20 years, immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and eastern Europe. SHAKING SWEDEN Along with the July 2011 killings of 77 people in Norway by right-wing fanatic Anders Breivik, the city's problems have helped to shatter the cherished image of Sweden as a refuge of safety and peace, sparking a national media debate, soul-searching throughout Sweden and street protests. Dozens of police reinforcements sent in this year are still in the city. "I'm thinking of leaving Malmo because it is getting more and more dangerous," said Henrik Hammar, 28, who stocks shelves at a grocery store and was awakened when a small bomb exploded at the police station in his neighbourhood at the end of January, close to where the latest victim was found. "When it comes to shooting, we are used to that in Malmo. But not bombs," Hammar said outside the police station with a shattered window and a hole torn in its brick wall. The bombing happened in Fosie district, a centre of the violence. The wave of killings since May is not the first to shake Malmo. Peter Mangs was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of three murders and 13 attempted murders over a seven-year period, a string of shootings on Malmo's streets targeting immigrants. Luciano Astudillo, a Chilean-born former MP who was moved by the New Year's Day shooting to launch a campaign to say "Enough is enough," compared the crime wave to the violence that plagues Mexican border towns. "We have the same problem here as in the north of Mexico though on a smaller scale," he said, pointing to the drug and weapons smuggling that pass through Malmo from Denmark on their way to the rest of Scandinavia. "So it is logical for the gangs to gather here and fight each other," he said. Astudillo said he hopes the protests he has helped lead, including a street demonstration by more than 6,000 people on January 6, will make politicians notice what is happening. "I don't think murders will become more and more frequent in the near future, but there is nothing that indicates things will improve a bit longer-term," said Tobias Barkman, a crime reporter at regional daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet. "Society has fallen behind - with regards to the police and to the social situation. It's hard to see any rays of hope."


Violent gangs are deeply entrenched in Spanish Town, just west of Kingston, and in some residential sections of the northwestern parish of St. James, which includes the resort city of Montego Bay.

Posted On 16:21 0 comments

 

 Fighting between the gangs for control of drug trafficking and extortion rackets has long been blamed for the majority of Jamaica’s homicides. Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said at a news conference with Bunting that much of the security forces’ resources are now focused on trying to contain 42 active gang conflicts. Ellington told reporters that the Shower Posse gang, which was controlled by convicted drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke from his slum stronghold of Tivoli Gardens, has been significantly hobbled since his capture in June 2010 but remains an active gang in West Kingston. Bunting said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s nearly two-month-old government intends to fast-track anti-gang legislation and is crafting a new security policy meant to reduce crime to “First World levels” by 2017, when he hopes to have a maximum of just 321 killings. A U.N. study on the Caribbean released earlier this month said Jamaica has had the world’s third-highest murder rate over the past decade, with about 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. Jamaica loses some $529 million a year due to crime, according to the report. Last year, Jamaica had 1,125 slayings, a roughly 22 percent drop from the 1,442 killings in 2010. A record 1,683 people were killed in 2009. Bunting said a major goal is to target gang kingpins and facilitators for organized criminal networks, not the people lower down the chain. Many of those arrested in previous years have been underlings who had little connection to gang leadership. Such workers are easily replaced. “We don’t always want to be chasing out the symptoms, we want to get to the infection,” he told reporters at the prime minister’s offices. Bunting intends to create a task force to identify and arrest crime facilitators, such as accountants, real estate brokers, lawyers and corrupt public officials. He also hopes to give courts greater power to seize their assets. He also said Jamaican society must undergo “mental reconditioning” to encourage more people to report crimes. Those who live in Jamaica’s slums are deeply distrustful of the police and authorities, and an anti-informant culture is widespread.


Bolivian minibus gang murdered up to 69 people on their way to work

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Police in Bolivia are blaming a gang for a spate of early morning murders in Bolivia where people have been strangled on minibuses while heading into work. Up to 69 people have been killed and dozens more were left for dead in El Alto, a working class city of one million people on an arid plateau above Bolivia's capital, La Paz. "This kind of assault came about because people, by necessity, take whatever transport they can get," said Felix Rocha, chief of Bolivia's police. Gang members would ride the buses posing as passengers, police said. After their victims had boarded, they were strangled with a rope or scarf and stripped of valuables that often amounted to little more than a mobile phone and the clothes on their backs. A 64-year-old man who said he survived an attack by the gang, recounted leaving his house at 4am on 5 February on his way to the bank where he collects his monthly pension. He said he boarded what he thought was a public transit minibus and as usual, his 25-cent fare was collected by "a cholita," or indigenous woman. "They had me sit in the front and suddenly I felt a scarf tightening around my neck. I fought back but they hit me in the ribs and face and I fell unconscious," said the man, who asked to be identified only by first name, Macario, because he fears for his safety. "I woke up later in a dumpster," Macario added. Gone was his mobile phone and the equivalent of £35 in the local currency. Police last week announced the arrest of eight alleged members of the gang, ranging in age from 30 to 45 and including a woman, Yuli Gutierrez Jimenez. Rocha said police seized four 14-seat minibuses used by the gang. Most of the killings occurred between 4am and 6am, when public transport is relatively scarce and only 400 police are on duty in the entire city, which is mostly unpaved and where many neighbourhoods lack running water and electricity. The gang is believed to have killed 69 people whose bodies have been found over the past 13 months, said Rocha, though prosecutor Santos Valencia said investigators are still trying to determine if the group was responsible for all those deaths. More than 70 people told police they had survived attacks after recognising gang members in local media reports, Rocha said. Other such gangs are known to exist, but the minibus gang seems to have been the best organised and most methodical, he added. Its alleged leader, Julio Edwin Valdez, 33, was arrested last week. Also captured was Galo Mamani, the bus's driver. Prosecutors said the two face murder charges but offered few other details. Valencia told reporters that police found wallets and the clothes of victims in the homes of those detained. Authorities did not say how they tracked down the alleged criminals. Rocha said police were investigating whether the group was also involved in the recent murders of several taxi drivers whose vehicles were stolen after the drivers were strangled.


Members of Los Zeta cartel are among the 30 convicts who escaped from a prison in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon

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Members of Los Zeta cartel are among the 30 convicts who escaped from a prison in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, it was reported on Tuesday.   Among the fugitives are former officials, ex corrupt police officers and drug distributors from that dangerous criminal gang, whose captures were considered important achievements by federal forces at the time. Bosses Oscar Manuel Bernal Soriano, known as La Araña, and Rogelio Chacha Quintanilla, aka El Yeyo, are included in that group, the newspaper Milenio reported. Also on the list are Hector Rousvel Huerta, known as El Chester, accused of collecting prohibited weapons and drug trafficking, and Francisco Javier Puente, known as El Choco, former chief of Los Zetas hired assassin group. The mass escape from the prison of Apodaca, near the city of Monterrey, took place after a fight in which 44 inmates were killed. The fight was caused to cover the prison break. Prison security agents are involved in those events, which occurred at daybreak on Sunday, according to the investigations.


Gunmen Kill 5 Taxi Drivers in Northern Mexico

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Gunmen killed five taxi drivers Tuesday in the streets of the northern Mexican industrial city of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state Security Council said. “The attack happened at around 10:00 a.m. in the Solidaridad neighborhood” in the northern part of Monterrey, a council spokesman told Efe. Several men aboard an SUV opened fire on a taxi stand at a busy shopping center located at the intersection of Cabezada and Luis Donaldo Colosio avenues. The gunmen managed to get away, leaving the streets covered with bodies. The security forces cordoned off the area, with soldiers guarding the crime scene investigators sent to gather evidence. The shootings occurred just hours after three suspected Gulf cartel members – two men and a woman – were murdered at Monterrey’s Topo Chico prison by two killers from the rival Zetas drug cartel. On Sunday, Zetas gunmen massacred 44 Gulf cartel members imprisoned at the penitentiary in Apodaca, a city in the Monterrey metropolitan area, while 30 Zetas members escaped with the assistance of several guards. Monterrey and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence that has left about 2,500 people dead since March 2010. Los Zetas has been battling an alliance of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia drug cartels, known as the Nueva Federacion, for control of the Monterrey metropolitan area and smuggling routes into the United States. Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel. After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories. Mexico’s drug war death toll stood at 47,515 from December 2006 to Sept. 30. The murder total has grown every year of President Felipe Calderon’s military offensive against the well-funded, heavily armed drug cartels. Unofficial tallies published in December by independent daily La Jornada put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000


13 Zetas Members Arrested in Western Mexico

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A total of 13 suspected members of the Los Zetas drug cartel were arrested in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, officials said. The suspects, two of whom are women, were detained Monday morning in Tlajomulco, a city located about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, after several business owners complained about an extortion racket, the Public Safety Secretariat said. The group was recruited by a “Zetas boss,” known only as “Don Jose,” who took them to the city a few months ago to “execute some criminal activities,” Alfredo Vazquez, identified as the cell’s leader, told investigators. The cartel provided between 100,000 pesos and 150,000 pesos ($7,000 and $11,000) every two weeks to cover the payroll, Vazquez said. Seven of the suspects are from the central state of Guanajuato, four are from the northern state of Durango and two are from Jalisco, the secretariat said, adding that some of them have prior criminal records. State police seized an AR-15 assault rifle, five handguns and two SUVs with Durango tags in the raid, the secretariat said. Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel. After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories. Los Zetas has been blamed for several massacres in recent years. The cartel was accused of being behind the Aug. 23, 2010, massacre of 72 migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, at a ranch outside San Fernando, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Los Zetas has also been blamed for the massacre of 27 peasants in May at a ranch in Guatemala’s Peten province, which borders Mexico and Belize. Zetas gunmen set fire to the Casino Royale in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, on Aug. 25, killing 52 gamblers and employees trapped inside, most of whom died of smoke inhalation.


A Hells Angels member and a man said to be a gang associate were arrested and charged with knowingly taking part in the manufacture of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

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CAMDEN police and special units have seized 7.5 kilograms of the drug ice estimated to be worth $1 million from a Narellan property. Officers executed search warrants on Tuesday, February 14. A Hells Angels member and a man said to be a gang associate were arrested and charged with knowingly taking part in the manufacture of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. The two, a Narellan man, 36, and a Catherine Field man, 41, faced Campbelltown Court last week. A Narellan woman, 30, was charged with two counts of possessing a prohibited drug in relation to cannabis and amphetamines found at the Narellan property. She will appear in Camden Court on March 12. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richmond said two sophisticated laboratories had been found. "The two clandestine laboratories shut down by police this week were sophisticated and capable of making large quantities of prohibited drugs [methylamphetamine]," Chief Inspector Richmond said. "Those drugs will no longer be making their way to local streets and causing harm to members of the community." Large quantities of chemicals were also found and members of the Drug Squad's chemical operation team dismantled the laboratories.


Hells Angels member has sentencing moved

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Mark Duclos, 48, of Fairbanks, Ala., had his sentencing moved to coincide with fellow Hells Angels club member George Caruso, 58, of Shirley, Mass. Duclos and Caruso were involved in a stabbing that took place during last year's Sturgis motorcycle rally. Duclos, who was found guilty of aggravated assault, was scheduled to be sentenced today, Feb. 21, though his sentencing was moved to March 5 at 10:45 a.m. along with Caruso. The pair were involved in a fight between the Hells Angels and the Mongols motorcycle club on Aug. 10, which resulted in a stabbing, sending a Mongols member and a Hells Angels member to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Aggravated assault is a class three felony and carries a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine. Simple assault is a class one misdemeanor and carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.


Dartmouth shooting victim connected to Hells Angels

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A man found dead on a Halifax-area road Sunday night had a Hells Angels connection and was shot in the back of the head, thechronicleherald.ca has learned. Halifax RCMP identified James Alexander (Sandy) Lyle, 55, as the victim and have declared his death a homicide. It’s Halifax's second homicide this year. “He died of a gunshot wound and a weapon has been recovered,” Halifax RCMP spokeswoman Const. Tammy Lobb said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m not revealing where it was recovered because that’s part of the investigation." Lobb said police will analyze and trace the gun. Two separate sources told thechronicleherald.ca that Lyle was shot in the back of the head. Lobb would not talk about any possible motive or suspects in the killing. She said no arrests had been made by late Tuesday afternoon. Lyle had a long history of drug dealing and was arrested in a major operation against the now-defunct Halifax chapter of the Hells Angels. That Dec. 4, 2001 sweep, called Operation Hammer, took in half of the membership of the Halifax chapter, which ended up closing as a result. About 200 police officers took part in the raid, in which police stormed the gang’s Dutch Village Road clubhouse, plus other sites in Halifax, Kings County, Bible Hill and Sherbrooke, Que. They arrested a trio of Hells Angels – Clay Gordon MacRae, Jeffrey Albert Lynds and Arthur Daine Harrie – along with Lyle, well-known criminal James Melvin Sr., and 15 others. Lyle was charged with trafficking marijuana. Harrie was arrested in Quebec on the day of that raid. Lynds was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Montreal jail cell last month. He was awaiting trial for two murders in that province in 2010. In March 1991, Lyle received a five-year sentence – his only federal stint - for running a cocaine operation from his Maple Street home with his younger brother Martin Ellsworth Lyle. Lyle was also found guilty of possessing a loaded .45 calibre handgun. Martin Lyle was given three years. Around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, a passing motorist saw a body on the side of Montague Road in Montague Gold Mines and called police. Emergency Health Services were called to the scene and tried unsuccessfully to revive the victim, Lobb said. On Monday morning, a number of police investigators went to a home on Dartmouth’s Cannon Terrace and confirmed it was connected to the suspicious death. Police were still at the home Tuesday. Provincial records name James Lyle and Carla Balsor as the home’s owners. Officers were seen working inside a garage at 14 Cannon Terrace and later removed a Honda SUV from the scene. Lobb said there were no drugs in the home, which has been searched since the killing. Neighbours said the home has a surprising amount of security, which includes surveillance cameras, frosted windows and an intercom at the front door. Lyle and Balsor used to live on nearby Sea King Drive, but sold that house in 2007. Balsor is the owner of the Rodeo Lounge and Restaurant in Burnside. The Mounties are asking anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in Montague Gold Mines or around the house on Cannon Terrace on Sunday to contact them. Lobb would not say if Lyle was at his home before he was found on Montague Road.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Murdered man found in Abbotsford farm field

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The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has confirmed it's investigating a murder after a man was found dead in a muddy Abbotsford field on Sunday morning. "It is too early to say whether this is gang-related or a targeted killing," said IHIT spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Pound in a press statement on Monday morning. Investigators' first priority is to identify the victim and confirm the cause of death, said Pound. The man, believed to be between 20 and 30 years old, was found in a field in the 33600 block of Farmer Road. Investigators are hopeful an autopsy Monday will shed some light on the victim's identity and the cause of death, said Pound. A man out on a Sunday morning drive discovered the dead man lying 10 metres off Farmer Road. He called police around 9:20 a.m. and then waited until officers arrived, said Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald on Sunday. IHIT was called out to the scene later in the day to investigate the strange circumstances. "Certainly it's suspicious for a person to be 10 metres off a roadway in the middle of a farm field and be dead," MacDonald said. However, at the time, police officers didn't see obvious signs as to whether they were dealing with a heart attack or a homicide, he said. Residents of the rural area said officers and a police dog spent Sunday scouring a raspberry field on the north side of Farmer Road close to the intersection with McCallum Road. Mark Vaandrager, the owner of a nearby nursery, said he and his family noticed the police combing the field for evidence when they went to church at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Although officers provided residents with few details, Vaandrager doesn't feel people living in the area are in danger. "It doesn't seem like it's somebody local, so I'm not scared it's some random thing," Vaandrager said, adding the victim is likely someone with ties to gangs or the drug trade. "It's an unfortunate thing that happens in the Fraser Valley," he said. "It seems to be tied to the drug mess." IHIT members will continue to canvass the area and conduct neighborhood inquiries, said Pound. The dead man is Abbotsford's second murder victim of 2012. Ryan Saint-Ange, 21, was found dead in a home on 56th Avenue near the Aldergrove border on Jan. 14. No arrests have been made in the case but investigators do not believe it was gang-related.


2 Dead, 5 Wounded In Chicago Drive-by Shooting

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Police in Chicago are investigating a drive-by shooting that killed two people and left five others wounded. Police officials say the shooting happened just before 7 p.m. Sunday outside a liquor store on the city's South Side. Police say a vehicle pulled up outside the store and someone inside the vehicle opened fire on a crowd of people outside. Authorities say 19-year-old Jamal Harris died inside the store, while 61-year-old Gregory Glinsey was found dead outside. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says both men suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Police officials say the five surviving victims were all teen-age boys. Four were treated for their wounds and released, while a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the stomach remains hospitalized.


Fatal Detroit shooting of baby gang-related, police say

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Diamond Salter said she was asleep in her west-side home early Monday morning when shots rang out. As her son, Delric Miller IV, dozed nearby on a living room couch, bullets pierced windows and walls, striking the 9-month-old. "I grabbed my baby and wrapped him up in a blanket … and ran in the basement," said Salter, 19, who also has a one-year-old daughter who was staying with a relative. "I thought he was asleep because that's how I left him. I thought he was alive … I started feeling for him, and he wouldn't wake up." Someone fired 37 rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle at about 4:30 a.m. into the home in the 8400 block of Greenview Avenue, near Tireman. Police Chief Ralph Godbee said the shooting was gang-related. Godbee said police have details about the shooting he didn't want to release to the public, but that investigators have a handle on what happened. "We know who they are," Godbee said. "This was not a random incident." Salter said there were eight people in the house, including three children, when the shooting took place. She called the incident "senseless" and said she doesn't know why someone opened fire on their home. Salter added that she's no stranger to violence; she was inside her home at a different location years ago when a similar crime occurred: Someone started shooting at the house, and her sister, who was also inside, was killed. "I got to be strong, because I still have a daughter to live for," Salter said. The boy's maternal grandmother, Cynthia Wilkins, 39, added: "They killed a precious baby." Delric was rushed to Sinai-Grace Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival following the shooting. Police believe that shots could have been fired from a van after a witness reported that a light-colored van sped away from the scene. "It's an act of God that more people weren't killed," Godbee said. A pink and purple motorized cart sits in front of the home and shattered glass glittered on the front porch Monday morning. Neighbors said there were usually 10 to 15 people living in the home over the past year, including three to four children. The boy's father, Delric Miller III, was not at the home when the shooting began. He arrived early Monday afternoon and stayed for approximately 20 minutes. He said his son loved to play with his toy hammer. The last gift Miller gave his son was a multicolored teething ring for Christmas, he said. When Miller left the home Monday afternoon he said, "I need some time for myself." Neighbor Diane Fryst, 67, was coming out of the bathroom when she heard the shots. Fryst said she was worried about ricochets, so she immediately laid down on top of her two rescue collie dogs to shield them from harm. "The shooting didn't last more than a few minutes," said Fryst, who has lived in her home (formerly owned by her parents) for 66 years. "It sounded like an AK-47 because of the 'pop, pop, pop' sound that it made. I've heard shots around here before so you get to recognize the sound." According to Fryst almost a dozen people, including four to five children, lived in the home where the shooting occurred. "I've never seen any trouble over there before, no violence," Fryst said. This is the second killing of a youngster in Detroit within the last three weeks. Twelve-year-old Kadejah Davis was shot to death on Jan. 31 when a gunman fired through the front door of the home in which she was living with her mother. Police arrested Joshua Brown, 19, and his mother, Heather Brown, in the incident. According to police, Joshua Brown came to the home of Kadejah's mother, Amanda Talton, on Ferguson Street and demanded the return of a cellphone Talton had found earlier at her tax preparer's office. Police said he fired shots through the door after Talton told him she didn't have the phone and closed the door. Brown has been charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm. His mother, Heather, has been charged with accessory after the fact. Godbee has recently unveiled initiatives aimed at stemming the violence. Earlier this month, he moved his department to a "virtual precincts" model, in which officers who manned the city's police precincts were reassigned to patrol.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Two arrests after five men shot in Homerton

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Two men have been arrested after five people were injured during a shooting in Homerton High Street early yesterday morning (Sunday). One of the suspects arrested was also shot in the incident, which happened at about 5.40am. Police and ambulances rushed to the scene following reports of gunfire, but no one was there. Homerton High Street was closed both ways between Ponsford Street and Digby Road for several hours while officers from Trident investigated. Later that day, four men – two aged 25, a 45-year-old and a 27-year-old – turned up at an east London hospital, while a 21-year-old man arrived at another hospital seeking treatment. The four men remain in hospital where their injuries are still being assessed. “For at least three of them, the injuries are not thought to be serious,” a police spokesman said. Detectives are keeping “an open mind” regarding the motive, he added. The 21-year-old was later discharged from hospital, and was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm. Another man, aged 20, was also arrested on suspicion of the same offences. Both were bailed to return to an east London police station on April 3, pending further inquiries.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Bloodstained Saturday in Mexico leaves 14 dead

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Fourteen people were killed in gun violence in northern and central Mexico on Saturday, authorities said. In the metropolitan area of prosperous and industrial Monterrey, two police were among those slain in the early morning hours in a clash with unidentified assailants. “There was a chase situation. A car with four men in it went up alongside the police patrol car and opened fire,” a source with the state investigating unit told AFP. After a car chase the two police and another victim were slain in Apodaca, officials said. In troubled Ciudad Juarez, in the northern state of Chihuahua on the US border, prosecutors said two men were shot in the head and had signs of torture. In the south of the state, in the town of Parral, three bodies were found along a highway with a sign authorities said appeared to refer to ongoing clashes among rival drug gangs. In the state capital Chihuahua, two people were shot dead by gunmen in a vehicle as the victims stood watch near a hospital. And in the town of Ecapatec, in Mexico state, four men were gunned down in the early morning hours by a group of unidentified gunmen. Some 50,000 people have died in suspected drug violence since President Felipe Calderon began a military crackdown on organized crime in December 2006, according to media counts and official figures.


Turf War in Central Mexico Leaves 8 Dead

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Eight homicides earlier this week in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato stem from a turf battle between rival drug cartels, officials said, noting that one of the gangs claimed responsibility for the slayings by leaving threatening messages next to five of the bodies. All of the victims were killed with firearms under very similar circumstances, state Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre said. The most recent slaying occurred Thursday in the city of Acambaro, where a message was discovered that is “practically identical to the others that were found,” Zamarripa said. According to the state Attorney General’s Office, three people were killed in the municipality of Apaseo el Alto and one each in the cities of Celaya, Cortazar, Villagran, Acambaro and Salvatierra. Investigators found signs apparently signed by the Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel at the crime scenes in Apaseo el Alto, Celaya and Villagran, officials said. The murders come approximately a month before Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Guanajuato and a week after the discovery of 18 “drug messages” signed by Los Caballeros Templarios that ordered a rival gang to leave the state and avoid “generating violence” during the pontiff’s stay. Los Caballeros Templarios warned the Nueva Generacion cartel that “confrontations will be inevitable” and told its rivals to leave Guanajuato in peace. Neither gang, however, is based in that state, which has largely been spared the drug-related violence that has ravaged other parts of Mexico. The pope is scheduled to stay at the Colegio Miraflores in the Guanajuato city of Leon during his visit to Mexico. Benedict XVI will celebrate an open-air Mass in the morning on March 25 at the city of Silao’s Guanajuato Bicentenario Park, an outdoor venue that it is expected will accommodate about 750,000 people, who will need a ticket to enter, officials said. The pontiff is scheduled to visit three cities in Guanajuato state during his time in Mexico and will continue on to Santiago, Cuba.


Detectives investigating McNally's cold-blooded shooting in the first gang murder of the year now believe the chief suspect also killed his brother in February, 2009

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. And, that the gun-for-hire carried out the pub murder of Paul ‘Farmer' Martin over three years ago. Our CCTV footage shows him entering the Jolly Toper bar in Finglas to carry out the hit on 39-year-old Martin in August, 2008. Five months later, Graham McNally's body was found in a ditch on the former Dublin to Derry road -- he had been shot at least five times in the head. "There are links to suggest that all three murders were carried out by the same man," said a source. "Alan McNally's fatal mistake was when he swore to avenge his brother's death." SHOT He was shot six times in the Cappagh Nua pub in Finglas on February 2 in a killing that was dubbed the Love/Hate murder because of its similarly to a scene from the RTE drama. As the garda probe intensified they questioned a sister and niece of the chief suspect but they were later released without charge. Detectives made a major breakthrough in the case when they obtained CCTV linking relatives of the chief suspect to the crime scene. However, they have still not recovered the handgun used to shoot Alan McNally six times. The Herald previously revealed that McNally was murdered on the order of a violent thug who himself survived an assassination attempt in December 2010. McNally (36), from Cappagh Avenue, Finglas, had been warned by gardai that his life was under threat after rowing with criminal elements in Finglas and Coolock. He had been warned by gardai to be inconspicuous as they feared there was an imminent danger to his life. However, sources say that he ignored gardai and publicly boasted about getting revenge for his brother's death. This is thought to have led his killers to adopt a "let's get him first" approach. Graham was 34 when he was shot dead by slain crimelord Eamon 'The Don' Dunne's gang in January 2009. Alan was in jail at the time after he had a falling out with his former close associate Dunne who had suspected that he was trying to murder him. He was only released last October having served five and a half years for having €200,000 worth of heroin. Sources say that despite the warnings he made himself an easy target for a gunman by drinking in the same pub for 14 hours. Gardai are anxious to apprehend the hitman who could also be responsible for other gangland assaults in the city. 'Farmer' Martin was a known criminal believed to have been involved in over a dozen bank robberies in the late 1980s and 1990s. Speaking at his funeral, Paul Martin's local priest branded his killers as "sick people not fit to be called men".


'IRA' drug-gang linked to double British murder

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The "IRA" gang referred to in a British murder trial last week as running the drugs trade in Liverpool is almost certainly a mixture of local gangsters and their Dublin and Limerick-based associates, gardai believe. The mention of the gang came in the murder trial of Thomas Haigh, 26, who was convicted last week of the double murder of two men referred to as gangland "enforcers", David Griffiths, 35, and Brett Flournoy, 31. Both men were shot dead, their bodies burned in a car and then buried on a remote Cornwall farm in June of last year. The court heard that Haigh was a low-level member of a Liverpool drugs gang. He said he had been forced to carry out a drugs run to South America and to oversee the cultivation of cannabis plants at the farm in Cornwall to pay off a €40,000 debt to the gang which he insisted, in statements to police, was run by the IRA. When the two enforcers came to the farm there was a confrontation and Haigh shot the two dead and buried their bodies. He was convicted by a jury at Truro Crown Court last Tuesday and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 35 years. In the UK a minimum term is the set time a prisoner must serve before he or she is eligible for parole. Garda sources last week said there has never been any evidence of an organisational link between the IRA and drugs criminals in the UK, but they are aware that former IRA members, including members of one well known family with both IRA and criminal links in south inner Dublin, has links to organised crime and drug dealers in Liverpool and the Midlands of Britain. These links, gardai say, go back for at least two decades and one of Liverpool's biggest drug dealers also was a close associate and bought drugs off John Gilligan and his gang. After Gilligan's gang was broken up during the investigation into the murder of Veronica Guerin in 1996 these links continued. Gardai know there were strong links developed by the major Dublin and Liverpool gangs as they rubbed shoulders in Costa del Sol holiday resorts where they owned villas. Liverpool, Dublin, Limerick and even Belfast-based ex-loyalists all became interlinked as they shared drug trafficking operations. Over the past two decades there have been persistent disputes and dozens of murders in the UK, Spain and Holland -- the centre of drug trafficking in Europe. Gardai said the most likely figures that Thomas Haigh was referring to as the "IRA" in Liverpool are members and associates of a south Dublin family-centred gang with close links to the criminal "Fat" Freddie Thompson. This family and their close associates are central to the drugs supply in Dublin and have well-established links with UK criminals. Ironically, gardai point out, the same IRA and Sinn Fein figures were closely involved in the anti-drugs movement known as "Concerned Parents Against Drugs" which was active in Dublin in the Eighties, picketing the homes of heroin dealers and carrying out vigilante attacks. During the Nineties this IRA group eventually became involved in extorting money from certain drug traffickers and then became centrally involved in drug trafficking. One of their associated former IRA families from Ballyfermot in Dublin became one of the biggest suppliers of heroin in the State, at one stage using private jets to import large quantities of pure heroin supplied by Dutch-based Eastern European traffickers. The major Irish drugs cartel in Spain, broken up by joint Spanish and European police action in the summer of 2010 also had strong links to Liverpool and London gangs. Gardai believe that the "IRA" associates of the Liverpool gang, referred to in the Haigh trial, are almost certainly the "ordinary" Dublin traffickers and their associates who were formerly in the IRA but who have continued "trading" on the IRA name in order to scare opponents. On Friday convicted drug dealer John Gilligan was given a further six-month sentence by the Special Criminal Court after he pleaded guilty to possession of a mobile phone at Portlaoise District Court in 2010.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hells Angel Dayle Fredette turns informer, pleads guilty to murder

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longtime member of the Hells Angels has decided to turn his back on the biker gang and is expected to testify against the men he used to call brothers in upcoming trials. Dayle Fredette was rushed into a courtroom on the fourth floor of a Montreal courthouse Thursday morning where he confirmed, before Superior Court Justice André Vincent, that he signed a contract to testify against Hells Angels in trials that emerged out of Operation SharQc, a police investigation that ended in April 2009 with the arrests of almost all of the gang's Quebec-based members. The prosecution believes almost all Hells Angels in the province agreed to take part in a conflict over drug trafficking turf, between 1994 and 2002, which resulted in the deaths of more than 160 people. The first of many trials expected to come out of Operation SharQc is to begin hearing evidence in September. Fredette was accompanied by at least four police bodyguards as he was rushed into room 4.01 of the courthouse for an unscheduled hearing where he entered a guilty plea to two charges. News that Fredette had decided to turn witness surfaced in September. Documents filed in court Thursday reveal he began speaking to police on July 2, 2011, and continued giving statements until Oct. 11. He underwent a lie-detector test on Oct. 12 and signed to be a witness for the prosecution on Feb. 8. As part of the contract, Fredette, a member of the gang's Quebec City chapter, will be paid $50 a month while he serves a life sentence, plus another $300 annually during his time in prison and $500 a week for the first two years after he is granted parole. His two young children will each receive monthly payments of $150 till they are adults, plus a maximum of $3,500 toward their post-secondary education. The contract also calls on the Sûreté du Québec to protect Fredette, his loved ones and dependents. There is no mention in the contract of how much that security is expected to cost taxpayers. On Thursday, Fredette pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder charge as well as one count of conspiracy to commit murder. This apparently gives Fredette the chance at the so-called faint-hope clause, where a person convicted of first-degree murder can appear before a jury after having served 15 years of his sentence and argue he is ready to be released into society. People convicted of more than one murder charge are not eligible and must serve at least 25 years. In exchange for his guilty plea and his future testimony, Fredette is immune from prosecution in five other murders in which he played a role. That includes the killing of Robert (Tout Tout) Léger in Ste. Catherine de Hatley on Aug. 12, 2001. Léger was a leading members of the Bandidos in Quebec when he was killed, and his death would have been regarded as a major score for the rival Hells Angels. Fredette also cannot be pursued in civil court for the deaths. The murder to which Fredette pleaded guilty involved a case of mistaken identity where Dany Beaudin was shot on April 17, 2000, outside a drug rehab centre in St. Frédéric, in the Beauce region. Prosecutor Sabin Ouellet told Vincent that Fredette controlled a drug trafficking network in the region and paid 10 per cent of the profits to the Hell's Angels. Fredette was part of a puppet gang called the Mercenaries before becoming a fullpatch member of the Hell's Angels on May 5, 1998. To get that status, Ouellet said, Fredette worked almost exclusively on gathering intelligence and plotting the murders of rival gang members. After he decided to become a witness, he told police the gang's "10 per cent fund" was used to cover his expenses while plotting the killings. Ouellet said Beaudin was killed by Fredette and two accomplices based on an error made by Fredette. The Hells Angels wanted to kill another man attending the drug rehab centre that day, the prosecutor said. Fredette was supposed to spot the intended target through binoculars while an accomplice waited with a long-range rifle. The man with the rifle shot Beaudin, based on Fredette's mistaken identification. Then both men moved in closer and shot Beaudin several times with hand guns. As part of his witness contract, Fredette cannot profit from his criminal past - for example, with a book or movie.


Bikie's girlfriend still missing

Posted On 15:33 0 comments

 

POLICE remain in the dark as to what has happened to missing woman Tina Greer. The girlfriend of a Fink motorcycle gang member disappeared almost a month ago from near Aratula. Police have expanded their search area to Lake Moogerah, south of Kalbar, using sonar and divers to search for her body. Mounted police are also being used to search the creeks surrounding the lake. Ipswich Detective Inspector Lew Strohfeldt said while the case officially remained a missing person investigation, police were searching the lake for a body. "We're looking to see if we can find any human remains in this lake," he said. "We can't say whether Tina will be found alive and well, whether she may have had some sort of an accident or if she has been the victim of some sort of foul play, we just don't know." Divers have been scanning the lake with sonar for the past two days and will continue today. They are yet to find any objects of interest. Insp Strohfeldt confirmed Ms Greer's boyfriend was a member of the Finks motorcycle gang. While police had talked to him, they were not in regular contact and were uncertain of his present location. "We have spoken to him, but as I said we have got no information that would assist us in locating Tina," Insp Strohfeldt said. Police divers have been scanning the lake using the same sonar technology used to find shipwrecks. Information received from the device will be used to identify non-natural objects hidden underwater. Divers will then investigate any objects of interests they identify. Ms Greer was last seen on Wednesday, January 18 leaving her home in Beechmont on the Gold Coast hinterland. Her car, a maroon Holden Commodore was found on Governor's Lookout containing her belongings including phone and handbag


New laws to break bikies' silience

Posted On 15:29 0 comments

 

Bikies who refuse to answer questions at Australian Crime Commission coercive hearings face immediate imprisonment. Legislative amendments introduced in Parliament on Wednesday will see those who refuse to cooperate detained and dealt with in the Supreme Court for contempt - rather than facing a charge that can take up to two years to be dealt with in the lower courts . SA police use the ACC's coercive hearings as part of investigations into high risk crime groups - including bikie gangs - with the most recent gang member summonsed to appear one of the suspects involved in the internal war between Comancheros members. One senior gang figure is currently before Adelaide Magistrates Court on a charge of failing to answer questions at an ACC hearing. The amendment to the Australian Crime Commission (SA) Act 2004 is one of a raft of new legislative initiatives unveiled by Attorney-General John Rau as part of the fight against bikie gangs. Others include new laws preventing gang members from associating, protection for witnesses, harsher bail provisions and amendments to repair anti-bikie legislation that was inoperable following two recent High Court decisions.  Mr Rau yesterday said the ACC amendment was one of several new measures aimed at cracking the bikie code of silence that often hampered police investigations. "It is one of a dozen or more recalibrations that tighten the noose around them a little bit more," he said. Mr Rau said he was hoping the legislative package would proceed through parliament rapidly because his briefings with police indicated there was a danger the current volatile situation with gang violence in Adelaide could escalate. "There is a credible risk that if this legislation is not passed things might deteriorate. I am not prepared to be any more explicit than that," he said. After a meeting with Mr Rau on Friday, Shadow Attorney-General Stephen Wade said the legislation would be discussed at a Liberal party room meeting on February 27. "This Bill is without doubt an improvement on the 2008 Act," he said. "Just as we gave the 2008 Bill thorough scrutiny.......we will also be giving this thorough scrutiny." Opposition leader Isobel Redmond, police spokesman Duncan McFetridge and Mr Wade will meet with senior police tommorrow to be briefed on the extent of the gang and organised crime problems confronting the community. Several senior defence lawyers told the Sunday Mail they thought it unlikely new contempt sanctions would see gang members comply with a coercive hearing. "History has shown us that many take no notice of the threat of jail if they do not comply," one said. "Look at just who has gone to prison for failing to answer questions and who is before court now on the same charges. If they do not want to talk, they won't." In Western Australia last year a Finks bikie was given a two-year jail sentence for failing to answer questions before Western Australia's corruption commission, which has the contempt provision planned for SA. The man was one of five bikies charged with contempt after refusing to give evidence into a wild brawl involving the Finks and the Coffin Cheaters.


Hells Angel turns informer for SharQc cases

Posted On 15:20 0 comments

 

A longtime member of the Hells Angels has decided to turn his back on the biker gang and is expected to testify against the men he used to call brothers in upcoming trials. Dayle Fredette was rushed into a courtroom on the fourth floor of a Montreal courthouse Thursday morning where he confirmed, before Superior Court Justice André Vincent, that he signed a contract to testify against Hells Angels in trials that emerged out of Operation SharQc, a police investigation that ended in April 2009 with the arrests of almost all of the gang's Quebec-based members. The prosecution believes almost all Hells Angels in the province agreed to take part in a conflict over drug trafficking turf, between 1994 and 2002, which resulted in the deaths of more than 160 people. The first of many trials expected to come out of Operation SharQc is to begin hearing evidence in September. Fredette was accompanied by at least four police bodyguards as he was rushed into room 4.01 of the courthouse for an unscheduled hearing where he entered a guilty plea to two charges. News that Fredette had decided to turn witness surfaced in September. Documents filed in court Thursday reveal he began speaking to police on July 2, 2011, and continued giving statements until Oct. 11. He underwent a lie-detector test on Oct. 12 and signed to be a witness for the prosecution on Feb. 8. As part of the contract, Fredette, a member of the gang's Quebec City chapter, will be paid $50 a month while he serves a life sentence, plus another $300 annually during his time in prison and $500 a week for the first two years after he is granted parole. His two young children will each receive monthly payments of $150 till they are adults, plus a maximum of $3,500 toward their post-secondary education. The contract also calls on the Sûreté du Québec to protect Fredette, his loved ones and dependents. There is no mention in the contract of how much that security is expected to cost taxpayers. On Thursday, Fredette pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder charge as well as one count of conspiracy to commit murder. This apparently gives Fredette the chance at the so-called faint-hope clause, where a person convicted of first-degree murder can appear before a jury after having served 15 years of his sentence and argue he is ready to be released into society. People convicted of more than one murder charge are not eligible and must serve at least 25 years. In exchange for his guilty plea and his future testimony, Fredette is immune from prosecution in five other murders in which he played a role. That includes the killing of Robert (Tout Tout) Léger in Ste. Catherine de Hatley on Aug. 12, 2001. Léger was a leading members of the Bandidos in Quebec when he was killed, and his death would have been regarded as a major score for the rival Hells Angels. Fredette also cannot be pursued in civil court for the deaths. The murder to which Fredette pleaded guilty involved a case of mistaken identity where Dany Beaudin was shot on April 17, 2000, outside a drug rehab centre in St. Frédéric, in the Beauce region. Prosecutor Sabin Ouellet told Vincent that Fredette controlled a drug trafficking network in the region and paid 10 per cent of the profits to the Hell's Angels. Fredette was part of a puppet gang called the Mercenaries before becoming a fullpatch member of the Hell's Angels on May 5, 1998. To get that status, Ouellet said, Fredette worked almost exclusively on gathering intelligence and plotting the murders of rival gang members. After he decided to become a witness, he told police the gang's "10 per cent fund" was used to cover his expenses while plotting the killings. Ouellet said Beaudin was killed by Fredette and two accomplices based on an error made by Fredette. The Hells Angels wanted to kill another man attending the drug rehab centre that day, the prosecutor said. Fredette was supposed to spot the intended target through binoculars while an accomplice waited with a long-range rifle. The man with the rifle shot Beaudin, based on Fredette's mistaken identification. Then both men moved in closer and shot Beaudin several times with hand guns. As part of his witness contract, Fredette cannot profit from his criminal past - for example, with a book or movie.


Friday, 17 February 2012

Men who smuggled drugs from Dover to Skelmersdale jailed

Posted On 23:41 0 comments

 

A gang who smuggled heroin and cocaine into the UK hidden in a lorry have been jailed for a total of 31 years. Carl Robinson, 30, and Graham Miller, 38, both of Skelmersdale, were tracked bringing the drugs from Dover to Lancashire in August last year. They were arrested after meeting Ian Adderley, 46, of Kirkby, in Skelmersdale. All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs at an earlier hearing. They were arrested in dawn raids on 12 August after a major surveillance operation carried out by officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, Titan. Officers also seized the class A drugs which had an estimated street value of more than £1m. 'Ill-gotten gains' Robinson, who also pleaded guilty to affray in connection with an incident at a pub in Skelmersdale on 6 August, was sentenced to nine years and nine months in prison. Adderley, who also admitted cannabis production was sentenced to 12 years, and Miller to nine years and six months in jail. Speaking after the trial, Det Supt Jason Hudson, head of operations for Titan, said it would do all it could to end the mens' criminal enterprise. "Titan is here to dismantle and disrupt the organised crime groups causing the greatest levels of harm to the North West," he said. "This group clearly fit that category and we are committed to not only arresting and bringing those people to justice but also financially ruining them, to ensure that all the financial gain that they have managed to achieve through their ill-gotten gains can be taken off them."


Turkish criminal gangs are ruling over the streets in the UK

Posted On 23:38 0 comments

 

Turkish criminal gangs are ruling over the streets in the UK, controlling much of the drug market in Germany, as well as providing political influence in the Netherlands. Turkish mafia has launched a wide range of activities in various European countries, has its own network subject to certain Turkish political circles. This is stated in the reports of the European countries and the UN. Turkish mafia is influential especially in Germany and the Netherlands. According to annual report of the German police, Turks as well as migrants from Nigeria and Sierra Leone are playing major role in coordination of crime among the immigrants. The number of residents of not German nationality suspected of organizing criminal gangs reached 471,067, while 106,396 out of them were Turks. As to drug trafficking, 26.6% of Germany’s drug dealers are Turks, 21.9% of those engaged in cocaine trafficking are Turks as well. The representatives of this ethnic group stood out as part of those involved in sex crimes in Germany - 34.9% of rapes and other similar crimes accounted for Turks only. German press reports that dangerous Turkish youth criminal gangs are operating in the cities of Germany. They also deal with the main business of Turkish mafia – drug trafficking and prostitution.   Back in 2010 Militant Islam Monitor website wrote that Turkish criminal gangs are controlling the streets of Berlin.  Turkish groups also form a part of a large Turkish community in the Netherlands. It is dominated by Turkish gangs, engaged in buying and selling drugs. According to local police, these groups often appear with their families and clans. The dealers are often controlled directly from Istanbul. The Turks in the Netherlands and Belgium are also selling weapons, are dealing with trafficking of immigrants, prostitution, forgery and money laundering. In the UK drug market is also under control of the Turkish clans. The British press reported that the Turkish criminals are fueling fear. According to law enforcers, about 90% of imported heroin is of Turkish origin. The Turks engaged in heroin business are mainly concentrated in the eastern part of London. They have links with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Back in 2006 thirteen members of a Turkish gang were arrested for hiding 13 kilos of heroine in a butcher shop. Later police found famous Hamit Gokenc aka “Mafia babası” (God father). The criminal gang he was heading had close ties with Turkey’s Grey Wolves gang. As a result of police operation, 22 kilos of heroine was found. In order to understand the reasons for Turkish mafia’s influence in Europe, we must look back at the history. Drug trafficking, distribution and use of drugs were considered a normal thing under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Prior to the ban on cocaine, opium and other drugs in Europe, they were imported directly from the Ottoman Empire. Exports of opium was one of the main sources for income. Naturally, the Turkish suppliers entered the European market being particularly active in France. After the First World War, the Turks formed alliances with the Yugoslav, Bulgarian and Greek criminal circles by organizing cooperation in drug smuggling. Nowadays, the Turkish-Bulgarian, Turkish-Serbian and Turkish-Albanian groups are active in this business. Large Turkish communities formed in Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary are contributing to this. After the Second World War, when Marseilles was major opium trafficking center, the Turkish mafia established ties with the leaders of the drug market – Marseille residents and Corsicans. Then, they expanded their activities reaching the United States. Nowadays, the Turks are controlling major part of the black drug market in Europe - about 93%. The reports of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says 110 tons of heroine entered  Europe in 2009, while 80% came by a route lying through Turkey. Thus, the Turkish criminal groups are expanding their activities in Germany and the Netherlands due to a large and influential community. In the UK, the lever is a huge community of Sunni Muslims. The Muslims from African countries are also joining the Turkish clans selling drugs in the European streets.


Scott Storch -- Arrested for Cocaine in Vegas

Posted On 23:30 0 comments

 

Storch tried to hide a baggie of cocaine in a trash can at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas before cops arrived ... this according to the police report, obtained by TMZ. In the report, the arresting officer says cops fished out the baggie after receiving a tip from hotel security ... and discovered it contained 2.7 grams of blow. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hip-hop producer Scott Storch -- a recovering drug addict -- was arrested in Vegas earlier this month for possession of cocaine ... TMZ has learned. According to law enforcement, Storch was arrested at a Vegas hotel around 8:30 AM on Feb. 4. Sources tell us ... the arrest went down after an employee called police to complain that Storch wouldn't pay for his room. When cops arrived to the scene, we're told officers discovered Storch was in possession of cocaine. Storch was hauled to a nearby police station ... where he was released on $5k bond. Storch -- who has worked with stars like Beyoncé, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Snoop, Pink and more -- famously blew a $30 million fortune after getting hooked on drugs back in 2006. He eventually checked into rehab and has been working on his recovery ever since


Misery among heroin addicts in Afghanistan

Posted On 23:26 0 comments

 

U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-moon said Thursday that Afghanistan will never be stable unless it tackles its drug problem. He spoke at an international conference in Vienna. Ninety percent of the world's opium originates in Afghanistan's poppy fields -- and much of that is turned into heroin. CBS News contributor Willem Marx took a look at the problem. Beneath a notorious bridge in downtown Kabul, a human tragedy festers. For more than a year now, hundreds of heroin addicts have lived there -- an ancient opium den in a modern urban sewer. Thousands more drop in each day to buy, smoke and inject their daily fix. "How do you react when you see that level of misery?" Marx asked Jean-Luc Lemahieu, who heads the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime for Afghanistan. "Appalling, appalling," he said. "And even more appalling, it is happening just below and in front of us." Lemahieu said with ever more users injecting their drugs, there's a troubling new statistic. Around 1 in 14 of Afghanistan's drug users is now believed to be HIV positive. And with addicts sharing needles, that number is soaring. This is how an HIV epidemic brews. We watched as men reused bloody syringes again and again -- so many, that we had to walk carefully among the addicts for fear of treading on an errant needle. "Each day my life was getting worse and worse," said Abdulrahim Rejee, a former heroin user who crawled out of this despair a year ago. Today he lives with nine other recovering addicts in a shared home. Abdulrahim credits a pilot program involving methadone, a heroin substitute that requires no needles. It is widely viewed as the best defense against the spread of HIV here. "I feel my life has changed 100 percent," he said. "I have rejoined my family, and I feel very healthy." But methadone is available for just a fraction of Afghanistan's addicts -- Abdulrahim and 70 others. "We need to expand the delivery of that service to a lot more addicts than what we are able to do today," said Lemahieu. The only other option here is to go cold turkey at a detox clinic. Under the bridge one morning, Marx saw an addict collapse from an overdose. Abdulrahim jumped in to resuscitate the struggling man. "When I go to that bridge," Abdulrahim told Marx, "I want to help those people, that they can live like me." The man barely survived barely, But with limited care available, he lived only to shoot up another day. This misery persists, while a deadly virus continues to spread.


'Britain's war against Afghan opium production is failing'

Posted On 23:23 0 comments

 

Britain’s war against opium production in Afghanistan is being lost, according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, with outputs of the class-A drug soaring to record levels in the past decade despite western intervention.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

FEARED mobster may have been on his way to carry out a gangland murder when he was stopped by gardai.

Posted On 17:49 0 comments



Detectives arrested on-the-run gangster David Goulding -- who was shot six times just last month.
The 33-year-old (pictured) survived the assassination attempt and then escaped custody.
He was picked up yesterday by gardai who stopped two cars near the airport and seized a lethal Walther pistol and ammunition.
Goulding was arrested at the Swords Road near Dublin Airport along with two of his associates from Mulhuddart and Clonsilla in west Dublin at 1.30pm, the Herald can reveal.
He remains in garda custody today and is expected to appear in court later.
He spent a fortnight on the run after he was 'freed' from officers when three associates pepper-sprayed and assaulted uniformed gardai who were monitoring his movements at Blanchardstown Hospital.
Goulding had been receiving treatment after he survived an assassination attempt in late January when he was shot up to six times as he sat in a car at Cherryfield View, Hartstown, west Dublin.
Gardai had planned to arrest him in relation to an outstanding warrant when he was 'freed' by his associates. Sources say that a woman played an "active part" in the mayhem which led to Goulding getting away.
It is understood that the gangster -- who had strong links to slain crimelords Eamon 'The Don' Dunne and Michael 'Micka' Kelly -- has been hiding out across the border since his dramatic escape.
Gardai are now probing whether he was back in the capital yesterday to target his former cronies who tried to murder him three weeks ago.
It is understood that Goulding, who originally comes from Whitechapel Grove, Clonsilla, was officially warned last year that there is an active threat on his life.
Along with his brother Daniel (27), David Goulding was a member of the notorious Westies mob who terrorised parts of west Dublin in the late 1990s.
When the mob imploded, the Goulding brothers linked up with the notorious Glennon brothers who were murdered as part of the gang warfare in 2005.
Sentences
After the deaths of the Glennons, David Goulding became very close to the crew which was led by murdered gangster Michael 'Micka' Kelly, who was nicknamed 'The Panda.'
Kelly regularly visited Goulding when he was serving various prison sentences and in 2005 'The Panda' was spotted by undercover gardai visiting the prisoner in Cloverhill Prison under a false name.
In February 2009, Goulding was jailed for three years for interfering with the principal prosecution witness in an attempted murder trial.
He tried to persuade Akef Alquasar not to give evidence in the trial of Darren Larkin, who had shot him in the head at the Blanchardstown Leisureplex in 2006.
At a court hearing in July 2010, it emerged that on the day that murdered crime figure John Paul Joyce went missing, Joyce went to hand over a BMW car's logbook to David Goulding.
Mr Joyce's body was found on January 9, 2010, near Dublin Airport two days after he had last been seen.
During the hearing at Dublin District Court, Goulding's partner Karen Duffy claimed Joyce sold the Northern Ireland-registered car to her and her partner David Goulding for €7,000 and they were the legal owners of the vehicle.
Ms Duffy said she and Goulding paid cash for the car, and she had the car keys and the logbook and was insured to drive it.
However the Court found that the State could keep the car while garda investigations were being carried out into the murder of John Paul Joyce.DISCLAIMER: Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder


DISCLAIMER
Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder
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