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HOW A TINY WEST AFRICAN COUNTRY BECAME THE WORLD’S FIRST NARCO-STATE

Observer article on Guinea-Bissau. Actually it’s the UN that calls it “Africa’s first narco-state” if you read on. If it were a competition I can think of Latin American countires that have fitted the bill in the past and may simply have changed their presentation in recent years.
It’s very much a Sunday papers article. Lots of fluff and little about how it all works. Could do with finding the UN Reports.

SHOPKEEPERS REVOLT AGAINST SICILIAN MAFIA

Interesting idea: a supermarket that sells goods from enterprises that refuse to pay protection money. Best of luck to them!Bottom-up approaches are always better than top-down ones. The question is: how best can the police support such initiatives?

NOTORIOUS ARMS DEALER ARRESTED IN THAILAND

I’ve deliberately chosen the Moscow Times for the story, because at least it means you dont have to read the DEA press release disguised as journalism. Belgium have wanted him since 2002 for arms dealing in Africa. The DEA got the Thais to arrest him by pretending to be FARC [confused yet?]…which sounds awfully like entrapment.
Our man is Uzbek born but a Russian national, and is alleged to have inspired the “Lord of War” character in the 2005 Nicholas Cage film [Times story here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3504284.ece]
and here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3498795.ece
Serious allegations in the latter about his role in the Sierra Leone conflict.
The story raises the problem: you cant be a one-man arms dealer, so who makes these arms, who sells them to him, apparently he does have a transport fleet, and who handles the money?
Well, the allegation is that he is ex-KGB, so it can’t be anybody in the West, can it??? Watch this space as usual, although he’s likely to be stuck in a Thai jail for a while yet.
Oh yeah…Why was the DEA engaged in this operation?

UK CHILDREN RESCUED FROM WORLDWIDE SEX ABUSE RING

Paedophiles organise their criminality increasingly and there have been hints that “mainstream” organised crime has been getting involved. A ring of 2,500 downloaders described here in 19 countries. 400,000 images. It’s big business, sadly.

VAN BUITENEN STRIKES AGAIN

Anyone who can expose Neil Kinnock as an overblown old fraud is a mate of mine [well, apart from Michael Heseltine and various members of the Conservative Party that is.]Without van Buitene, no Santergate…Keep it up, even when you’re wrong old fellow…and Neil, you should have supported him!

FBI CHIEF CONFIRMS MISUSE OF SUBPOENAS

But they don’t do it any more. So that’s alright then.

Hidden away…Building trust with prisoners is a good idea…and they cite…wait for it…Saddam Hussein! Is Jay Leno writing this stuff? Hey talk to us and we’ll hang you!

Wait for the headlines on misuse of national data warehouses…coming to a newspaper near you [but not the Fox Channel].

NATIONAL DRAGNET IS A CLICK AWAY

US Justice Department creating a National Data exchange…Would that be a recreation of PNC1 then? If it is really a national intelligence exchange then there’s a lot more work to be done than they appear to realise. Will they be copying the UK National Intelligence Model? [Dont tell me, we copied it from them???]
Don’t fear children, it’s only to get the nasty terrorists!
Actually, two pages of this article are about the hardware and the software and a lot more interesting than the first one which is just “kindly old Uncle Sam is watching the bad guys to keep you safe at night”. Dont see much discussion of data protection issues or nature of the intelligence: how reliable is the source etc… Ho hum.

ORGANISED CRIME TURNING TO MORTGAGE FRAUD

Ridiculously brief piece from the Independent. UK mortgage fraud totalled £700 million last year and involved crooked solicitors and surveyors laundering money by overvaluing properties….Longer piece on ACPO Website here: http://www.acpo.police.uk/pressrelease.asp?PR_GUID={7F278B1E-CA47-4C00-AFD2-CC599E4BA786}
Unfortunately it’s marked restricted so only a few members of ACPO and individuals in the finance industry will ever read it. Why? AH OK, lets be fare here for once. Because it contains details of how to do it! That’s reasonable…But is the finance industry really a safe place to send it then?
It is true that it was until the credit crunch ridiculously easy to take out a bank mortgage and the report asks for checks. But it also mutters darkly about ethnic groups and terrorists.

Fascinating stuff, but frustratingly small amount of information

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