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NEW BOOK: ‘CAPITAL, PAYMENTS AND MONEY LAUNDERING IN THE EUROPEAN UNION’

John Handoll

  • Hardcover 250 pages (April 2005)
  • Publisher: Richmond Law & Tax Ltd
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1904501516
  • Price: £95

Synopsis
This work provides an expert and practical analysis of the Treaty framework governing free movement of capital and payments, covering the definition of capital payments, the prohibition of restrictions on free movement, together with the permitted exceptions, derogations and safeguard measures.

NEW BOOK: ‘THE WASHING MACHINE: HOW MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING SOILS US’

Nick Kochan

 

  • Hardcover 256 pages (May 24, 2005)
  • Publisher: Texere Publishing,US
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1587991594
  • Price: £13.99 (at Amazon.co.uk)

 

Book Description
Seasoned investigative journalist and financial expert Nick Kochan takes readers deep inside the world of money laundering — a highly sophisticated, trillion-dollar, global business that poses a serious threat to Western economies. Profiling the perpetrators and the investigators, Kochan gives a mesmerizing inside look, explaining the methods employed by international criminals and terrorists to turn dirty money into untraceable wealth, as well as examining the methods and resources available to the law enforcement agencies in their fight to stop this corrupt financial pipeline. But is it a losing battle? Taking readers deep into the heart of the battle, The Washing Machine reveals that the dual forces of globalization and a lack of true international co-operation are playing directly into the hands of the criminals. In the hands of the author, the sophistication of the laundering schemes become understandable and fascinating, and the characters and stories woven into that explanation are vividly brought to life as they engage in operations on an often mind-blowing scale.

• With the investigative track record of the author and his financial expertise, The Washing Machine is a fascinating insight into — and explanation of — the murky world of illegal financial dealings and the sometimes heroic attempts to combat them.
• Money laundering is big business that should concern us all. More than US$25 billion is laundered every year in the U.S. drug industry alone. Add in the global value of smuggled arms, cigarettes, and people and that figure rises to US$2 trillion.
• Kochan points out that dirty money is not restricted to Mafia-style organized crime but also circulates throughout “legitimate” activities — like business and banking.

Synopsis
Finance Under Fire takes the reader deep inside the world of money laundering and shows it to be a highly sophisticated, global business worth trillions of dollars, and one that poses a serious and systemic threat to entire Western economies. Investigative journalist and financial expert Nick Kochan profiles the perpetrators and the investigators, and explains the methods employed by international criminals and terrorists to turn dirty money into untraceable wealth. The effort to stop this sinister financial pipeline is one of the highest profile law enforcement activities in the world at present. But is it a losing battle? Finance Under Fire reveals that the dual forces of globalisation and a lack of true international co-operation are playing directly into the hands of the criminals.

TORONTO MOBSTERS SEE THEIR CHANCE

It’s not all gloom and doom as Greater Toronto Area mobsters huddle in local social clubs to discuss the impact of the largest Mafia bust in Canadian history.

The RCMP takedown of 73 alleged members of the Montreal-based Rizzuto crime family last week has created an opportunity for more business and less competition for organized criminals in Toronto, often seen as the Second City of the Canadian underworld, local mob experts say. Warrants are outstanding for another 18 accused members of the Montreal organization, believed by police to be the richest mob group in the country. “The shift of power will come over to Toronto,” says one local police expert, who says the Canadian underworld pecking order has been upset. “Who’s in charge?” he asked. “This could lead to violence.”

Many mobsters in the GTA area who aren’t connected to the Rizzutos have sported outsized smiles since last week’s massive RCMP bust, a police investigator says. “Now, everything’s up for grabs,” one investigator says. “You’re seeing a lot of happy faces now.” Tier-two mobsters now have an opportunity to move up to the big leagues in the cocaine-trafficking business that has long been dominated by the Montrealers, mob experts say.

Some 1,300 charges were laid last week against the Rizzuto crime group as part an operation dubbed “Project Colisée,” in a reference to the ancient, crumbling Roman landmark. The RCMP-led crackdown included charges of gangsterism, drug smuggling, bookmaking, attempted murder, extortion and possession of restricted weapons. The Canada Revenue Agency says it is also going after 82-year-old Nick Rizzuto for $1.5 million in back taxes, alleging he ran an online-betting operation that netted $25 million a year.

For local mobsters connected to the Rizzutos, it’s important now to maintain an appearance of calm, says Larry Tronstad, a private investigator with the Detek Investigative Group in Vaughan, and formerly an RCMP member of the elite Combined Forces Special Investigations Unit, which targets organized crime. Foreign cocaine wholesalers need to be reassured that they can continue to do business as usual, while local mobsters must be cautioned not to get too aggressive, experts say. “The biggest problem they have is keeping everybody calm on their supply side,” Tronstad says.

While the Rizzuto crime group hasn’t dominated the local mob scene, they have definitely had a major influence, experts say.
Francesco Arcadi, 53, arrested last week in a Quebec country cottage, sporting a camouflage jacket, was frequently seen in Woodbridge over the past year, visiting mob hangouts, including a members-only sports bar. Arcadi would fly to Toronto first-class with a portly Montrealer, who chauffeured him about in a rented sport utility vehicle as they visited GTA mobsters.
Nick Rizzuto’s son, Vito, 60, lived in Montreal but ran GTA waste disposal and discount coffin businesses. He is now in custody in the U.S., where he faces a racketeering indictment for allegedly murdering three Bonanno crime family members in 1981 in New York.

“Arcadi was considered the face of the Rizzuto crime family on the street, after the arrest of Vito,” says local author Antonio Nicaso, who has written more than a dozen books on organized crime, and who’s now writing one on the Rizzuto crime family with Quebec journalist Andre Cedilot. Nick Rizzuto was so well-dressed in a tailored suit when he was arrested last week that there were rumours that he was tipped off to the busts. He had taken on a higher profile after Vito was extradited to the U.S. last August. Over the past few months, Nick Rizzuto was often seen in north Montreal, meeting with Arcadi at the Association de Cattolica Eraclea, a grungy coffee shop formerly known as the Cosenza Social Club. Nick Rizzuto’s father-in-law, the late Antonio Manno, was considered the underworld boss of the town of Cattolica Eraclea in Sicily.

Here in the GTA, long-time underworld figures associated with the Rizzutos include a 76-year-old with a bad heart who would rather spend his winters in Florida; a 71-year-old Grade 5 dropout who collected workplace compensation benefits after claiming a construction injury; and a 77-year-old, who played host to Nick Rizzuto and Tommaso Buscetta of Sicily back in happier times, before the elder Rizzuto was locked up and Buscetta turned informer.

Such underworld veterans have seen rough times before, and take police busts as a cost of doing business, Tronstad said. He dismisses the idea that the Rizzuto crime family has been knocked out of business, either in Montreal or Toronto.
“I just don’t believe for a second that these guys don’t have a disaster plan,” Tronstad says, noting that a mobster once told him, “Every once in a while, the quarterback gets hurt.” It’s possible to run a mob enterprise from prison, Tronstad says, adding he thinks the organization’s replacement leaders will keep a low profile. “These guys will be reluctant to be seen out and about,” he adds. “Now is not the time to be visible.”

Cedilot says he expects new acting leaders of the Rizzuto organization to emerge, and struggle to stay low profile. “It’s a pyramid,” Cedilot says, adding that the organization relies heavily on professionals like lawyers and financial planners to maintain its power. Among the suspects charged last week in Project Colisée are 10 workers at Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montreal and a Canada Border Services Agency employee, accused of fast-tracking drug couriers through customs.

There are plenty of GTA mobsters who aren’t connected with the Rizzutos, experts say. York Region is home to at least a dozen fugitives wanted by Italy on anti-Mafia charges, according to York Region police. Some of the GTA mobsters who aren’t connected to the Rizzutos are considered members of the Mafia group called the `Ndranghetta, whose origins are in southern Italy, while others are related to the Cuntrera-Caruana crime group, which has roots in Sicily.

Nicaso says local mobsters may be troubled to see that authorities have hit the Rizzuto organization with gangsterism charges, which bring mandatory prison time for crimes committed in aid of a criminal enterprise. In the past, they’ve been levelled only against native Manitoba Warriors and outlaw bikers. He said he expects a further wave of police arrests, followed by a further series of underworld adjustments, both in Montreal and the GTA. “This can be considered `Colisée One,’” Nicaso says, referring to the series of Godfather movies. “It’s a neverending-story.”

Toronto Star 27-11-06

CHINA BREAKS MORE THAN 1,300 ORGANIZED CRIME GANGS

BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese police have cracked more than 1,300 criminal gangs in the latest campaign against organized crime, authorities said.

Between March and October, Chinese prisons received 887 new inmates charged for gang crime, Hu Yiding, deputy director of prison administration under the Ministry of Justice said. By the end of October, police had referred 196 cases of alleged organized crime for prosecution and 1,347 crime gangs had been broken, according to the office for national campaign against organized crime. This shows that the campaign against organized crime has been effective, said a spokesman for the office.

In China, organized crime gangs are sometimes protected by officials through bribery, threat or other means. Prosecutors had been exposing the “umbrellas” covering gangs, with 33 cases uncovered involving 47 official, said Huang Hailong, deputy director of the investigation and supervision department of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. In the first ten months this year, 716 people were convicted of organized crime, including 711 charged of organizing, leading or taking part in organized crime gangs and five of cover-up and connivance, Gao Jinghong, deputy director of the office and a judge of the Supreme People’s Court. “The number will be much larger if we consider convicts of other criminal charges from the crime gangs,” he said.

Imprisonment over five years, life sentence and death sentence for the organized crime convicts account for 51.37 percent, 34 percent more than other crimes for the same period, Gao said. Meanwhile, police put 3.75 million criminal cases on file for investigation in the first ten months, 41,000 fewer, or 1.1 percent down, from the same period last year and the number of cases resolved increased by 113,000 to 2.21 million, the office said. The number of severe violent cases including murder, rape and arson respectively dropped by 13.8 percent, 5.9 percent, 13.8 percent in the first ten months. “After the crackdown of crime gangs, the social life and security order have evidently improved in some areas,” the office spokesman said.

After Beijing police broke the 17-member-gang headed by Lei Nagang, in suburban Beijing, which long haunted the local people by racketeering and fighting, local police station did not receive report of criminal cases for consecutive 161 days in the first eight months this year, the spokesman said. “In general, public security has been relatively stable this year,” a spokesman for the office said.

The Supreme People’s Court is supervising 63 major organized crime cases and paying close attention to the trial progress of these cases.

Xinhua 2006-11-23

ROW ERUPTS IN SPAIN OVER TREATMENT OF LATIN KINGS

A meeting between a Madrid regional government official and members of a Latin American street gang has triggered a national debate over whether the gang members should be treated as a cultural association or as organised crime.

The row came to a head after members of the Latin Kings gang, which has been registered as a cultural association by the regional government of Catalonia, travelled to Madrid – where state prosecutors are trying to have them labelled as an organised crime gang – to meet the local youth ombudsman.

Madrid’s regional government distanced itself from the meeting with the official. “We will never legalise groups like the Latin Kings, who have broken the law and are considered by the legal system to be part of organised crime,” a spokesman said.
While members of gangs like the Latin Kings and the Ñetas make headlines for gang fights and murders and rapes in and around Madrid, their counterparts in the eastern region of Catalonia are being encouraged to hold meetings, play football and organise hip-hop concerts.

With their secret rites of passage, strange codes, titles like king and queen and their insistence that their members around the world form a “nation”, the Latin American gangs are an alien phenomenon for Spain. News of fights and murders has made Spaniards nervous of the baggy-trousered, baseball cap-wearing boys and the heavily made-up girls who hang out together in parks and squares. “Groups like the Latin Kings and the Ñetas are thugs and delinquents,” two Spanish journalists, Santiago Botello and Angel Moya, wrote in a book about them.

A variety of groups use the same names, explaining why Latin Kings in Madrid are involved in court cases accused of murders, kidnappings and rapes, while Latin Kings in Catalonia claim to have no contact with crime. “There are few groups of criminals, but that does not mean that all the young people who adopt a certain form of dress or musical taste should be criminalised,” said Erika Jaramillo, alias Queen Melody, an Ecuadorian immigrant.

“The Latin Kings are not a crime group,” an anthropologist, Carles Feixa, who has helped the Socialist-run Catalan government to legalise the group, told El País. “It is an organisation for help and solidarity among young Latin American immigrants.”

Authorities in the Catalan capital of Barcelona believe that fewer than half the 600 people in the city who consider themselves to be Latin Kings – including some in jail – have signed up to join the newly legal group. The groups, who have their origins in such countries as Ecuador and Peru, have described themselves as a “Latino” self-defence force, willing to use violence to defend their own people.

Their critics allege that male gang members claim “ownership” of female members. “Once you become a Latin Queen the only way out is death,” one former member was told. The Latin Kings have allegedly been involved in four murders in Madrid, while only one has been registered in Barcelona. Barcelona is now trying to follow a US initiative, brokering “peace” agreements between rival gangs.

Backstory

The Latin Kings were founded by Puerto Ricans in Chicago in the 1940s. By the 1970s they had spread across the US and were involved in organised crime, especially drug trafficking. The organisation has also spread through Mexico and Latin America. The Ñetas were created in a Puerto Rican prison in the 1970s. They spread to the east coast of the US in the 1980s, where they were once led by a woman known as La Madrina. Mara Salvatrucha started in Los Angeles among immigrants fleeing the war in El Salvador in the 1980s. Members have tattoos in Gothic lettering. “MS” and “13” are the most popular tattoos.

Thursday October 5, 2006
The Guardian

2007 ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY

The 2007 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology will be jointly organized in Bologna – September 26/29, 2007 by the University of Bologna, Department of Education Sciences (Faculty of Vocational Training Sciences) and the Service of Safety Policies and Local Police of the Regione Emilia-Romagna. For more information visit the website.

call for papers for this conference was issued as well. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 may 2007.

SINCE 2001, A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN SUICIDE BOMBINGS

Article on the anniversary of the embassy bombing in Beirut 25 years ago [April 18th]. Figures included. 658 attacks last year, 542 of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. 1,840 incidents in past 25 years, 86% of them since 2001. Sounds like an exponential curve. 920 in Iraq and over 260 in Afghanistan. Seems a long time since we could say that the majority of incidents were in Sri Lanka, but its only 7 years. Figure given are unpublished so I’m putting them here in case Washington Post site moves.

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