Newsletter

FAILED AFGHAN DRUG POLICY HARMING US, SAY IRAN

Here’s a twist. British authorities acknowledge that Iran is a major victim of increased Afghan drug production. Apparently we [the UK] cooperate with them in counter-narcotics.

THE PLAYERS’ PLAYER

Interview with Kirk Dawes, the ex-cop who mediates between Birmingham gangs. Good to know that mediation is an option. Worrying to know that government funding is under threat. Leads to me wondering whether we need mediators to work between governments and “international terrorist groups”?? Job spec anyone?

HOW PUTIN AND HIS EX-KGB PALS TOOK OVER THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY

Fortune article courtesy of CNN on Putin and his St. Petersburg associates. Basically the article grudgingly admits that Yeltsin and his mates were an economic disaster and Putin’s boys have improved things. Now, however, their nationalism may start to scare off further investment. They have cleaned out the oligarchs, but the oligarchs were in bed with foreign firms and the renegotiation of deals such as the one with BP is causing concern. Corruption under Yeltsin and Putin are different, but still corruption.

REVEALED: THE TRUTH ABOUT BROTHELS

Big Brothel: a Survey of the Off-street Sex Industry, commissioned by the Poppy Project. Lots of statistics. Depressing reading.

ANTI-MORALES INSURGENTS THREATEN BOLIVIAN PIPELINE

Not sure that this is organised crime or terrorism yet, but it’s distinctly problematic! A harbinger of things to come and a new phase in the development of Latin American conflict? Who is funding what here?

PROSECUTORS MAY MOVE TO MINISTRY

Short article from Moscow Times that I suspect has mammoth implications. Investigative Committee of Prosecutor’s Office in Russia may move to Ministry of Justice and absorb investigative branch of Ministry of Interior. Suppose this is someone flying a kite. But watch this space.

THE TOWN THAT TOOK ON THE YAKUZA

Vicious turf war sparks civil challenge. Where’s Yul Brinner and the boys when you need them? Police figures for number of mobsters given. No-one expects much to change, since the police have no criminal law basis to smash the gangs.

SGOC | Newsletter