Blackmail: Taiwan has protested Cambodia’s deportation of nationals to China


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PHNOM PENH — Taiwan protested Thursday Cambodia’s deportation of four Taiwanese nationals to mainland China who were accused of operating a telecommunications scam.

The four were sent out of Cambodia late Wednesday, with three more alleged participants in the scam set to be departed to China later this week.

The Taiwanese group was arrested alongside 24 Chinese nationals in Phnom Penh last week.

They are accused of running an internet scam that would blackmail women after convincing them to send naked or incriminating photos, according to the Cambodia Daily.

“We deeply regret to see that Cambodia deported Taiwanese nationals to mainland China,” Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang told a news conference in Taipei.

Wang said that Cambodia also rejected officials’ request to visit the detained Taiwanese while they were in Cambodia.

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Corporate espionage – webcams used to blackmail victims into spilling company secrets


July 19, 2016

Source: neowin.net

Delilah malware utilizes webcams to blackmail victims into spilling company secrets.

Cybercriminals are currently utilizing a new piece of malware to gather private moments of employees, which in turn is used as blackmail for these people to disclose secrets of companies they work for.

Esionage-computer

Threat intelligence firm Diskin Advanced Technologies (DAT) initially discovered the malware, which is named ‘Delilah.’ It is known as ‘the world’s first insider threat trojan’ due to its ability to capture and record footage of a company’s employees, which they can use to threaten them into divulging private company information, harming them in the long run.

The malware is distributed via multiple adult and gaming websites. Avivah Litan, a Gartner analyst, stated: “the bot comes with a social engineering plug in that connects to webcam operations so that the victim can be filmed without his or her knowledge.” Delilah gathers whatever information it can get, like the employee’s family and workplace.

Furthermore, to communicate with its victims, criminals are using encrypted channels like VPN software and Tor. Also, the malware’s victimization process requires a high amount of human involvement to be able to identify and prioritize individuals who can be extorted into operating as the malware’s insiders at desirable target firms.

As of now, DAT reports that the malware is still buggy, causing the screen to freeze for about 10 seconds, which is reportedly caused by the high volume of screenshots that the malware is taking. It also produces error messages when attempting to turn on a victim’s webcam.

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A Warning About sharing pictures on SnapChat


June 27, 2016

Source: business2community.com

When SnapChat first launched, a viewer had several seconds to enjoy a post before it disappeared. Many users thought this gave them a security filter, since their photos and comments would be permanently deleted so quickly.

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Today, SnapChat has added save features which allow the sender and viewer to archive their images, videos, chats, and filters. This creates a whole new layer of precaution for SnapChat aficionados who rely on the platform’s quickness and temporary display of content to protect their reputation.

Some rules to remember when using SnapChat:

  1. What you post is public. As with any online form of communication (from Facebook to Instagram, to email and Instant Messaging), when you send an image or text to someone else, they can capture a screenshot, forward your message, or share your information on their own networks. There is no such thing as private online.
  2. The use of video and images is catching on. Tools like Pinterest, Instagram, and SnapChat play into our passion for all things visual. More and more, apps and sites that incorporate video and images are growing in popularity. Instead of resisting, embrace these platforms as tremendous ways to connect with your audiences online. Whether you’re targeting friends, family, hiring managers, clients, customers, etc., showing your personality, interests, and social side online presents you as well rounded. As long as you remember Rule #1.
  3. Anyone can follow you. Similar to LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, people can follow (friend) you on SnapChat without your knowledge. Many times, they find you by your username or interests, but you don’t have to approve them as connections, unless you change your privacy settings. Keep this in mind if you work with clients, are looking for a job, or care about your online profile (which should be everyone!). You might think you are just posting an inappropriate photo to your friends, but you are actually sharing with many others.

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2 French journalists charged on allegations of trying to blackmail Moroccan king


September 3, 2015

Source: USnews

French authorities have handed two journalists preliminary extortion charges on accusations that they tried to blackmail Moroccan King Mohammed VI.

A handout picture shows Morocco's King Mohammed VI giving a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the People and the King's Revolution in Rabat on August 20, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Azzouz BoukallouchAZZOUZ BOUKALLOUCH/AFP/Getty Images

A handout picture shows Morocco’s King Mohammed VI giving a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the People and the King’s Revolution in Rabat on August 20, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Azzouz BoukallouchAZZOUZ BOUKALLOUCH/AFP/Getty Images

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Saturday that French writers Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet were released under judicial supervision after being given the charges.

A French lawyer for the king said the journalists demanded 3 million euros ($3.4 million) in exchange for not publishing a compromosing new book about Mohammed VI. He said they were arrested in a sting operation.

The two are known for their critical writings about the king. The case has drawn widespread attention in Morocco, where the monarchy is considered above criticism.

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The Philippines – Forces intensify anti-kidnap drive


June 2, 2013

Source: krmagazine.com

Dismantling the network and neutralizing key leaders of kidnap-for-ransom groups are key to ending abductions in Western Mindanao, security officials said

Forces intensify anti-kidnap drive

Anti-kidnapping

Sr. Supt. Edwin S. de Ocampo, chief of the city police, said his office has intensified its intelligence gathering drive in tracking down key leaders of kidnapping groups.

“There is a fusion of information from the police and military intelligence units to track down leaders of this KFR (kidnap-for-ransom) groups,” he told BusinessWorld yesterday.

On Sunday, four members of a kidnap-for-ransom group based in nearby Zamboanga Sibugay province were nabbed in a shopping mall in this city.

Mr. de Ocampo said the police are monitoring the movements of the group for weeks with the suspects having standing warrants of arrest.

On Wednesday, another suspect was also apprehended in the town of Naga in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“These people are plain bandits. They are not members of any known kidnap groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group. Some are rogue members of insurgency groups,” said Mr. de Ocampo.

MILITARY OPTION
On a parallel effort, officials of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) said continuing operations have been ordered to capture Abu Sayyaf leaders in the island-provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Philippines-warren-rodwell

“There will be no letup in our efforts to neutralize these lawless groups,” Rodrigo T. Gregorio, spokesman of the command, said in a separate interview.

Military operations have been intensified following the intense battle between soldiers and the Sawadjaan faction of the Abu Sayyaf last Saturday. At least seven soldiers, including an officer, were killed in the encounter.

Mr. Gregorio said bandit casualties have reached 13 based on intelligence as of Thursday.

He said “continuing” military operations will deter kidnapping.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani, European birdwatchers Ewold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, Filipino-Chinese Carlos Ty Tiam, Japanese Toshio Ito and an unnamed child.

For his part, WesMinCom chief Maj. Gen. Rey C. Ardo said the military is putting pressure on the bandits while making sure the kidnap victims are safe.

“The safety of the victim is our utmost priority,” he said.

On Wednesday, the US and the British embassies have issued separate travel advisories to their citizens to avoid Western Mindanao, including Zamboanga Peninsula, due to threats of kidnapping.

“We will not take it [advisories] for granted,” Mr. de Ocampo said, adding that authorities have laid out a new security plan.

Col. Andrelino G. Colina, commander of Task Force Zamboanga, said “proactive” measures are needed to stall kidnapping activities, including gathering of information from within the criminal groups.

Although most of the current victims are foreigners, kidnappers are no longer selective in the target victims to include teachers, aid workers and small-time businessmen.

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Builder refuses to pay extortion, gets shot at


June 1, 2013

Source: mid-day.com

In yet another incident of gangsters calling the shots from inside the jail, two unknown assailants, after allegedly receiving instructions from a gangster lodged in jail, fired at a city-based builder in Borivli (E) yesterday after he refused to bow down to the monetary demands.


A policeman inspects the bullet-riddled car. Four rounds were fired at 62-year-old developer Rajaram Manjawkar while he was on his way to work. He and his driver escaped unhurt. Pics/Nayan Shahane

The assailants fired four rounds at 62-year-old developer Rajaram Manjawkar while he was on his way to work, but he and his driver escaped unhurt. Police are treating the incident as an extortion case after the builder, who was implementing slum rehabilitation projects in the area, had received an extortion call from an unknown person wherein he stated he was calling on behalf of Yusuf Bachkana, an aide of Chhota Rajan, and threatened to kill him if he did not pay up.


Police officers conduct a panchnama at the turn where the incident occurred near Suvidya High School, Devi Pada in Borivli (E)

Bachkana, who was arrested in 1998 by DCP Ambadas Pote in a murder case, is presently lodged in a jail in Karnataka. According to Borivli police, the two assailants fired at the Manjawkar’s vehicle at 11 am near Suvidya High School, Devi Pada in Borivli (E). The incident took place just a stone’s throw (200 metres) from the builder’s apartment after he left his residence for his office. A resident of Sahyadri Complex, Manjawkar was travelling in a Skoda, driven by his driver Dinesh Mandarkar (39).

Warning shots?
Police said that when the vehicle was making a turn, the attackers who were waiting at the corner of the road showed up and sprayed bullets at the car. Two bullets hit the back windshield of the car, while there were two bullet holes on both sides of the vehicle’s back doors. Three spent shell casings and one cartridge were later found at the spot. “Based on the bullet shells, we believe that a pistol has been used in the attack. The assailants, however, managed to escape from the spot. And there is no CCTV coverage in the area,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mahesh Patil.

SRA project
Police said Manjawkar has developed five buildings under the SRA scheme, and on May 20, he received a phone call asking to make a payment. Cops, however, refused to divulge how much money was demanded. Soon after the call, a terrified Manjawkar had approached the Kasturba Marg police with a written complaint. The police were probing the complaint but no case was registered at the time.

One of the suspects arrested by the Kasturba Marg police is Parshuram Nalavde, who was serving a murder sentence in Nashik jail, but had recently come out on parole. Nalavde’s parole was to end on May 31. Police said that they would also question Bachkana.

Sunil Deshmukh, assistant commissioner of police (Dahisar division), said, “We are in the process of recording the victim’s statement and ascertaining if he is involved in any property disputes. We have registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC and relevant section of the Arms Act. We are also checking call details from Manjawkar’s mobile phone.”

Sunil Paraskar, additional commissioner (north region), said, “We have arrested Parshuram Nalavde (26), who was in Nashik jail after being convicted in 2008 for a murder by the Kasturba Marg police. We believe he has conspired with others to carry out the attack, as he knew certain things the extortionists had mentioned on phone to Manjawkar. We are searching for his other three associates.”

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Europol identifies 3600 Organised Crime Groups active in the European Union (SOCTA 2013 Report)


April 6, 2013

Source: Europol

In the most detailed study ever undertaken of its kind in the European law enforcement community Europol has identified an estimated 3,600 organised crime groups currently active in the EU. The EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA), published by Europol today, found that international drug trafficking remains the most active organised crime activity but it also identified the emergence of new criminal phenomena, many linked to the current economic crisis and the internet.  These new developments are changing the nature of organised crime towards a model based around a networked community of heterogeneous, international groups.

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“A new breed of organised crime groups is emerging in Europe, capable of operating in multiple countries and criminal sectors. These groups are no longer defined by their nationality or specialisation in one area of crime but by an ability to operate on an international basis, with a business-like focus on maximising profit and minimising risk. They are the epitome of our new globalised society,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The 2013 Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) delivers a set of recommendations based on an in-depth analysis of the major crime threats facing the EU. The report draws on significant intelligence collected from law enforcement agencies in the EU Member States, other EU Agencies, and Europol’s own databases.  The Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will use the report’s findings and recommendations to define priorities for the next four years.

Based on analysis of the prevailing threats the SOCTA 2013 has identified the crime areas which require the greatest concerted action by EU Member States and other actors to ensure the most effective impact on the general threat. These threats include crime areas that have recently gained significance or were not regarded as priority areas earlier, but now stand out against other crime threats because of their impact on society.  The priorities identified in the report are:

  • Facilitation of illegal immigration
  • Trafficking in human beings
  • Counterfeit goods with an impact on public health and safety
  • Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud
  • Synthetic drugs production and poly-drug trafficking in the EU
  • Cybercrime
  • Money laundering

The conditions of the current economic crisis and resulting changes in consumer demand are fuelling a shift in serious criminal activity.  Reduced consumer spending power has inspired counterfeiters to expand into new product lines such as commodity counterfeiting, illicit trade in sub-standard goods and goods violating health and safety regulations. In addition to the traditional counterfeiting of luxury products, organised crime groups are now also counterfeiting daily consumer goods including foods and medical products. The increased production and distribution of these goods have significant implications for public health and safety.

Meanwhile other forms of economic crime, especially fraud, have grown in scale and impact.  Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud, which derives from a manipulation of the VAT tax regime, is responsible for the loss of billions of Euros each year in the government revenues of Member States, illustrating the extent to which organised crime harms the economy.

Money seized by German customs agency Zoll during anti-money laundering operation is displayed before agency's annual statistics news conference in Berlin

“The fight against organised crime has big implications for the EU’s ability to secure an effective economic recovery.  Through a recent expansion of the ‘black market’ and notable developments in fraudulent activity criminal groups are denying governments, businesses, and citizens billions of Euros each year in lost tax receipts, profits, and private income.  Stronger action is needed in the EU to close down these criminal activities and protect our economic base,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The internet is also a major driver of criminal activity, enabling organised crime groups to access a large pool of victims, obscure their activities and carry out a diverse range of criminal acts in a shorter period of time and on a much larger scale than ever before. The spread of the internet and technological advances have caused significant shifts in crime areas and the pattern of criminal activity.

The SOCTA 2013 report is Europol’s flagship product providing information to Europe’s law enforcement community and decision-makers about the threat of serious and organised crime to the EU. The report exists in two versions a restricted for law enforcement and a public version which is available in the Europol publications section of their website.

EU crime gangs find new ways to make money in bad times

 

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Kidnap threat grows as European economic woes continue


January 12, 2013

Source: commercialriskeurope

The 20,000 kidnappings reported worldwide annually represents a growing risk for business with the economic woes in Europe likely to see incidents rise in countries such as Greece and Italy, Willis warned this week.

kidnapping_02

In its Resilience publication, the broker said the actual number of kidnaps is likely to be far higher than the official figures suggest as many go unreported.

In hotspot Mexico there were over 2,000 kidnaps reported last year, but according to the Council for Law and Human Rights, an NGO that works with families of victims, the true figure is around 18,000.

Earlier this year global security company Red24 noted that official data showed a 9% increase in kidnapping incidents between 2010 and 2011.

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“The threat is growing, the risk is fluid and it can very easily move from one country to another,” said Richard Scurrell, Executive Director at Willis’ specialist kidnap-and-ransom division, Special Contingency Risks (SCR).

A number of factors are driving this increase, primarily inequalities in developing nations. “A lot of the countries where kidnaps occur regularly have a fantastically wealthy element of the population at the top, a very small middle class and a very large poor population,” explained Paul Mills, Executive Director of Security Services at SCR.

As the economic crisis in many parts of the world drags on, so more countries may match this profile, he continued.

Mexico, for example, saw a surge in kidnapping and extortion following the economic crash of 1994, and now Mr Mills fears the risk could return to European countries such as Greece or Italy, where it has not been a serious issue for decades.

“We have already seen incidents of high-net-worth individuals being attacked by more radical elements,” he said.

The growth in income inequality and increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of large multinational businesses is therefore a real issue for risk managers at big firms.

As Willis pointed out: “The latter’s workers make obvious targets for abduction; the former means a growing pool of potential perpetrators.” Kidnapping comes in various guises. Planned events, where perpetrators have watched their target and are well-organised, are distinct from opportunistic crimes, where the kidnapping is an afterthought to a robbery or carjacking.

The latter tend to result in lower ransom demands and shorter detentions, but also tend to be more unpredictable, meaning more danger for the victim.

Latin America continues to pioneer new methods, such as virtual kidnapping. In these instances kidnappers monitoring victims to learn their routines and perpetrators use this knowledge to extort money from families or employers by claiming to have kidnapped the victim when he or she is simply unreachable.

Whilst the majority of large companies in the developed world already have some form of kidnap and ransom coverage, said Mr Mills, many choose not to draw attention to such policies.

kidnapped

Coverage is often not disclosed to employees to stop them becoming targets. Employees can also commit fraud against companies.

“There have been various cases where individuals have apparently been kidnapped, only to be found later hiding out,” pointed out Mr Mills.

Willis argues that the kidnap and ransom coverage is ‘wide ranging’.

Policies usually cover not just the ransom (reimbursed, rather than paid directly by the insurer), but various other expenses involved such as travel costs, medical bills, rewards for informants and time away from work for those released-important considerations, given the length of time kidnapping cases can take to resolve, said the broker.

In addition to kidnapping, insurance also typically covers against extortion, wrongful detention and hijacking.

Added endorsements might include cover for loss of earnings, security costs in the case of threats, product losses as a result of extortion, and emergency repatriation.

Kidnap and ransom policies can also cover the costs of crisis-response consultants in the event of an incident. This is their real value, said Willis.

“The real value of these policies is in the resources that are brought to bear in the event of a kidnap,” said Mr Scurrell. “The overwhelming majority of multinational organisations can afford to pay a ransom, but they’re not likely to have the expertise and experience in-house to deal with a kidnapping.”

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How To Deal With Extortion / Blackmail


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How to deal with money extortion

Extortion is a crime in which one person forces another person to do something against his will, generally to give up money or other property, by threat of violence, property damage, damage to the person’s reputation, or extreme financial hardship. Extortion involves the victim’s consent to the crime, but that consent is obtained illegally. 

If you had a business, and people came to you demanding money for “protection” or else they would rob/kill you, what would you do?

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Organized crime syndicates use extortion methods more and more often.. Remember – You are not alone. Help is available. ABP World Group Ltd. Specialize in helping extortion victims. – World Wide.

Examples of Extortion

A classic example of extortion is the “protection” scheme where figures with ties to organized crime demand that shop owners pay for their protection to prevent something bad (such as an assault on the shopkeeper or damage to his or her store or goods) from happening.  Many states also considerblackmail, where a victim is forced to pay someone to prevent them from releasing information that could damage their reputation or their business, to be a form of extortion.

Typically, as in those examples, extortion involves threats of future violence or harm rather than immediate violence or harm, but extortion can involve immediate violence.  For example, it would still be extortion if the offenders in the above example assaulted the shopkeeper to force him to pay them the required protection money instead of threatening to do so in the future. In such cases, extortion becomes very similar to robbery.

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How to deal with it

  1. 1

    Whatever you do, don’t take the situation into your own hands. Harming others or yourself is never the answer, and never will be. Be aware that the job of punishing and stopping crimes is what police are for. Stay calm and don’t make any rash decisions. You aren’t alone, and you can get out of this.

  2. 2

    Talk to someone. Tell a friend who you are CERTAIN you can trust, an understanding family member, or a smart and calm teacher.

  3. 3

    Once you have cleared your head, think about what you’re going to do. The person you talked to might have already suggested some things you should do. Take them into account.

  1. 4

    Make a plan. Make sure that the plan can’t go wrong. If it does happen to go wrong, it won’t be anything that you will regret.

  2. 5

    Now, put your plan into action. Call the police and go ahead with it. They may require you to go through another blackmailing session so they have proof the person is blackmailing you. If so, don’t worry. The police will be close by and get to you within seconds. You don’t have to go through with it. They can simply make sure you are well away from the person. Note: Sometimes the risk  can be so serious, that the Police can`t be involved.

  • Talking to somebody regularly while all of this is happening or writing down everything can help get out all of those mixed up, strong feelings.
  • Do things to make sure you’re calm and healthy while this is happening. Don’t just let go and panic-try to maintain your daily schedule and stay calm.
  • Don’t panic and think, “I don’t have anyone, I’ll never get out of this!” Even if you live hundreds of miles away from family and friends, there are lifelines and counselors who are specially trained to help. If you have nobody, pick up the phone and call a hotline, or schedule an appointment with a counselor. Face to face contact is probably the best. Tell this person everything-starting from who the person is, how it started, and why they are blackmailing you.
  • Make sure there is no danger involved, and nothing against the law. It may be tempting to punch the person blackmailing once the cops have got them, but that is not a good idea. Your plan should involve authorities of some kind, unless the information the blackmailer is threatening to reveal could land you in jail.
  • Never try to do this alone.

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Kidnap and extortion


Source: SOCA

The threat of kidnap continues to concern UK communities, law enforcement, and commerce and industry throughout the world. This is despite the fact that the UK is acknowledged by the United Nations as a world leader in reducing the harm caused by kidnap and blackmail offences. High profile kidnaps abroad cause harm at international, community and regional level. 

During 2008/09, police forces reported 2,034 kidnappings to the Home Office, a slight increase (2%) on 2007/08. Nonetheless, in recent years the overall trend in reported kidnaps is downward and the current figure is almost 30% less than in 2001/02 (2,795).  In practice, however, the true kidnapping figures are unknown.

Different types of kidnap

It’s likely that many kidnaps go unreported, as often the hostage and the person subject to the kidnappers’ demands are themselves criminals and have no wish to involve the law. These “vendetta kidnaps” generally revolve around debt disputes, for example linked to drug deals.

“Tiger kidnaps” involve the holding of a hostage, usually a close relative of the victim, to force the victim to facilitate a robbery.

Kidnappings abroad

Overseas, UK nationals are at greater risk of kidnap in areas of recent conflict or instability. There has also been an increase in the kidnapping of foreign nationals, for example in Pakistan, with ransom demands being made to overseas family members, including those in the UK.

In South Africa, criminals commit fraud by deceiving people to invest in items such as scrap metal and then lure victims to the country to be kidnapped to obtain ransom money. This technique has previously been associated with criminals in west Africa, including Nigeria.

Extortion / blackmail

Blackmail covers a multitude of criminal activities, including product contamination, and uses threats to get money, although other demands may also be made.

As with kidnaps, the true extent of blackmail and extortion offences (including “protection rackets”) by serious organised criminals is not known.  Fear, and damage to reputation in the case of retail businesses, may make victims unwilling to report instances.

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