Europol: Italian mafia poses big threat to European economy


June 25 , 2013

Source: Europol

The EU police agency, Europol, Monday launched A report titled “Threat Assessment on Italian Organised Crime” which was carried out to evaluate the impact of mafia structures based in Italy on the European Union. Read the report here

Italian_Mafia

The assessment, which is the result of two years of work by intelligence analysts at Europol, underlines how the main Italian organised crime groups (principally ‘Cosa Nostra’, the ‘Camorra’ and the ‘Ndrangheta’) are operating worldwide but are careful to keep a very low profile, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to detect their presence, said Europol in a statement.

“The Italian mafia-style groups are among the most threatening in Europe and in order to fight them, a pan-European approach is needed. Those of us in the law enforcement community need to step up our cooperation in tackling the most dangerous criminal groups,” said Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol which is based at the Hague in the Netherlands.

Domenico-Raccuglia

The main criminal activities of these groups are money laundering and large-scale drug trafficking. However, they are also involved in corruption, counterfeiting and the trafficking of toxic waste.
In these times of economic crisis, the immense assets that organised crime groups have at their disposal (the Calabrian Ndrangheta are estimated to generate illicit revenues of up to 44 billion euros a year) make it easy for these groups to infiltrate the legitimate economy, injecting much-needed liquidity into struggling businesses, noted the statement.

The criminals’ ‘expansion strategies’ mean that they are now touching parts of Italy and Europe not historically affected by organised crime, which could cause serious damage to the EU economy in the long run, added the statement.

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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 : Mexican cartels gain ground in European drug trade


April 14, 2013

Source: LA Times

MEXICO CITY—Mexican drug cartels are striving to become “key players in the European drugs market,”  Europol officials said Friday.

Europol-Drug

Their statement, issued from Europol headquarters in the Hague, said that Mexican criminals have become “global market coordinators” in trafficking cocaine and synthetic drugs to Europe. Police officials also alleged that Mexicans were moving firearms from southeast Europe and trading them with cocaine dealers in the Americas. They also specifically cited the Zetas cartel–perhaps the most ruthless of the Mexican gangs—for reportedly trafficking human beings “for sexual exploitation” from northeast Europe to Mexico.

Concerns about the presence of Mexican cartels in Europe are not new, but the statement by theEuropean Union’s top crime-fighting agency underscores a growing worry about the Mexican criminal groups’ ambitious plans for global expansion. Fears have spread across the Mexican border to nearby Texas, and as far away as Southeast Africa.

Last month, Texas’ public safety department declared that Mexican cartels were the “the most significant organized crime threat” to the Lone Star State. Along with other criminal groups, the cartels are suspected not only to be deeply involved in the Texas drug trade, but also to be responsible for extortion, kidnappings, public corruption and money laundering, according to the report, an annual threat assessment issued by the agency.

In May, a deputy administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration told a group of U.S. senators that Mexican cartels are involved in the African methamphetamine trade, and have “documented links” to criminal groups in Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“We haven’t identified specific cartel activity in Africa,” a DEA official told the Voice of America in June. “We’ve identified Mexicans in Africa, and we know they are affiliated with cartels – we just haven’t put it together.”

The Europol statement said that law enforcement officials had recently “averted” the Sinaloa Cartel’s attempts to set up a major European cocaine wholesaling operation. Thus far, according to the report, few violent incidents in Europe have been attributed to the Mexicans.

“We do not want the level of violence and brutality which we see in Mexico mirrored in Europe,” said Rob Wainwright, the Europol director.

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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.

europol

“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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Recovering Abducted Children in the EU


Source:NewEurope

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction created an international treaty and legal mechanism in order to find children that have been abducted. This is just one treaty or law that has been enacted in order to recover children that have been taken away from their loved ones. However, it is really important to make sure that every state has a means to deal with and track down children that have gone missing. Children get abducted for a number of reasons: •Intent to raise the child as their own
•A parent takes the child from the other parent’s care
•For ransom

Despite the seriousness of child abductions it is not publicized enough. This may in part be because the statistics are not very clear. Data collection by different organizations can differ drastically from the definition of “abducted child” to a motivation explanation. Consequently, comparing the numbers is not very helpful or simple. The need for a transnational database is evident in that it will help ascertain the significance of the missing children problem.
Fortunately, in 2007 the European Commission declared the telephone number “116000” to be the single telephone number in the EU to make pressing calls about 3missing children. By securing a single hotline number, hopefully the “116000” number will help this lack of communication that can occur between the EU countries.
Despite this effort to create a line of communication across European borders there is still not a child alert system that would create a network to look for children who may have been taken into a different country.
The United States has a number of different laws that focus on this topic exclusively by engaging in actively preventing crimes against children as well as, similar methods to handle situations in which children go missing. With the ease of crossing borders in Europe it becomes apparent that it can be difficult to work with countries that follow different procedures to help children and this creates a complicated setting to recover and protect children efficiently and safely.
Missing Children Europe is one organization that is tirelessly working to improve and enact legislation that will improve the mechanisms to help children across the European Union while simultaneously working to improve the quality and communication of existing means of handling missing children cases.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Interpol – Abducted and missing children


Source: Interpol
INTERPOL maintains a database of missing and abducted children on behalf of the member countries.
The only children appearing on this website are those which the respective law enforcement authorities request INTERPOL to circulate on an international basis.Therefore, out of the important number of children who go missing, only a few hundred appear here.
There can be nothing more distressing for a parent than to not know their child has gone missing. It is INTERPOL’s belief, that all actors of the civil society must join forces to ensure that children do not go missing and, if so, that all efforts are put into finding them.

This is why INTERPOL decided to request the public at large to help law enforcement forces in trying to find those internationally reported missing children and dedicated part of our website to the most crucial cases.
See info about recent events here: Interpol

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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