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Saturday, 30 August 2008

expat Gangsters:Seamus Ward,Mick `The Corporal' Weldon ,Tommy Savage,George `The Penguin' Mitchell ,John `The Coach' Traynor,Peter Mitchell

Posted On 09:53 0 comments

John `The Coach' Traynor (52)
Traynor strenuously denies allegations that he set up crime reporter Veronica Guerin for her murder.Garda and criminal sources allege that Traynor travels regularly between southern Spain, Amsterdam and Brussels to organise large-scale cannabis deals. Traynor, a former fraudster and associate of `The General', Martin Cahill, is believed to have made and spent a fortune from his involvement in the hash trade between 1994 and October 1996. In a phone interview with this reporter he denied that he had any part in Guerin's death.

Peter Mitchell (33)
Mitchell, from Dublin's north inner city, was alleged during two trials to be a member of the biggest cannabis gang that operated in Ireland in the mid-1990s.
Now based in Fuengirola, Spain, Mitchell is wanted by Gardai in connection with his alleged role in the gang. Mitchell and Traynor are believed to be in regular contact.

George `The Penguin' Mitchell (51)
Ballyfermot-born armed robber-turned-cannabis and ecstasy dealer Mitchell is unlikely ever to return home, as the Gardaí, the British police and the IRA are all keen to speak to him if he returns from Amsterdam, where he allegedly continues to run his hash business.Mitchell, a suspected member of the £30 million Beit art robbery gang led by Martin Cahill in the 1980s, served 18 months in jail since he left Ireland in 1996 after being caught during a robbery of computers in Holland. He is reportedly worth €15.3 million. Mitchell was accused in his absence in a court in London of being the organiser of a botched gangland hit on gangster Tony Brindle, a rival of the infamous Daly crime clan. Sources close to Mitchell have denied he was involved.

Tommy Savage (51)
Savage phoned Garda detectives from Amsterdam four years ago and said he had no part in the shooting dead of ex-INLA man Paddy `Teasy Weasy' McDonald in 1992.
However, because of newspaper reports about his alleged cannabis dealing, he has not returned because he says he would not get a fair trial.Savage, a former member of the Official IRA -- the old paramilitary wing of the Workers' Party -- was sentenced to nine years in Portlaoise for armed robbery in the 1970s. A number of his former colleagues have suffered violent deaths. In 1983 Danny McKeown was shot dead outside a Dublin dole office. Later that year Gerry Hourigan was killed in Ballymun. Michael Crinnion was murdered in Cork in 1995. Savage is believed to be close to George Mitchell.

Mick `The Corporal' Weldon (48)
Gardai have sought Weldon since 1993, when he fled the country as detectives prepared to bring him before the Special Criminal Court. He was found by Gardai with a gun allegedly in his possession.Weldon reportedly has his own plane and pilot's licence, and frequently flies to Colombia and Surinam. It is claimed by Garda sources that the former Irish Army corporal from Swords is one of the biggest cannabis barons in Europe.One criminal who knows Weldon insisted: "Mick is just like one of the lads who does a bit of this and that -- he's not an international gangster."Weldon's whereabouts are uncertain. He was last sighted in the Costa del Sol.

Seamus Ward
Ward was named during a trial two years ago as being a member of the same cannabis gang as Peter Mitchell. Ward, from Walkinstown, Dublin, has been missing since October 1996. Gardai believe he may be in the Costa del Sol, but criminal sources claim he is living in southern England.

Jim McCann
Jim "Just call me the Shamrock Pimpernel" McCann is wanted all over the world for a variety of crimes, and is regarded as a colourful figure in the underworld.
The reformed cannabis smuggler Howard Marks wrote in his autobiography that McCann mixed with unsuspecting IRA men and Hollywood actors like James Coburn during his heyday in the 1980s.McCann, originally from Belfast, in 1971 became the first man in decades to escape from Crumlin Road jail, where he was on remand for petrol-bombing Queen's University.
In the intervening period he linked up with international cannabis dealer Marks, while still trading on his reputation as a revolutionary. In 1977 he was arrested in France for extradition to Germany for allegedly bombing a British Army base in Moenchengladbach. A subsequent case failed, thanks largely to protests by French political radicals. Next he turned up in Naas, when Gardai caught him with nearly £100,000 worth of cannabis. When arrested, he would only say: "My name is Mr Nobody. My address is The World."McCann was later freed by the Garda on a technicality. He was last seen in Argentina.

Ernesto Valle will spend nearly 50 years in prison for shooting a man to death two years ago as part of a gang initiation.

Posted On 09:35 1 comments

Ernesto Valle will spend nearly 50 years in prison for shooting a man to death two years ago as part of a gang initiation.Valle, 21, of the 500 block of Columbia Street in Aurora was sentenced by Circuit Judge Grant Wegner on Friday to 45 years in prison for the gang-initiation shooting death of 19-year-old Jesse Lozano of Aurora, according the Kane County State's Attorney's office. Valle was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder on March 6.Just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 12, 2006, Valle and two other men, including co-defendant Hector D. Delgado, 19, were driving near Grove and Kendall streets in Aurora when Valle spotted Lozano driving a Chevrolet pickup.Valle walked to the truck and fired five shots -- two struck Lozano in the head and one struck him in the back. Lozano was pronounced dead a short time later. After the shooting, Valle returned to a gang party and was inducted into the gang, the release said.Valle’s sentence breaks down as 20 years for the murder, plus an additional mandatory 25 years because a firearm was used during commission of a crime. By law, he must serve 100 percent of the sentence. Valle had been held in Kane County Jail on $3 million bond, which was revoked upon conviction.
“This is a tragic case for two families. The Lozano family and the Valle family are grieving their respective loss of a son. Perhaps this case will make other young men think twice before trying to become a gang member,” said Asst. State’s Attorney Greg Sams, who prosecuted the case.

Ralph Thurston O'Neal III, 33, of Roane County's Midtown area is identified by authorities as the drug network's kingpin

Posted On 00:27 0 comments

Ralph Thurston O'Neal III, 33, of Roane County's Midtown area is identified by authorities as the drug network's kingpin and is named in all 10 counts of the indictment.Also charged are Michael Currier, 32, of Clinton, Brandon Cooper, 26, and Randy Spears, 43, both of Harriman, and Demond Reed, 37, of Rockwood.
According to a Roane County Sheriff's Department news release, O'Neal and others are accused of bringing in cocaine from Texas, California and Georgia.The drugs were then distributed to others for resale in Roane, Anderson and Knox counties, the news release alleges.Vehicles, cash and weapons were seized during the investigation.Other arrests are expected, Mynatt said."Most of the cocaine investigations pointed to Ralph O'Neal," Mynatt said.

Jose Jaime Arroyos-Carrillo, 51, a convicted drug dealer, and two of his associates are believed to have worked for Guzman, Mexico's top drug kingpin

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Jose Jaime Arroyos-Carrillo, 51, a convicted drug dealer, and two of his associates are believed to have worked for Guzman, Mexico's top drug kingpin and head of the Sinaloa Cartel. They are named in a 29-count indictment that an El Paso federal grand jury handed up in November 2006.All three were indicted on the following charges: conspiracy to import a controlled substance, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, importing a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to laundermonetary instruments and bulk cash smuggling.Arroyos-Carrillo may currently be in hiding in Chihuahua, Mexico. His associates, Isidro Gomez-Arpero and Juan Samaniego were arrested in 2006 in Mexico, and extradited to the United States last year. On Aug. 14, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone sentenced one of the masterminds of the organization, Gomez-Arpero, to 230 months (more than 19 years) in federal prison, and Juan Samaniego to 210 months (17½ years). The ICE investigation revealed that the Gomez organization, which was based in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, at one time was a large cell of the Guzman international drug-trafficking organization, judging by the large narcotics shipments it smuggled every week through El Paso.The nearly five-year OCDETF investigation was a joint effort by ICE and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Other law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included: the El Paso County Sheriff's Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), the Texas Department of Public Safety, the El Paso Police Department, and ICE Offices in New York, Seattle, Birmingham, Houston. The El Paso FBI Office and DEA Strike Force New York also played an active role in this case.The investigation resulted in more than 20 seizures totaling more than 1,000 lbs. of cocaine, more than 2,820 lbs. of marijuana, and two separate cash seizures totaling more than $1.2 million.
More than 30 individuals were identified as active participants of the Gomez organizations' drug trafficking activities. Among the organization's members identified, were two members of the Barrio Azteca Street Gang who coordinated smuggling cocaine shipments into the United States.
"ICE and its law enforcement partners worked relentlessly for nearly five years on this case, which ultimately disrupted the flow of narcotics coming into the country by dismantling a major drug organization based here on the border," said Roberto G. Medina, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso."
To date, 25 of the organization's members, who have been prosecuted by federal authorities in this case, have been sentenced. Their combined sentences total 1,507 months. Fifteen individuals have been prosecuted by Texas law enforcement agencies and sentenced to a total of 80 years.Arroyos-Carrillo, originally from Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, is among several members of the organization still at large. Arroyos-Carrillo, whose aliases include Jaime-Lopez-Carrillo, Jaime Carrillo-Fuentes and Jaime Apachuco-Romero, is believed to be in Chihuahua, Mexico.
In 1987, he was convicted of smuggling more than 700 lbs. of cocaine into Arizona. In 2000, he was deported as an aggravated felon through Laredo, Texas. As early as last year, he was known to own property and businesses in Ciudad Juarez.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Armed police shot dead boss Mark Nunes, 35, after lying in wait outside a bank in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.

Posted On 05:41 0 comments

Gang carried out detailed reconnaissance trips and used stolen cars to target cash in transit vans outside banks in at least 18 robberies across the south of England, Kingston Crown Court heard. Its 18-month crime spree was brought to an end in September last year when armed police shot dead two of its number, including boss Mark Nunes, 35, after lying in wait outside a bank in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.
The getaway driver, Terrence Wallace, 26, was arrested later that day after fleeing the scene, the court heard. Wallace and three other alleged members of the gang, Victor Iniodu, 34, Leroy Wilkinson, 29, and Adrian Johnson, 28, from London, all deny conspiracy to rob. Brendan Kelly, opening the case for the prosecution, said: "This case concerns robberies, sometimes armed, sometimes not, that targeted the carriers of cash in transit, that is guards employed to move money to and from banks and all other retail outlets. "Over an 18-month period of time, this gang netted in excess of £500,000." The court was told Nunes recruited gang members and selected the targets but also joined in on the robberies.
Mr Kelly said: "Despite their skills, their planning and to a degree, their patience, their luck ran out." The Metropolitan Police managed to identify at least some of the culprits and they were followed.
Nunes and accomplice Andrew Markland, 36, were under surveillance as they drove to Chandler's Ford, a small town in Hampshire on September 13.
"Again their victim was a Group 4 Security guard but this time there was a difference," Mr Kelly said. "Armed police officers both undercover and secluded in various buildings in the vicinity of the HSBC bank were watching.
"They saw Nunes point a loaded firearm at the head of the guard and as he did so, he was shot dead to protect the life of the guard.
"As Markland went to pick up the gun, he too was shot dead."
Wallace, of Raynes Park, Wilkinson, of 3 Presentation Mews, 42 Palace Road, Streatham, Johnson, of 79 Abbotts Place, Streatham Hill, and Iniodu, of 297 Derinton Road, Tooting, all deny conspiracy to rob cash in transit between April 27 2006 and September 14 2007.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell was being treated in a hospital on the Costa del Sol for two gunshot wounds to his shoulder

Posted On 19:15 0 comments

Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell was being treated in a hospital on the Costa del Sol for two gunshot wounds to his shoulder, which were not serious, after a hitman tried to whack him in a bar outside Puerto Banus on Thursday night.A year ago it was all so different as he settled down with his street dealer wife Sonia and their two children in a luxury villa worth around €1.5 million.Last August he and Walsh, who had been his girlfriend since the early 1990s, were about to open the Paparazzi bar and restaurant in Nueva Andalucia.
The bar, which was a front for money laundering, is situated in the hills a few miles from Puerto Banus and Marbella which was once a playground for the rich and famous.These days, however, the once trendy ‘port’ is a sleazy centre of prostitution and drug dealing thanks to the likes of Mitchell and his international cronies.Some of the biggest names in organized crime from Ireland, the UK, Holland and Spain received printed invites to the gala opening from “Peter and Sonia” last September.And for a number of months the Paparazzi bar became a popular meeting point for drug traffickers, hitmen and money launderers including the likes of Fat Freddie Thompson and his pal Paddy Doyle.Then Doyle was shot dead by gunmen last February as he was travelling in a jeep in the company of Thompson and Gary Hutch, a nephew of armed robber Gerry the Monk Hutch, near San Pedro on the Costa.It has since emerged, however, that Doyle, a dangerous hitman and bully boy, was shot by a local gang from whom he had ripped off a shipment of cocaine.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, who had been imprisoned for money laundering in Brazil, was handed over to U.S. agents in the Amazonian city of Manaus

Posted On 19:58 0 comments

Ramirez Abadia, known as "El Chupeta" (Lollipop) and long considered one of the world's major traffickers, is under U.S. indictment on racketeering, money laundering and murder charges. In one case, he is accused of ordering a hit team to kill a trafficker employed by his organization in Queens, N.Y.
Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, who had been imprisoned for money laundering in Brazil, was handed over to U.S. agents in the Amazonian city of Manaus and flown to New York, the Brazilian Justice Ministry said.Acting Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, in a statement issued Friday in Washington, labeled Ramirez Abadia "one of the most violent and prolific narcotics traffickers in the hemisphere."The Justice Ministry here said that U.S. officials agreed to limit Ramirez Abadia's maximum prison time, if he is convicted, to 30 years, the most he would have faced in Brazil.Ramirez Abadia is a rare Latin American reputed drug lord who willingly sought extradition to the United States. Once in Brazilian custody, he even offered to hand over tens of millions of dollars in hidden proceeds to Brazil in exchange for speedy extradition.Ramirez Abadia allegedly was among the ringleaders of Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel, which became the country's most powerful drug gang during the 1990s.The sophisticated cartel is accused of organizing the transport of more than 500 tons of cocaine worth more than $10 billion from Colombia to the United States, the U.S. Justice Department said.Ramirez Abadia "controlled a large percentage of those drug exports" and employed "hundreds" in his enterprise, including dozens of killers, the Justice Department said.
The gang killed rivals, bribed police and laundered profits, the Justice Department charged. Ramirez Abadia fled to Brazil after serving a prison term in Colombia. He was arrested again in August 2007 at a luxurious condominium outside Sao Paulo, South America's most populous city.Because of Ramirez Abadia's plastic surgery, authorities reportedly used voice-recognition technology to confirm his identity from wire-tapped phone calls. At the time, U.S. officials were offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.His enthusiasm for extradition prompted speculation that Ramirez Abadia was keen to provide information to U.S. authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence. But he denied in a television interview here that he would testify against former confederates.
"I'm not going to make any deals," he told TV Globo in a jailhouse interview last year. "I'll assume responsibility for my problems alone."
The drug-trafficking trade would continue to thrive, he predicted, despite his latest arrest and the jailing of other bosses. "I'm in prison, but there are people replacing me, then there will be others," Ramirez Abadia told TV Globo. "It will never end."Since Ramirez Abadia's arrest a year ago, Brazilian authorities have auctioned off many of his holdings, including at least four homes. Assets and cash totaling more than $700 million have been seized from his organization, according to the Justice Department.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

George Buchanan - Edinburgh's No.1 drugs baron.

Posted On 11:11 1 comments

George Buchanan - Edinburgh's No.1 drugs baron.The pug-faced body-builder keeps his sinister occupation secret from his middle-class neighbours in the upmarket estate of Gilbertstoun.But the father of two is to blame for most of the heroin, Ecstasy, hash and speed sold in city housing schemes such as Craigmillar, where he was brought up.Police sources yesterday confirmed Buchanan - known as Dode - commands the city's drugs underworld.But repeated attempts by drug squad officers to end cunning Buchanan's criminal career have ended in failure.More than £90,000 in cash was found in his home during Lothian andBorders Police's Operation Foil purges four years ago. Tests found traces of drugs on the notes.But furious detectives were forced to return the cash when a businessman claimed the money was his savings which Buchanan had been keeping for him.An earlier raid at Buchanan's previous home in Lochend, Edinburgh, uncovered another £30,000 in cash.But again, slippery Buchanan got the money returned when a relative claimed it was the proceeds from selling her home.Buchanan, 46, first came to the police's attention when he was a young thug growing up in Niddrie and Craigmillar.Hewas jailed for eight years in 1974 for the attempted murder of a gang rival when he was a member of the infamous Niddrie Terror street gang.In jail, Buchanan developed a passion for bodybuilding and by the time he was released the once-skinny thug had been transformed in to a muscle-bound heavyweight. One former detective said: "He was a wee nyaff before he went inside."But that all changed when he was released and he tapped in to the growing drugs market. He soon became a name to be reckoned with."In June 1987, Buchanan was jailed for 12 years after a jury found him guilty of being involved in the second biggest ever heroin haul found in Edinburgh.Officers who burst in to a house in Stockbridge found him in bed with the wife of his lieutenant, Raymond Smith.While officers detained Buchanan, Smith was being pursued in a high-speed car chase in which he almost killed young children in his desperate bid to escape.When arrested, Smith refused to co-operate - until it was pointed out by detectives that his boss had been caught in bed with hiswife.His evidence sent Buchanan away for 12 years - but not before Smith was repeatedly stabbed and almost died in an attack the night before the trial was due to start.In the same court, Buchanan was convicted of supplying heroin while he was a prisoner in Barlinnie Prison's special unit.But he was cleared of firearms offences and of a plot to rob Edinburgh jewellers of pounds 30,000.Ever the gentleman, on his way down to the cells Buchanan spat at the jury, for which he received a further sentence.Buchanan has never put in a proper day's work in his life but lives with wife Marie in a smart, £250,000 detached villa at Gilbertstoun, near Portobello.Naturally, the house is in his wife's name because Buchanan is careful not to have any identifiable assets that could be seized by the authorities.The cunning criminal is ultra-cautious in guarding his movements and even uses different vehicles depending on his purpose.When he visits his old stamping ground of Craigmillar and the other housing estates, Buchanan prefers to drive an old L- reg Volvo 440, swapping itfor a top-of-the-range Range Rover with private registration DDD 74 when he visits the gym.Known to have links to west of Scotland drug barons, Buchanan is a regular visitor to Glasgow to arrange consignments.When he is not visiting his mistress, who lives just yards from St Leonard's police station in Edinburgh, Buchanan can be spotted visiting a sauna in York Place and it is thought that he is planning to invest his ill-gotten gains in prostitution.A senior detective said: "George Bell Cowan Buchanan is one of the most active drug dealers in Edinburgh."He spreads misery in the housing estates which are in walking distance from the cosy existence that he lives out in Gilbertstoun.
"He is a nasty piece of work and it is only a matter of time before he reaps what he has sown."He has had a few lucky escapes but his luck will run out one of these days."

Hells Angels remain the most powerful Drug-gang violence that has ripped through Metro Vancouver in recent months has been linked to gangwarfare

Posted On 09:28 0 comments

B.C.-based organized crime groups are controlling the sale of methamphetamine across Canada and abroad, according to Criminal Intelligence Service Canada's annual report.
Meth production in the province was up in 2007 "primarily to meet expanding international market consumption," said the report, which marks trends in organized crime across the country."The number of super-labs in Canada indicates the capacity to produce significant quantities for foreign distribution," the report said.In 2007, seizures of Canadian-produced methamphetamine were interdicted in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and to a lesser extent, China, Taiwan, India and Iran. The majority of the groups involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine are based in B.C."B.C. is also still a major producer of marijuana for cross-border smuggling, with cocaine being brought back into Canada by crime groups, the report said.
The resulting drug-gang violence that has ripped through Metro Vancouver in recent months is a hallmark of the crime groups, the report said."Violence and intimidation are used to solidify or further a crime group's involvement within a criminal market. It is usually directed either externally against criminal rivals or internally within their own organization to maintain discipline," it said.
"In some instances, lower-level criminal groups will pose a more immediate and direct public safety threat through acts of violence that are often carried out in public places. These violent, lower-level criminal groups are largely but not entirely composed of street gangs, some of which have committed assaults or shootings in public places."
Police say the Hells Angels remain the most powerful organized crime group in B.C.
More than 900 crime groups were identified as operating in Canada in 2007, about the same number as the year before.Their major centres of criminal operation are Metro Vancouver, southern Ontario and Montreal, the report said. Some of the B.C. crime groups are also involved in human trafficking, it said."A small number of organized crime groups, mostly based in B.C. and Quebec, are involved in the facilitation of international trafficking in persons (TIP), it said."Conversely, several street gangs are active within the domestic TIP market for the purposes of sexual exploitation. These groups facilitate the recruitment, control, movement and exploitation of Canadian-born females in the domestic sex trade, primarily in strip bars in several cities across the country."
RCMP E Division media liaison Sgt. Tim Shields said police in B.C. are fighting back against crime groups in the province."Today there are more than 17 police units and government agencies actively working together to combat organized crime," Shields said Friday. "But this is not just a problem for the police to solve in isolation. It is a problem for the entire community to take a stand against."
Shields said the marijuana trade in B.C. is estimated to be worth $6 billion per year."This figure does not include revenue from the sale of crystal meth, cocaine and heroin, and from identity theft, credit card fraud, prostitution, gun smuggling, human trafficking, and money laundering," he said. "But even more alarming is the violent crime associated to organized crime such as shootings in public places, kidnappings and the murders of innocent people."Not only are the gangs involved in drug trafficking, but they are also increasingly committing fraud and identity theft as technology makes it easier."Technology changes very fast and our reliance on technology is growing at a phenomenal rate," RCMP Commissioner William Elliott told a news conference in Montreal. "It is a challenge for us to keep up, which is all the more reason why we need to collaborate more and I think this report is an example of us doing it."The report said wireless technology allows fraud artists to steal payment card information without entering a store. They can gather the information from a point-of-sale terminal inside while sitting in a car nearby. The information is then transferred to illegal debit card factories worldwide within seconds.
The potential for profits is huge, making it very attractive to well-established organized crime groups traditionally involved in activities like drug trafficking.
"As we move more and more to the Internet and the technology being used, the risks are increasing. A lot of the public are not very careful about their identity," said Elliott, who is also the chairman of Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC), a grouping of 380 law enforcement agencies across Canada.
"One of the reasons why organized crime has been as successful as it [is], is because they are very adaptable. It's not as if they have given up any of their traditional markets but, as new technology and as changes occur in society, they are also changing and taking advantage of the areas they can exploit

Friday, 22 August 2008

Ricky Sam Sisneros the shot-caller for a Torrance street gang

Posted On 01:38 0 comments

Convicted Ricky Sam Sisneros of being an ex-felon in possession of seven firearms as well as ammunition and drug counts. The jury also found true allegations the crimes were gang-related.
The 45-year-old Sisneros was described during trial as the shot-caller for a Torrance street gang, but defense lawyer Caree Harper told jurors he was only a "junkie, bike-riding older man."

Gangster Kalid Dib, shot dead during a failed armoured van robbery on Tuesday.

Posted On 01:29 0 comments

Hundreds of mourners have gathered at Lakemba Mosque for the funeral of Kalid Dib, shot dead during a failed armoured van robbery on Tuesday.About 200 friends and relatives marched in a procession from a funeral parlour next door and into the mosque just before midday.A group of young men carried Dib's white casket, draped in a green religious sheet, up the steps and inside.The mourners included the clearly distraught immediately family of Dib, as well as controversial Sydney cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly.After a half-hour service the crowd re-emerged and watched as the coffin was placed in a hearse and driven to Rookwood Cemetery, where he is to be buried.A small contingent of police and Sydney media stood by as the crowd walked up Wangee Road and then dispersed to drive to Rookwood.Dib and another man were fired at when they tried to rob three Armaguard guards of cash at the National Australia Bank on George Street, Parramatta, on Tuesday.The hunt for the two other men involved in the shooting continues today with police saying the security guards who fired are expected not to be charged.A prominent youth worker in the south-west, Fadi Rahman, also attended the funeral.Afterwards he told the Herald that Dib, whom he had known through the local Lebanese muslim community, had become sucked in a life of crime."These young kids have nothing. They emulate their older brothers, relatives, start acting up, and eventually they get recruited by real crims."
He said a lack of resources for local youth - Mr Rahman's Lidcombe youth centre and gym was forced to move last year after a stoush with Auburn Council - means there is limited help for troubled youth."There's no PCYC [police citizens youth club], no youth centre. What do you expect the result to be? Of course somebody is going to die. This time it was the young bloke, next time it could be the security guard.
"We've been speaking to the Premier, we've been speaking to MPs, but it comes to nothing. What will it take? Look at our streets, they're like ghettos."
Mr Rahman, who was involved in crime before he turned to youth work, said he understood how kids were sucked into criminal activity."They come from poor families, they have nothing and they get depressed. I know what it's like. You come to a state where your life is a dead end and you're willing to do anything to get out, even commit armed robberies."

Gangster John Gizzi yesterday blamed the credit crunch for stopping him paying back his ill gotten gains to the state.

Posted On 01:26 0 comments

John Gizzi yesterday blamed the credit crunch for stopping him paying back his ill gotten gains to the state.Lawyers for Gizzi, 36, also blamed bad headlines in the media on him being unable to sell his house in St Asaph to raise the full amount of cash he owes.The 36-year-old faces a default sentence of eight years unless he finds £2.6m under a proceeds of crime order made against him in March last year for every asset he owned.At a Proceeds of Crime Hearing to discuss why the money had not yet been paid back yesterday, Prestatyn court heard that so far £300,000 had been realised.But several offers had been made and withdrawn for his principal asset, Bronwylfa Hall at St Asaph. Originally it was offered at £1.75m, but was now “a bargain,” the court heard.District Judge Andrew Shaw agreed to adjourn the case until the end of September.He said the reason why he was allowing the adjournment of the default hearing was that Gizzi had not been shown to have wilfully obstructed the sale of any of his assets.Gizzi was locked up for five and a half years in January 2006 for wounding, assault and conspiracy to supply counterfeit cigarettes.
At the time police described him as a bully who preyed on the vulnerable and who was regarded locally as an untouchable millionaire crook. They had vowed publicly to relieve him of his ill-gotten gains.Kathleen Greenwood, seeking recovery of the assets, told the judge it was correct no criticism of Gizzi could be made for the withdrawal of offers for the mansion.Ian Till, for Gizzi, said lurid headlines had appeared about the property and it had been close to sale as recently as last week, but fell through. Market forces and headlines had worked against him. But it was now the subject of a new offer.“Mr Gizzi shares the frustration of the assets recovery team,” declared Mr Till.Six houses had been sold, offers had been made for some other properties, and a watch was being sold at a specialist auction. “Mr Gizzi is wanting desperately to realise these assets,” said Mr Till.
There was a large police presence at the court. Several members of the Gizzi family were in the public seats and John Gizzi smiled frequently to them through the glass screen of the dock.At the end of the hearing he was handcuffed and led away to return to prison.The hearing was adjourned until the end of September, but the case will also come before a judge at Mold Crown Court earlier in the month.

Philbert Truong was gunned down outside the Red Jacket nightclub

Posted On 00:43 0 comments

The two young men charged in last month's shooting death of Victoria student Philbert Truong were among the 11 suspected associates of the violent Red Scorpion gang identified by Victoria police during a recent drug sting, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.Dubbed Operation Mongoose, the initiative kicked into gear on July 22, three days after Mr. Truong was gunned down outside a View Street nightclub.On Tuesday, police said they had seven of the 11 alleged Red Scorpion affiliates in custody. They later acknowledged that only five of the people arrested in the sting have been linked to the gang.On condition of anonymity, sources close to the investigation acknowledged that the other two who are "believed to have some affiliation with the Red Scorpion gang" are the suspects in Mr. Truong's death. They were taken into custody minutes after the shooting. Victoria police Constable Colin Brown refused comment Tuesday when asked about possible links between Mr. Truong's murder and the wave of drug arrests.Yesterday, Victoria police Sergeant Grant Hamilton called the murder investigation "completely separate" from Operation Mongoose."It's before the courts, and it would be inappropriate to speculate on any association between these arrests and the incident on View Street," Sgt. Hamilton said.He declined to specify which suspects are believed to be Red Scorpion affiliates, noting that police departments can be sued for incorrectly identifying someone as a gang member.Mr. Truong was gunned down in the early morning hours of July 19 as he and a group of friends were leaving the Red Jacket nightclub.
Two other young men believed to be friends of Mr. Truong were wounded in the attack.
Somphavanh Chanthabouala, 22, of Surrey and a 16-year-old who can't be named are facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting.The seven people facing drug possession or trafficking charges, or both, as a result of Operation Mongoose are: Mark Hubahib, Kurtis Schmidt, John Supena, Ashley Appolinario, Raphael Jose Blanco, Hisham Bennink and Justin Houchen. The suspects range in age from 18 to 23. Mr. Houchen was convicted of selling crack cocaine outside Victoria City Hall in July and sent back to the Lower Mainland. He is a under court order to stay away from Victoria.Victoria police said on Tuesday that Red Scorpion affiliates began aggressively targeting the local drug trade this spring.
Red Scorpion district "managers" had equipped junior drug runners with vehicles and cell phones as part of a dial-a-dope drug-dealing business, similar to Red Scorpion operations on the Lower Mainland, police said.
The Red Scorpion gang formed in 2000 inside a youth detention centre. Upon their release, the group of Asian males began a "dial-a-dope" operation in the Coquitlam area. In 2006, RCMP officers arrested several Red Scorpions and charged them with drug trafficking.
The investigation, titled Project E-Poison, produced 10 guilty pleas.
"That was the project that was thought to have really brought about the demise of the early manifestation of the Red Scorpions," said Sergeant Shinder Kirk of the Lower Mainland's Integrated Gang Task Force. "But again, given the drug situation not only within the Lower Mainland but the province and certainly nationally, we had a coalescing of people under that name and off they went again. That speaks to the draw of the drug trade."
Police don't know how many members the Red Scorpion gang has, or how far the gang's reach is.Sgt. Kirk said the "franchising" model used by the Red Scorpions to bully their way onto the Victoria drug scene is nothing new to the B.C. drug trade.
"We've seen it in organized crime," Sgt. Kirk said. "They may have an individual who has ties there that's already part of the group, or there's somebody already in the community who's engaged in the drug trade who sees an opportunity to now connect with someone who has the capacity to import or move larger shipments. We have a two-way street."

Seven members of the Vancouver-based Red Scorpions gang are facing multiple drug trafficking charges in Victoria.

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The Red Scorpions are a multi-ethnic gang known for its lack of mercy. The gang has been mentioned in connection with the death of six men in a Surrey apartment last October. Two of the people killed were uninvolved with crime (Ed Schellenberg and Chris Mohan).
Seven members of the Vancouver-based Red Scorpions gang are facing multiple drug trafficking charges in Victoria. Victoria Police say the bust of a dial-a-dope scheme was designed to keep the notorious Vancouver gang from moving into the provincial capital. Victoria Police Sergeant Grant Hamilton says they started an undercover operation focused on the Red Scorpions when they heard local drug dealers were being threatened by a gang from Vancouver. "We felt we had to do that, because we believe there was a significant risk to public safety due to their willingness to use violence and intimidation to further their criminal behaviour."Sergeant Hamilton says several of those arrested had loaded weapons nearby. Police say five of the suspects are under arrest and warrants have been issued for the other two, who have yet to be found. Some of the suspects were arrested after a raid carried out on a home in Saanich. The names of the suspects have not been released.

Glock handgun seized by gardai during a raid on a house in Dublin's north inner city is being linked to a series of underworld hits.

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Glock handgun seized by gardai during a raid on a house in Dublin's north inner city is being linked to a series of underworld hits.
And one of the men arrested during the raids has been described as a 'serious player' in Dublin's inner city underworld by informed gardai.
The gun which was fitted with a silencer was uncovered by gardai from Pearse Street Drugs Unit when they raided a house on Sean McDermott Street. Drugs with a potential street value of nearly €500,000 were also seized in separate searches in Dublin. In addition to the weapon, detectives also seized 10 rounds of ammunition at the house, €100,000 worth of heroin, €40,000 worth of valium and up to €45,000 in cash. The majority of the cash was found in a fridge. Two men, one in his late 20's and one in his mid teens were arrested at the house and are currently being detained in Pearse Street garda station under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act. The haul is seen as significant by top investigators. They have netted not only a large amount of heroin, but also a gun they believe has been used in a number of underworld assassinations and most importantly the arrest of one of their most wanted men.
After their success, a follow-up search was carried out at a house in Balbriggan shortly after 3pm. In the course of the search heroin valued at €300,000 and approximately €20,000 worth of valium tablets, some drug paraphernalia and €3,000 in cash were also seized. A third man in his late 20's was arrested and is in custody in Pearse Street garda station, detained under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act. The recovered gun will now be put through a series of ballistic tests to see if it can be positively linked to any murders or criminal activity.
The find is seen as significant by gardai. The three people arrested during the raids are still being quizzed by gardai today at Pearse Street garda station. They can be held for up to seven days.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Arthur Thompson, organised the hit. Thompson, was a notorious Glasgow-born gangster who took charge of organised crime in the city

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John McGranaghan said that a city businessman, who now lives in Spain, went to Glasgow crime baron, Arthur Thompson, to organise the hit. Thompson, was a notorious Glasgow-born gangster who took charge of organised crime in the city for more than 30 years.Thompson began his career as a money lender and became infamous for nailing those who failed to pay debts to him to the floor by their hands and feet.Linked to the notorious Kray twins, protection rackets soon followed and Thompson invested his money into legitimate businesses, making him very wealthy.
One of the most feared criminals in Scotland, it was rumoured that, by the 1990s, he was earning £100,000 a week as a loan shark.His former protege, Paul Ferris, was acquitted of shooting his son, Arthur junior, and Thompson later denied he was behind the murders of two other men, Bobby Glover and Joe "Bananas" Hanlon, who were to have appeared alongside Ferris in connection with the murder.A gunshot victim himself in 1988, he died in Glasgow on March 13, 1993 from a heart attack aged 61.
The hired killers, who were also from Glasgow and paid £12,000, went after the wrong man and stabbed and beat Mr McCann to death on February 20, 1974.The four men alleged to be responsible are now dead.Mr McGranaghan said today: "I looked quite like Neil, dark hair, same build, and they must've thought I was him. The next day I got a call from a pal in the know who said, 'You were lucky', and told me the hit had been for me. He said guys from a Glasgow crew were through and whacked the wrong person."He added: "I felt bad for Neil and his family. I didn't know him, but I'm told he was a decent guy. But I'm still glad it was him rather than me, I won't apologise for that."Mr McGranaghan told police, who recently flew to his London home to interview him after he wrote a letter detailing the circumstances to Chief Constable David Strang, that the businessman behind the hit suspected him of setting a fire at one of his premises in the city's West End.The 66-year-old said that the man, whom the Evening News has not named for legal reasons, asked to meet him for a drink at the International Bar in Tollcross on the night of the murder. But he had "smelled a rat" and decided to return to London, where he had stayed on and off for two years.Instead, his brother, Charlie McGranaghan, went to the bar to "feel him out", but the businessmen failed to turn up. But Charlie did meet his old school friend, Neil McCann, in the pub and the pair stayed out to drink together.The two men later caught a bus back to the Craigmillar area and Neil, 37, was attacked in Craigmillar Castle Loan just minutes after getting off at his stop.Detectives had always suspected that the murder was a professional hit which went wrong, and one police theory was that Charlie McGranaghan was the intended victim.But John McGranaghan, who was cleared of rape on appeal in 1991 after serving 11 years in jail, revealed that some of the killers knew his brother as they had served time together in Peterhead jail and would not have mistaken him.The pensioner said that he was told by friends at the time that four men had been hired for the hit, which police always believed involved just two. The businessman behind it was well-known figure on the criminal scene in the Capital in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr McGranaghan said: "I used to have the odd drink with (the businessman] if I saw him in Edinburgh when I was back in town. I was up on the Friday before the murder and bumped into him in the Warrender baths."He had gotten it into his head that I set fire to (his premises), which is totally wrong, although he didn't mention it. I had been told he suspected me by a detective I knew a few months before. "He asked me out for a drink at the International the next week, which I thought was strange because he hadn't asked me out for one before."I later learned that (the businessman) had put out a contract on me with Arthur Thompson. That night I phoned the International and asked Charlie if he had turned up and he said no. "The Glasgow team who were in on the hit were in Peterhead with Charlie and knew him well. But they didn't know me."Mr McGranaghan, who moved to London in 1972, said another underworld friend contacted him later. "He told me that (the businessman) complained to Arthur Thompson about the mix-up with Neil, and didn't want to pay the £12,000. But he paid up after Thompson said he would send the team round to get it themselves."I didn't hold anything against Arthur Thompson, or the guys who did it. It wasn't a personal thing as they didn't even know me. It was just business."
Mr McGranaghan was jailed for life in 1981 after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of a rape and indecent assaults against three women between 1978 and 1980. But following a campaign by Rough Justice, he was freed after forensic evidence showed there had been a "miscarriage of justice", according to appeal judges.
He said: "I was in Frankland Prison in Durham just before I was released. I met a guy there and we got pally – we were both Scottish. We were talking about the Edinburgh (criminal) scene and he asked if I knew (the businessman]. I laughed and said 'yes'."He couldn't believe it when I told him about Neil. He knew the Glasgow team that was sent through for a 'bit of work' and screwed it up."
McGranaghan said he wrote to the Chief Constable after suggestions that his brother Charlie was a drug dealer and perhaps the true target for Neil McCann's killers.
He said: "I was angry that Charlie had been accused of being a dealer and I didn't want them putting this on him too."Charlie hated drugs and had nothing to do with them. He considered someone who smoked cannabis a no-good junkie. He only came to London to help me fight to be released from prison."Charlie McGranaghan was murdered in 1981 by Ronnie Turnbull, who was having an affair with his brother John's now ex-wife, Janet, while her husband was in prison on the rape charges. He confronted Turnbull, who stabbed him to death and was later jailed for murder.Retired detective Bert Swanson, head of the "cold case" unit at Lothian and Borders Police, interviewed Mr McGranaghan at his home two months ago. He also led the re-investigation into missing schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton.The McGranaghans' sister also told her story to CID detectives on Wednesday night at her home after being unable to keep the family secret any longer. She was unaware that her brother had already been interviewed by police as they have not spoken for more than a decade after a falling out.Margaret Hamilton, 64, who lives in Bingham Drive, near The Jewel, went to police following the death of her grandson, James Fraser, 24, last month. She decided to come forward so the McCann family would not "suffer anymore". Mrs Hamilton told police that her brother revealed that Neil McCann was killed by mistake.She said: "John told me that (the businessman) thought he started the fire and put the contract out on him. Neil did look quite like him and he was killed instead. Charlie was a decent man but John only cared about himself and was always getting in fights and bother."A police spokeswoman said today: "We can confirm that we are looking again into the death of Neil McCann after new information came to light."

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Shawn Walker, also called Coach, was taken into custody after he was injured during a shootout with the police on Wednesday.

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Shawn Walker, also called Coach, was taken into custody after he was injured during a shootout with the police on Wednesday. He is still in hospital under police guard.
Walker has since been charged for shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The police say Walker is the leader of a gang, which operates out of a section of the Phase Two Housing Scheme in Seaview Gardens known as Marley. According to the police he was also a suspect in the murder of bus driver, Roy McFarlene about three weeks ago. The police say he will be facing an identification parade in connection with that case as soon as he is released from hospital. Further charges are also expected to be laid against Walker in the case of a murder, which is reportedly being probed by the Major Investigative Task Force.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Nate Craft the former hit man testified against a Detroit drug gang in return for prosecutors reducing a first-degree murder charge

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Nate Craft the former hit man testified against a Detroit drug gang in return for prosecutors reducing a first-degree murder charge for the killing of a drug dealer.
Released from prison in April, Craft thought he would enter the Witness Protection Program. Not only was he rejected, but his probation requires him to live in Michigan for the next two years. By forcing him to live in the same place as the people he testified against, many of whom were paid killers and already have been released from prison, Craft said his probation amounts to a virtual death sentence.
"You might as well pull the trigger and shoot me now," said Craft, who doesn't want to say where he lives in Michigan because he doesn't want to be found.
The handling of his case raises questions about just how far prosecutors should go to protect criminals, even murderers, who help convict other crooks, legal experts said. Craft, 51, admits he was no angel.
He was one of the most ruthless members of the vicious Best Friends, a hired hit man who killed 30 people in the mid 1980s. He was never charged with the other deaths. Now the tables have been turned. The hunter thinks he is hunted. Craft's federal and state probation officers also believe he's in danger.
"He's in a situation where he's vulnerable," said George Murphy, a Michigan probation officer. "It's not surprising reprisals would be sought by others."
For Craft's safety, both probation officers visit him at home rather than make him travel to their offices. Still, it didn't take long for Craft's old running mates to learn he was out of prison. On his second day of freedom, he was walking out of a grocery store when a man called out his name. He turned around to spy a former accomplice. The man said he would tell Craft's old cohorts that he was back on the street. During his 17 years in federal prison, Craft was in the Witness Protection Program, kept separate from the general population. Upon his release, he applied for the next phase of the program, which would give him a new name and new life somewhere in the United States. But his request was rejected by the Justice Department, which didn't give a reason. A department spokeswoman declined comment. Bill Soisson, an assistant U.S. attorney who supported Craft's request, said a Justice Department official told him the reason Craft was rejected was that he had told a prison psychologist he was going to blow up a federal building. Soisson didn't know which building or why Craft made the threat.
Craft said he never made such a remark. "Why would I say something that ignorant?" he asked. "Do I look like a fool? I ain't no fool." If anyone thought Craft was a fool in the mid-1980s, they kept it to themselves. He was an imposing figure: 6-foot-1, 300 pounds, bald and bearded, with a permanent scowl. By age 10, he committed his first robbery, records show. By 21, he was a twice-convicted felon. By 35, he had spent nearly half his life in prison. In 1984, Craft caught the eye of brothers Reggie and Terry Brown after winning a Toughman boxing contest at Cobo Center.
The Browns were the leaders of a burgeoning drug gang, Best Friends, which was about to ignite a ferocious drug war in Detroit, prosecutors said.
They wanted to know whether Craft could help prepare them for the battle that would follow. Best Friends began as enforcers for drug gangs, later ripped them off and finally killed some of them, Soisson said. Its 25 members didn't know each others' names, only their nicknames: Boogaloo, Ghost, KO, Lunchmeat. Craft was known as Boone because, like Daniel Boone, he was good with a knife. Flush with cash from the sale of crack cocaine, they drove around in Volvos, BMWs and Corvettes. They drank $100 bottles of Dom Perignon. Craft said he tried to instill some discipline in the gang, who often got high before attempted murders, and then go on wild shooting sprees that left holes in each other's clothes.
"They would fire 15 shots and only hit the person with one," he said. "They would be throwing their gun around and shooting innocent bystanders."
Craft taught the gang how to set up a hit by learning the target's daily travel patterns. That way, they could ambush the victim as he left or arrived at home or at work. Dressed in bulletproof vests and body armor suits, they packed M-16 and AK47 rifles and Uzi submachine guns. The gang killed 80 people, which included snitches, competitors, customers who owed money and sometimes family members, prosecutors said.
Members received $10,000 to $30,000 per murder, depending on how much the Brown brothers wanted a target dead. If the price was right, Craft said, he would kill anyone.
But then he turned on the gang after it killed his brother over a drug debt.
During his 1994 testimony against Best Friends, Craft said the gang kept a running list of the people it wanted to kill.
"There was a whole big list of them," he said. "Half the time I wasn't paying too much attention to it. We would just go out and start popping people."
Craft's testimony helped end the decade-long dominance of the gang, Soisson said. Dozens of gang members and associates were convicted of offenses ranging from peddling drugs to murder. When he was trying to get parole in 2002, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor wrote a note on his behalf to the state Department of Corrections.
"He provided invaluable assistance, at great risk to himself, in achieving convictions of a number of individuals in a notorious murder for hire case in federal and state courts," wrote Bob Donaldson. After his rejection for Witness Protection, however, law enforcement officials said there's little they could do for him. Contacted by a reporter, Donaldson said he wasn't involved in Craft's negotiations for the Witness Protection Program and that there was little he could do for him.
Soisson, who supported Craft's bid, inquired about a possible appeal but was told by the Justice Department that the chances were remote.
As for Craft, he now knows what it's like to live scared, to live like a snitch, the type of person he would have killed in the 1980s.
Stuck indoors, he said he feels like he's still in prison. For money, he relies on help from struggling relatives. With the curtains drawn, he sits inside his darkened living room, watching a lot of TV. He occasionally peeks out the window, watching people as they walk by.

Heroin kingpin, Roshan Fernando was shot dead on Friday by two unidentified gunmen.

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heroin kingpin, Roshan Fernando (35) of Magazine Road, Borella was shot dead on Friday by two unidentified gunmen. Fernando sustained fatal injuries following gunshot injuries, the Police Media Spokesman SSP Ranjit Gunesekera told the Sunday Observer. No arrests have been made so far. The motive for the shooting is not known but according to the police it was due to business rivalry. Director, Police Narcotics Bureau, SSP Eric Perera has seized small quantities of heroin in the Talawatugoda and Kolonnawa areas. In a separate raid they also took in for questioning a man around 7 p.m. on Saturday at Keppettipola Mawatha, Kolonnawa for possessing 50 grammes and 100 milligrams of heroin. Meanwhile, there is a drastic drop in the volume of heroin in the country owing to the naval patrolling of the Palk Straits by the Indian and Sri Lankan Naval patrols.

Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafiabunkers with beds, bathrooms with running water, jacuzzis, CCTV to view the surface, internet and satellite links

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special Italian police unit raiding the house in a mountain hamlet in Calabria had come for a fugitive mafia boss. But what they found was more James Bond than The Godfather.

Hidden in a niche in the wall of an innocuous ground-floor room was an aperture for a compressed air pistol which, when fired, caused the floor to lower slowly, revealing a lift giving access to a secret bunker 3m below ground level.

Welcome to San Luca, stronghold of the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia that has quietly outpaced Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Naples Camorra to build an estimated turnover of €36 billion ($94.93 billion), winning a stranglehold over Europe's cocaine trade, all managed by invisible bosses hiding from police manhunts and clan feuds in subterranean bunkers.
"We are turning up bunkers with beds, bathrooms with running water, jacuzzis, CCTV to view the surface, internet and satellite links," said Colonel Valerio Giardina of the Carabinieri, which has this year raided 15 bunkers.
search for underground hideaways has focused on San Luca after a long-standing blood feud between two clans, the Nirta-Strangio and Pelle-Vottari, boiled over into the gunning down last August of six men linked to the Pelle-Vottari outside a pizzeria in Duisburg, Germany.Recent arrests of 'Ndrangheta drug runners in Toronto and Australia are also a reminder of the mob's reach, built on its role as trusted broker to Colombia's cocaine producers and run as an al Qaeda-type collection of loosely linked cells overseas, which in turn answer to a federation-like structure in Calabria with no single ruling godfather.
"The 'Ndrangheta cells abroad are clones of those in Calabria," said magistrate Nicola Gratteri. "The organisation cannot be monolithic, since it has joint ventures with the Mafia and with Colombian cartels abroad, but the cells abroad ultimately answer to the bosses in Calabria."
The bunkers built for those bosses come in two categories, said Giardina, starting with shipping containers buried in open country. "These often have two or three escape tunnels," he said. Police shinning down ropes from a helicopter last year found boss Giuseppe Bellocco in one such rural bunker, watching TV from a bed next to a fridge loaded with wine, beer and lobster.
San Luca boasts the second type: townhouse bunkers, accessed by trapdoors hidden in family homes behind fake kitchen appliances or under floors on sliding rails.
Giardina said in Plati police discovered "a city underneath a city" in 2001. "It was a complex of 12 bunkers, connected to each other and to escape hatches by a kilometre of Vietcong-style tunnels," he said. Five fugitives were found, including one who had been on the run for 14 years.
The underground network in Plati, built with the agreement of friendly councillors, was used in the 1980s to hold kidnap victims that gave the 'Ndrangheta the ransom money to get started in the drug trade.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

John Gilligan's gang which had dominated the drug scene in the northern and north western suburbs of the city has been pushed out

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A gang which had dominated the drug scene in the northern and north western suburbs of the city has been pushed out and replaced by a younger gang following the brief spate of killings in five days last month. The ousted gang had previously taken over control of the area in the late 1990s and were associates of John Gilligan's gang.Police believe that the murders of four men in the past month from the Finglas and Coolock areas of Dublin -- including two cases in which bodies have yet to be found -- are connected to the emergence of a new gang of drug dealers on the north side of the city.It marks a significant shift in power in the city's drugs trade with gardai trying to establish if this might lead to further bloodletting.
Sources said that the killings last month marked the swift rise to power of a ruthless gang of young drug dealers, who have now achieved a dominant position in the drugs trade in a large area stretching from Baldoyle to Finglas. This area has been beset by feuding in recent years, but gardai say that last month's violence in which there was at least one attempted murder and four murders appears to have marked the successful takeover by a low-profile but ruthless gang.
On July 18, Anthony Foster, 34, was shot dead as he emerged from his girlfriend's flat at Cromcastel Court, and within 12 hours Trevor Walsh, 33, was shot dead at Valley Park Road in Finglas. Four days later, two men, Alan Napper, 37, and David Lindsay, 36, disappeared and gardai believe they were murdered.
Napper and Lindsay, both with a number of addresses in Moyne Road and Seacliff Road, Baldoyle and Grattan Lodge, Donaghmede, were last reported alive visiting a public house in Clane, Co Kildare. Gardai have yet to establish the exact details of their movements, but admit they have no idea what happened to the two after they were seen in the Clane area on July 23.
Lindsay was arrested and questioned in connection with the kidnapping of Helen Judge in September 2002, but was never charged. At the time, Ms Judge's ex-husband, Liam, was living with John Gilligan's daughter, Tracey, in Spain where he owned the public house known as Judge's Chambers. Gardai said that Liam Judge was running Gilligan's drugs distribution operations in Ireland at the time.
Gardai never fully established why Ms Judge was kidnapped, but suspected that close associates of Gilligan's were behind it. According to garda sources, it appears that the long-time associates of John Gilligan have now been pushed out of the drugs trade in Dublin.Gilligan was attacked in Portlaoise Prison last month by a young prisoner and had to be taken into protective custody. One source said that Gilligan has lost his power in the criminal world in Ireland and the new gangs that have emerged have no fear of his remaining network of ageing gangsters.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Massimo Pisnoli, 48, was found with gunshot wounds to his face and back making his body virtually unrecognisable

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Massimo Pisnoli, 48, was found with gunshot wounds to his face and back making his body virtually unrecognisable in what investigators said was a classic Mafia murder.
His daughter Tamara married De Rossi, a Roma and Italy midfielder, in a spectacular ceremony complete with horse and carriage in May 2006, just a month before he won the World Cup. De Rossi is also known to Manchester United fans for scoring Roma's only goal when they lost 7-1 at Old Trafford in a Champions League quarter final in April 2007. Investigators from Rome's anti Mafia department were probing Pisnoli's background and revealed he had previous convictions for robbery and theft and was said to have moved in "criminal underworld circles." Pisnoli had been missing for ten days and his daughter, 24, had told officials after failing to contact him at his home at Trullo on the outskirts of Rome. His decomposing body was found in undergrowth at Campoleone railway station, 35 miles south of Rome near Latina, an area thought to be home to at least eight Mafia clans. One police source said: "It was a classic execution a bullet in the back and one to the mouth – he was virtually unrecognisable and his body was found with its arms up in the air.
"From what we can gather it had been there at least a week and what with the hot weather it was in a pretty bad state. He had convictions for robbery and theft and we know he moved in underworld circles. "The area where he was found, south Lazio, is home to clans from the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian N'drangheta."
After the discovery, De Rossi, 25, was excused from training and at home with his wife and young daughter.

“bullets for gangsters”Crime Branch team gunned down notorious criminal Robert alias Rahul Raju Salve, 32, at Indrayani Nagar in the Bhosari area

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Crime Branch team gunned down notorious criminal Robert alias Rahul Raju Salve, 32, at Indrayani Nagar in the Bhosari area early this morning. The police said they shot him in an encounter. This was the first encounter killing by the city police in one-and-a-half years — in what appeared to be a response to Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh’s “bullets for gangsters” call.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Anil Kumbhare said Salve, a resident of the Nigdi Ota Scheme with 42 offences registered against him, was killed in a joint operation by the Anti-Extortion Cell and Anti-Dacoity Squad of the Crime Branch. The police had received a tip-off that some criminals would be meeting at Indrayani Nagar and then execute a robbery at Moshi toll naka. Two Crime Branch teams were
then formed to lay traps at toll naka and at a water tank in Indrayani Nagar. The sleuths found Salve and his accomplice at Indrayani Nagar, after which police inspector Ram Jadhav asked them to surrender. Salve, however, opened fire on the police team from his pistol, using four bullets one of which hit constable Susheel Kakade on the hand. In retaliation, police inspectors Ram Jadhav of the Anti-Dacoity Squad and Kishore Jadhav of the Anti-Extortion Cell fired three bullets from their service revolvers, two of which went through Salve’s chest. As he collapsed, the police seized his pistol but his accomplice managed to escape from the spot. The cops then rushed constable Kakade and Salve to Yeshwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital, where the latter was declared dead on arrival. The police seized a revolver and four empty cartridge cases from the encounter spot. They informed that Salve had earlier fired two times at police teams. In 2002, he had fired on two constables who were chasing him in Pimpri while in 2003, he had fired at a police team in Chatuhshrungi.
Salve had also been arrested in an attempted dacoity case in Aurangabad but escaped from the custody of Chhavani police station, Aurangabad. The police said that Salve first entered the crime files in 1996 when he was still a juvenile.
His first crime was a vehicle theft. After that, his names appeared in crimes like dacoity, robbery, house break-ins, and attempting to murder policemen and in Arms Act cases. He was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in 2003 and acquitted in 2006. Kumbhare said Salve had been arrested at Nigdi five days ago for illegal possession of firearms and released on bail. Salve, who was strong built and exercised regularly — even in jail— had assaulted dreaded gangster Ravi Pardeshi while in Yerwada jail.

John D'Amico, charged with racketeering, pleaded guilty in May to extorting a cement company out of $100,000 and could serve less than two years

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Hundreds of federal agents fanned out across the city and elsewhere in a roundup of 62 suspects from all walks of Mafia life, from reputed acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico — a crony of former boss John Gotti — to common street thugs.
At the time, authorities made headlines by hailing the takedown as one of the largest in recent memory and predicting it would further cripple a storied crime family formerly led by the legendary "Dapper Don."
Six months later and with far less fanfare, 60 of the defendants have pleaded guilty, with many taking deals that will put them behind bars for three years or less. Two of the pleas were entered Thursday and one case was dismissed last week, leaving a lone defendant charged with murder facing trial.
D'Amico, originally charged with racketeering, pleaded guilty in May to extorting a cement company out of $100,000 and could serve less than two years in prison.
The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which has a long history of prosecuting high-profile Mafia cases with lengthy trials and sentences, has called the case a success. But some defense attorneys suggest the many plea deals show the office overreached and became overwhelmed as the judge pushed for a speedy outcome.
"There's no such thing as a 62-defendant trial," said one of the lawyers, Avraham Moskowitz. "So what's the point? The point is to make a splash."
Extortion charges against his client, a New Jersey construction official, were quietly dropped earlier this month after prosecutors conceded they didn't have enough evidence against him. But by then, the lawyer said, an innocent man had seen his reputation ruined by stories linking him to co-defendants with nicknames like "Tommy Sneakers" and "Joe Rackets."
"My client's experience suggests they brought an indictment without careful evaluation of the evidence," he said.Former mob prosecutors say there was nothing haphazard about the Gambino case. Instead, they say, it reflected a calculated shift in strategy favoring carpet bombing of the entire enterprise over strategic strikes against leadership."In my view, this is groundbreaking," said James Walden, a former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn who won major convictions against the Bonanno crime family. "They essentially took out the entire organization in one fell swoop" — an approach designed to reap a new crop of cooperators and rattle those mobsters still on the street but under surveillance.The 80-count Gambino indictment charged the defendants with seven murders, three dating back more than a quarter-century, as well as "mob-tax" extortion of the construction industry and racketeering. Among the crimes were the slaying of a court officer and extortion at a failed NASCAR track.
On Thursday, reputed capo "Little Nick" Corozzo and co-defendant Vincent DeCongilio avoided a trial scheduled for next week by pleading guilty. The indictment alleged Corozzo ordered the Jan. 26, 1996, murder of a rival mobster.Corozzo now faces 12 to 15 years in prison for murder conspiracy — by far the harshest term for any of the defendants — and DeCongilio 12 to 18 months for lesser crimes.
According to prosecutors, Corozzo, 68, was part of a three-man committee of capos formed in 1994 to help John A. "Junior" Gotti run New York's Gambino family while his father was in prison, serving a life sentence for murder and racketeering.
The elder Gotti died behind bars in 2002. The younger Gotti was charged with conspiracy last week; three previous prosecution attempts have ended in mistrials.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Shane Moloney is charged with the possession of heroin and possession of the drug for sale or supply.

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Twenty-seven-year-old Shane Moloney, from Drimnagh Road in Dublin, is charged with the possession of heroin and possession of the drug for sale or supply.
Detective Diarmuid Maguire from the Organised Crime Unit told Judge John Lindsey that Mr Moloney was arrested and charged yesterday at Ballyfermot Garda Station.
He made no reply when the two charges were put to him and has been remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on August 21st.Two other men, also in their 20s, are due before the court shortly on the same charges in connection with the haul.Six kilos of heroin were seized on Wednesday night after four cars were stopped on the Kennelsfort Road in south Dublin.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Rüsselsheim killing fields for duelling mafia clans.

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brutal murder of four people at a provincial German ice cream parlour last night raised fears that the country is fast becoming a killing field for duelling mafia clans. The attack occurred in Rüsselsheim – home to the Opel car factory – where many Italian workers have settled, establishing pizzerias and cafes with their savings. Three men, described as being of “Mediterranean appearance” approached the ice cream salon just before dusk and fired rapidly at a group of three male customers. A woman standing nearby was also killed, but it was still unclear last night whether she was a target or was gunned down by accident.
The shadow of the Calabrian mafia may thus again be stretching over the industrial heartland of Germany. A few days ago, Italian police arrested Paolo Nirta, the acting head of the San Luca clan, a stronghold of the Calabrian gangs known as the ‘Ndrangheta. Nirta is suspected of involvement in the killing of six Italians in a pizzeria in Duisburg, in western Germany, almost exactly a year ago. That was regarded as a vengeance killing: Nirta’s sister-in-law, Maria Strangio was shot down on her doorstep just before Christmas 2006. A major man hunt was underway with helicopters and tracker dogs deployed around much of the surrounding area. The assassins were said by witnesses to have both pistols and knives.
Plainly though, the ice-cream murders may be part of an elaborate tit-for-tat. Somebody betrayed Nirta to the police last week. That usually triggers a revenge attack. Germany was shocked by the Duisburg murders last year and it will be equally concerned by the ice cream parlour killings. There are some 540,000 Italians living in Germany, most of them well integrated. They are the descendents of “Guest workers” who were brought to Germany from poorer corners of southern Italy after World War Two to help fuel the country’s economic recovery. Until last year, there was no substantial evidence of Italian mafia involvement in the German criminal economy. The ‘Ndrangheta makes its money largely through drug trafficking, manipulating contracts in the building industry, protection rackets and prostitution. Italian involvement, even in the German drug trade, has however, been marginal. Instead, the Calabrian gangs have used German-based Italian restaurants and suppliers as a way of laundering money. But, crime experts have been warning that this supposedly “white collar” crime would ultimately bring violence to the streets of Germany. “If we allow crime proceeds to seep into another economy, if drug or extortion money from Italy enters Germany, then that is no longer the end of the story,” says Federico Varese, a professor of criminology and expert on organised crime. “It is possible, that the ‘Ndrangheta will move up from simple money laundering to become more entrenched in the German economy – and that is the most dangerous situation you can imagine.”

Death penalty for two gang members guilty of one of the largest gang killings in San Bernardino County's history

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eath penalty for two gang members guilty of one of the largest gang killings in San Bernardino County's history.In July, the jury had found Luis "Maldito" Mendoza and Lorenzo Arias guilty in what has become known as the Dead Presidents case. They are set to be sentenced Sept. 10.The case involved a July 9, 2000, shooting at a West Side duplex in which four gang members died. Among them were Johnny and Gilbert Agudo, brothers and presidents of different West Side street gangs. Also killed were half brothers Marselino and Anthony Luna.Prosecutors alleged that Mendoza and Arias, both members of the 7th Street Locos who had grown up with the Agudos, were carrying out an order by members of the Mexican Mafia prison gang.The case was widely seen as an example of how Mexican Mafia influence has forced some Latino street gangs to turn on their own members.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Gary Hardy ran gang alongside convicted dealer John Dawes until he was jailed in 2005, earned millions of pounds

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Gary Hardy has been convicted of pumping millions of pounds worth of class A drugs into Ashfield after masterminding one of the county's biggest ever narcotics empires. He controlled the Ashfield drugs scene through fear and violence and swamped the district with huge quantities of heroin and amphetamines between 2000 and 2007. The Mansfield businessman, who ran the criminal gang alongside convicted dealer John Dawes until he was jailed in 2005, earned millions of pounds from his underworld activities to finance a lavish lifestyle. Hardy consistently denied the charges during a two-month trial at Nottingham Crown Court and claimed his millionaire lifestyle had been funded through the profits of his extensive property and luxury car rental business. But a 12-man jury, which took more than three days to deliver its verdicts, declined to believe Hardy's lies and found him guilty of supplying heroin and amphetamines, of money laundering, of having £14,000-worth of cash gained through criminal activities and possessing criminal cash. But Hardy, who is expected to receive a lengthy prison sentence, was cleared of conspiracy to supply cocaine and four counts of conspiracy to supply cannabis. Fellow gang member and brother Paul Hardy is also facing jail after he was convicted for his part in flooding Ashfield and north Nottinghamshire with heroin and amphetamines. Paul Hardy, a crack cocaine addict, was also convicted of two charges of supplying cannabis resin and possessing criminal cash – but was cleared of a further count of supplying amphetamines and two charges of supplying cannabis. His former girlfriend Zoe Chapman, who has had five of his children, was found guilty of supplying amphetamines to a drug dealer lower down the chain between after Paul Hardy decided to lay low following interest from police. The brothers' mother June Muers, who had no previous convictions, was convicted of supplying amphetamines and cannabis resin, which she kept in a garden shed at her former Pearl Avenue home, and possessing thousands of pounds in drugs money. But Clipstone man Carl Busby, who had been accused of laundering hundreds of thousands of pounds of drugs money on behalf of Gary Hardy between May 2003 and December 2006, was cleared of all charges. The gang members are expected to be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court some time in September.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Taher Majid, Abdul Koser and Quentin Reynolds were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue as well as money laundering charges.

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Taher Majid, Abdul Koser and Quentin Reynolds were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue as well as money laundering charges. They will be sentenced in September. Marcus Hughes pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and was sentenced to six years in prison. He is already serving a 12-year sentence for drug smuggling.
In 2003, 350 HMRC officers took part in raids in the UK and Spain, which were described by customs officers as some of the largest to take place in the UK.
Large amounts of cash were seized during the raids, and a ton of cannabis was taken from one of the business addresses, resulting in 33 men and six women being arrested.
The raids even took place at Carphone Warehouse’s headquarters in west
London. Two members of Carphone Warehouse’s staff were cautioned and questioned during the visit from HMRC officers, but they were not arrested or charged.
A further series of raids were carried out in 2007, resulting in half-a-million documents being examined, along with the hard drives of 391 computers.
HMRC alleged that those charged had engaged in missing trader fraud, purchasing handsets from outside the UK then failing to pay the millions owed in VAT when the handsets were re-sold abroad.Sixteen people were originally charged with cheating the revenue, and concealing and transferring the proceeds of criminal intent.
A European Court of Justice ruling is pressurising HMRC’s policy of withholding VAT refunds for up to two years while carrying out anti-fraud enquiries.A new European Court judgment states that tax offices should not withhold refunds for more than two months for an established trader.The European Court of Justice was upholding a case brought by a Polish trader who had his VAT claim withheld pending extended verification without a decision being made.The judgment of the court sets a precedent for UK traders to challenge extended verification periods of up to two years imposed in the UK by HMRC.The court agreed member states had a legitimate interest in preventing tax evasion and abuse.

Gangland has seen Billy Martindale shot at, stabbed, spend 15 years on the run from the police and mix with some of Britain's most notorious gangsters

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Gangland has seen Billy Martindale shot at, stabbed, spend 15 years on the run from the police and mix with some of Britain's most notorious gangsters. Martindale spent seven years of his life growing up in Manea and when his best friend Tommy Shepherd was murdered, it sent shockwaves through the Fenland travelling community. Despite being linked with numerous crimes, including murder, kidnapping, armed robberies, fraud and causing grievous and actual bodily harm Martindale has spent just six months in prison. During his stint in Pentonville, he turned to Islam, and on release met with notorious hate-preacher Abu Hamza.
He said: "It's my life from day one until now. It's been an emotional experience putting it together."Martindale is son the son of renowned ex professional boxer and prize-fighter Lew 'Wild Thing' Yates.He grew up in Crawshawbooth, Lancashire, and moved down to Forest Gate, London when he was three when his mother ran off with another man. Martindale didn't see his mother for 24 years and made contact with her six years ago.He said: "I didn't even know what she looked like. She was just a friendly elderly lady - a complete stranger - there will never be a bond or a proper relationship between us."
Martindale's father went from professional boxing to unlicensed, bare-knuckle fighting to earn more money.Martindale got into fights and scrapes as a young child and his father took out of the hustle and bustle of London and they moved to Manea when he was 10.His father left him to fend for himself with a shotgun as he travelled back to London for work.
He said: "Dad just told me if anyone came to the house and gave me trouble I should shoot into the air and crack them over the head with it. I just had fun shooting at cans and anything I could in the back garden."Martindale lived in Manea for seven years and went to Cromwell Community College, Chatteris.
He said: "It was difficult for me. I found the area to be quite a clique place and I was an outsider."Martindale found acceptance with the Shepherds - a well-known Fenland travelling family.He became best friends with their son Tommy, who was the same age. He said: "We used to wreak havoc in Manea and Chatteris. We were just kids trying to get our hands on some money so we'd steal cars and scrap metal and do whatever we could to get a note." In 1997 the dead, naked body of Tommy Shepherd was discovered rolled up in a carpet, down a dirt track in Chatteris.
With accusations of a fellow traveller being responsible Tommy's death tore the area's travelling community apart. Nobody has been charged with Tommy's murder.
Martindale said: "People wanted revenge and a lot of people went missing at that time."I know that Tommy was murdered by junkies. They just wanted to steal £5,000 from him to get drugs and they poisoned him."These scum bags will be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives, People are out their looking for them and I'd love to run into them myself."
Martindale was devastated and he soon became involved in more than 20 armed robberies, money making scams.He targeted drug dealers and became a hired enforcer and doorman. He said: "In the early days I would rob businesses and post offices, I'd never target individual people or mug old ladies. But after Tommy's death I'd do over drug dealers."I hate drugs - I've seen them destroy so many people's lives."
One run in with a drug dealer led to Martindale being shot at in Chigwell in 2002.
He said: "I'd received a phone call and been told to meet somebody at a garage to collect a debt, but I'd been set up. A drug dealer I'd done over wanted me dead and three people turned up in a car with a shotgun. I saw the barrel of the gun out of the car window and the bullet scraped my arm. I grabbed the gun and they sped off so I hurled it at the car."Martindale worked as a bouncer at clubs in London, Essex and Kent.
He said: "I worked in some really dodgy bars in east London and there was always trouble. I was stabbed on three separate occasions."
From the ages of 17 to 33 numerous warrants were issued for Martindale's arrest.
He escaped the police using false passports.He travelled to Miami and Spain and charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.He has mixed with notorious gangsters like Frankie Frazer, Danny Woolard, Freddie Foreman and his good friend and fighting legend Roy Shaw.He was arrested for imprisonment but the charges were dropped after the witness backed out. He said: "A friend's girlfriend got raped. She went to police and somebody was arrested but the case was dropped because she couldn't face going to court."I found him and made sure he would never do anything like that again." He was questioned over a murder but never charged and says he had nothing to do with it. Martindale spent six months in Pentonville Prison, in London for stealing a car and criminal damage. He said: "I was stuck in a cell for 23 hours a day. I said I was interested in learning about Islam because it meant I could spend more time pout of the cell but I actually got quite into it."After my release I would go to Finsbury Park mosque and I once had dinner with Abu Hamza. I had no trouble with him and he didn't fill me with hate. "I have massive respect for people who follow that faith but I found it too restrictive and just couldn't do it."

Sean Lynch faces a confiscation hearing in December after a jury convicted him of conspiracy to supply cocaine

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Sean Lynch, 48, has had his palatial home and luxury motors seized by police.
He now faces a confiscation hearing in December after a jury convicted him of conspiracy to supply cocaine Assets seized include his house on a gated estate in Warlingham, Surrey, a £170,000 Aston Martin, a Rolls Royce, Mercedes and BMW convertibles, a Land Rover, a VW Golf,a motorbike and an American police car. Lynch, who also owned a villa in Spain, lived with second wife Michelle and sent their three children to an exclusive private school — paying their fees of thousands of pounds in thick wads of cash.
Lynch and his gang had been arrested when police raided addresses in Warlingham and Tooting, South London.Cops found cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis worth £600,000 at the gang’s “warehouse” in Tooting. Detectives had kept the property under surveillance for six months, watching deliveries going in and out. Kingston Crown Court heard the cocaine was still packaged in pellets which had been swallowed by human drug mules — indicating the gang were “very close to the importers”. The raids also netted weapons including flick knives and knuckledusters.
Lynch, who admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis and amphetamines, was jailed for 18 years. His right-hand man Ian Nesbitt, 46, from Tooting, pleaded guilty and was jailed for 12 years. Stephen Voller, 56, and David Warwick, 34, both from Tooting, were found guilty by a jury. Voller was given 14 years and Warwick 12.

Giuseppe Coluccio, a suspected drug trafficker, who has been on the run since 2005.

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Giuseppe Coluccio, a suspected drug trafficker, who has been on the run since 2005. The country's defense minister, Ignazio La Russa, said the arrest showed authorities were making advances in the fight against organised crime."Coluccio had lived happily in Canada thanks to the (support) provided by the Calabrian clans – a situation that shows the extraordinary reach of the 'Ndrangheta," public prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone was quoted by Italian media as saying. Italy's ANSA news agency reported that police found $1 million in checks at Coluccio's home.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said in a statement late on Thursday that Coluccio was arrested near Toronto on a Canada-wide immigration warrant and is wanted by Italy for drug-related offenses.'Ndrangheta, based in the southern Calabria region, has reportedly overtaken Sicily's Cosa Nostra to become the most powerful Italian crime group.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Patrizio Bosti, accused of heading a clan of the Neapolitan crime syndicate the Camorra, was arrested Saturday evening

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Patrizio Bosti, accused of heading a clan of the Neapolitan crime syndicate the Camorra, was arrested Saturday evening in the north- eastern Spanish city of Girona, state radio RNE reported. Police in Spain have arrested a fugitive organized crime boss who is among the 30 'most-wanted' criminals in Italy, reports said Sunday.
The 49-year-old had been sentenced in absentia to 23 years' imprisonment on charges connected with a double murder and membership of a criminal organisation. He was on the run since 2005, when he was released from custody following the expiration of the maximum amount of time he could be held on remand. He is believed to have taken over the leadership of a Camorra clan in 2007 after the previous head was jailed.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Giuseppe Coluccio was arrested Thursday outside the luxury lakeside apartment building where he has been living in Toronto

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Giuseppe Coluccio, 42, was arrested Thursday outside the luxury lakeside apartment building where he has been living in Toronto, ending two years as a fugitive, said prosecutor Nicola Gratteri.
Coluccio has been on the lam since 2005 when he fled a trial alleging he and his brother ran a mob organization that controlled maritime traffic along a 60-kilometer (nearly 40-mile) stretch of the Calabrian coast. His brother Salvatore Coluccio, 41, also is being sought.
«This is a very important arrest because it shows the connection between the 'ndrangheta in Calabria and in Canada,» Gratteri said in a telephone interview.
The Reggio Calabria-based prosecutor said the Canadian branch of the 'ndrangheta has been operating for more than 50 years and is heavily involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Some investigators say the 'ndrangheta is now more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, and is increasingly spreading its influence abroad.
Coluccio faces an extradition hearing within three days, Gratteri said.
In all, 28 people have been charged in the trial, which has resulted to date in 20 convictions with sentences ranging from 16 to 18 years in jail, Gratteri said.

Gary Hardy was found guilty of supplying heroin and amphetamines and laundering his profits through a string of made-to-measure businesses.

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Gary Hardy was found guilty of supplying heroin and amphetamines and laundering his profits through a string of made-to-measure businesses. And Hardy kept it in the family, using his crack addict brother Paul to deal vast quantities of drugs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. The family connection did not end there - their mother, June Muers, 67, helped Paul deal drugs out of her home in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. And Paul's ex-partner Zoe Chapman, 29, would courier drugs to clients in her children's pushchair. All were found guilty of drugs offences at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday. Police seized £70,000 worth of drugs from his mother's home During the course of the trial, Gary Hardy, 46, was described as one of three drugs generals, with a huge multi-million pound drugs empire, who ran part of the north Nottinghamshire patch. He shared the area with two other dealers, John Dawes and his brother Rob, to avoid a turf war. John Dawes is currently three years into a 24-year prison sentence for supplying Class A and B drugs. His brother Rob was arrested in Dubai in May on an international arrest warrant issued by the Spanish authorities in connection with drugs charges. For every kilogram of heroin sold every seven to 10 days, the Dawes brothers and Hardy would make £8,000 profit each.
Running his turf with violence, fear and intimidation, the court heard that Gary Hardy and his family were notorious in the area, outwardly enjoying all the trappings of wealth from "successful businesses". Between 2001-07, Hardy was the registered keeper of 90 vehicles, not all at the same time, but nevertheless expensive, luxury cars. When he was arrested, he had 16 finance agreements on the cars, valued at £904,000, with monthly repayments reaching £15,200.
He would "sell" these cars on to his employees, taking instalments from them and hanging onto the log books until payments had been made, laundering his drugs cash.
Hardy enjoyed his affluent lifestyle He had a brand new home, and would pay his children's private school fees in cash, yet had several failed businesses.
Hardy was already under surveillance when a drug deal went wrong on 29 April 2003, but that failed deal ensured Nottinghamshire Police finally got some key evidence and signed up a number of witnesses to testify against him. Their following investigation looked closely into the accounts from companies he owned or was involved with. When fraud accountants went through Hardy's Apex Windows' accounts, they found in 2003, more than £1m went out on wages - a 148% increase on the previous year, but sales only rose by 34%. Employees on the books included Paul Hardy, although witnesses said he never did a day's work there.
In six years, Hardy had finance deals on 90 luxury cars Det Ch Insp Stewart Bradley who led the investigation, said: "He was a major player. The Hardy drugs group is what we would class as an organised crime group.
"Gary Hardy had a network of people underneath him, prepared to do the work for him and he remained, as was described, a general with a number of lieutenants and perhaps what you would describe as soldiers working on the ground.
"In his elevated position, he was able to keep away from the hands-on drugs himself and dealt mainly with the money. And that money ran into millions." He said some witnesses who gave evidence were so frightened they left the area and never returned. The court heard one tell how a man was beaten and stabbed at one of Gary Hardy's garages as he failed to pay a drugs debt.
On the day of the Hardy arrests on 4 January 2007, police found drugs with a street value of almost £70,000 and £16,000 in cash stashed all over June Muers' house, including in a spaghetti pot in the kitchen. Apex Windows, like his other businesses, went into liquidation
Ch Insp Barry Harper from the drugs directorate said: "I think Gary Hardy did a lot of damage to the community. "By flooding this area with drugs, it caused untold amounts of damage to people."
During the trial, in trying to justify how he kept up his flashy lifestyle when businesses were failing, Hardy maintained his car and window companies became "too successful" and had to be put into liquidation.
He had a portfolio of about 40 properties in north Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
One witness claimed most of the properties were empty and the money was laundered through rent books. Not a single receipt was recovered for the rents paid, a point Hardy failed to clear up during the trial.
Now the process of untangling Hardy's assets has begun, as officers have started to try to recover his ill-gotten gains through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Paolo Nirta ,31, was picked up at a house in San Luca, southern Italy. He is wanted on charges of Mafia association.

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Paolo Nirta ,31, was picked up at a house in San Luca, southern Italy. He is wanted on charges of Mafia association.
Italian police today arrested a wanted gang leader believed to be part of an organised crime clan involved in the massacre of six people in Germany last summer.
Nirta's family was involved in a feud that led to the killing of the six Italians outside a restaurant in Duisburg, Germany.The feud, involving two rival families, drew international attention to the 'ndrangheta, a crime syndicate based in the southern region of Calabria.Some investigators say it is now more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia.

Terry Adams, Kenneth Noye, Brian Brendon Wright, Brian Gunn and Curtis Warren crime bosses running networks from prison cells.

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investigators have identified 27 crime bosses running networks from prison cells. Although they are all in jail, Terry Adams, Kenneth Noye, Brian Brendon Wright, Brian Gunn and Curtis Warren are being monitored closely.
Deputy Chief Constable Jon Murphy, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), told The Times that crime specialists work together to make money through drug deals, robberies and smuggling. “British gangs are quite unlike the Italian Mafia model or the Turkish groups,” he said. “There are no set ranks, rules and structures. They are more fluid, flexible and opportunist.”
The intelligence picture was built up by Acpo working with the 43 police forces in England and Wales and other bodies. More than 15,000 individuals are said to have been identified as involved in organised crime.London has more than 170 gangs. Some have sophisticated hierarchies; others are little more than street-level groups. In Liverpool, criminal networks are deeply embedded and run by a number of families whose tentacles spread well beyond the city. Merseyside criminals control the drug trade on the South Coast. Manchester has established gangs such as the Longsight Crew and the Gooch Close Gang, while Birmingham has been dealing for years with the rivalry between the Johnson Crew and the Burger Bar Boys. Bradford is a centre for money laundering and a major distribution point for heroin by British-Pakistani gangs. Serious crime in Nottingham has been dominated by the Gunn family. Glasgow is the hub for the distribution of firearms in Scotland and the starting point for much of the heroin trade, which spreads as far north as Shetland.

Pasquale ''Pat'' Barbaro, Crown casino high-roller and Rob Karam and the founder of the Black Uhlans bikie gang John William Samuel Higgs arrested

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Police today busted the Australian arm of a Mafia-linked drug ring which smuggled massive amounts of ecstasy into Melbourne.In conjunction with the Australian Customs Service, police have seized 5.6 tonnes of ecstasy pills and 150kg of cocaine during a three-year operation. Almost 20 million ecstasy tablets were seized during the exhaustive probe, which involved hundreds of AFP agents. The bust is a world record amount for ecstasy and includes the largest amount of cocaine ever detected in Victoria.The drugs have a street value of about $600 million. AFP agents began raiding properties around Australia early today and by 8.30am had arrested 14 men and one woman. Nine of those arrests were in Melbourne and the other arrests were made in New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia. AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty today named some of the arrested as Griffiths man Pasquale ''Pat'' Barbaro, Crown casino high-roller and Tony Mokbel mate Rob Karam and the founder of the Black Uhlans bikie gang in Melbourne John William Samuel Higgs.Various close relatives of Mr Barbaro, 46, were named in the Woodward Royal Commission as being members of the Calabrian Mafia gang responsible for the 1977 murder of Donald Mackay.
Mr Keelty revealed 400 AFP agents conducted more than 10,000 hours of secret surveillance on gang members and that the AFP estimated the international drug syndicate was responsible for 60 per cent of all drug importations into Australia.
Members of various organised crime gangs collaborated with each other in a rare case of unity to fund and organise the massive ecstasy shipments. AFP intelligence suggests Australian members of the Calabrian mafia played major roles in the international syndicate. They teamed up with criminals from other gangs, including some of Lebanese extraction. A founding member of a Melbourne bike gang was among those arrested today. One of those arrested in Griffith in New South Wales has strong links to the Calabrian mafia cell responsible for the murder of anti-drug campaigner Donald Mackay. That Australia was on the smuggling route of an international gang dominated by the Calabrian mafia came as no surprise to Italian organised crime experts. The Calabrian secret society at the centre of the global drug racket is known in Calabrian dialect as N'Dranghita.
N'Dranghita has had very strong cells in Australia since at least the 1930s.
It is particularly prevalent in Melbourne, Mildura and Shepparton in Victoria, Griffith in New South Wales, Adelaide and Canberra.
N'Dranghita is called L'Onorata Societa or the Honoured Society by some Italians, La Famiglia or the Family by others, and simply the mafia by most in Australia. It is the gang responsible for the the 1977 murder of Griffith anti-drugs crusader Donald Mackay.
N'Dranghita has been responsible for growing and distributing much of Australia's marijuana for decades. It also got involved in heroin importations in 1978 through now dead crime boss Robert Trimbole and is known to have been involved in massive cocaine importations since at least 2000. The AFP has been working closely with several overseas law enforcement agencies to gather evidence to bust the network's Australian arm.
The arrests followed the arrival in Melbourne on July 24 of a shipping container with three 50kg bags of cocaine hidden in a load of coffee.
AFP agents seized the cocaine and replaced it with fake drugs and left the container at Melbourne docks in the hope gang members would collect it.
Strong intelligence collected by the AFP since the cocaine arrived suggests the syndicate members became aware the shipment might have been detected by police and they abandoned it. But the AFP already had sufficient evidence from the cocaine haul, and the earlier ecstasy shipments, to begin today's coordinated raids around the nation.
Two separate loads of ecstasy pills arrived in Melbourne from Italy in shipping containers and the recent cocaine haul was imported by ship from Colombia.
Both ecstasy shipments were of world record size at the time and the second of 14.5 million tablets is still the largest single seizure of the drug in the world.
AFP agents seized the first 1.2 tonne ecstasy shipment in Melbourne in 2005 and the second 4.4 tonne shipment at Melbourne docks in 2007. Arrests were made over the first ecstasy haul and its presence revealed.
But the 4.4 tonne shipment was kept secret in the hope doing so would lead to more evidence being gathered against the international syndicate. Those arrested are expected to appear in court later today to face drug charges.

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