Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Hells Angels warfare erupted in Sydney Airport's domestic Qantas terminal yesterday when up to 15 bikies fatally bashed a rival Comanchero

Hells Angels warfare erupted in Sydney Airport's domestic Qantas terminal yesterday when up to 15 bikies fatally bashed a rival Comanchero in front of terrified passengers.The 28-year-old man, believed to be a member of a bikie gang, was treated for severe head injuries at the airport but later died at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Last night four men were in custody over the bashing, which was witnessed by at least 50 people and which police described as premeditated. The dead man was one of at least two suspected gang members who had stepped off a flight from Melbourne shortly after 1.30pm. Stunned travellers said the fighting had broken out near one of the arrival and departure gates, with rivals brandishing metal poles normally used to separate queuing passengers. The dead man was struck on the head with at least one of the poles, witnesses said. "It was awful, I'm sick, it was appalling, I've never seen anything like it in my life," one witness told The Australian. "Babies were getting knocked out of strollers. It was terrible. They were fighting all through here. It was gangs. "They were bashing one man with those (chrome) stands you can see over there. I think they had a knife as well."
Another witness, Phil Cruz, told ABC radio the fighting began near departure gate 5 before moving to the check-in area. "It looked like two people fighting at first, and then all of a sudden a whole rush of guys came through the crowd, picked up the poles and just started smacking this guy in the head with the poles."
Mr Cruz said the attackers had escaped in taxis. The horrific incident raises new questions over airport security and follows reports in The Australian last week that the number of sworn police guarding Australia's major airports remains 35per cent below state and federal targets. Police said last night they had about 50 witnesses to the attack, as well as closed-circuit television footage. They believe the clash involved rival bikie gangs but were unable to confirm a report that the dead man was a member of the Bandidos, or another that Hell's Angels and Comancheros were involved. Botany Bay crime manager Peter Williams said police were still trying to determine which gangs were involved. "As far as we know we're investigating a murder involving up to 15 gang members," Inspector Williams said. "It would appear there was a degree of planning that went into this. "It would appear a group of males have exited a plane and they were met by another group of males who we believe may be other motorcycle gang members," Inspector Williams said. "A fight ensued, the fight moved through various parts of the terminal to the ultimate location where the man was deceased." A flight attendant reportedly noted tension between what she suspected were gang members on the flight from Melbourne, but a Qantas spokeswoman said she was not aware of any incidents on the aircraft. Inspector Williams said last night that four men were in custody and crime scenes had been established.
Inspector Williams described the public beating as "gruesome". "It was a disgraceful act perpetrated by a group of cowards who believe they're tough," he said. "It's very gruesome for them to do it in public." Sydney has in recent weeks seen a number of shootings linked to drug and bikie gang violence and NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly is due to meet with police to discuss boosting police powers to deal with the problem. In an another incident early yesterday, seven houses were damaged and two people injured during a shootout in the western suburb of Auburn. The NSW Opposition seized on the incidents to call for tough legislation similar to South Australia's Organised Crime Control Act, which makes membership or association with outlawed clubs illegal and carries up to 10 years in jail for bikie club members and their associates who engage in group violence. The airport attack resulted in severe traffic congestion at Sydney's domestic terminal but few aircraft delays.
A Qantas spokeswoman said aircraft had been delayed eight or nine minutes and very few people had missed their flights. "Check-in was never fully closed, it was just six check-in counters that were not operational," she said.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Italian police say they have arrested 28 suspected mobsters in pre-dawn raids in a small village in southern Italy.

Italian police say they have arrested 28 suspected mobsters in pre-dawn raids in a small village in southern Italy.Capt. Costantino Airoldi of the Carabinieri in Caserta said three suspects remained on the run after Tuesday's operation in the village of Maddaloni. The village is in an area where the Camorra crime syndicate has its roots.Airoldi says the suspects are accused of murder, criminal association, illegal possession of weapons and extorting money from local businesses.
Camorra is the regional equivalent of the Sicilian Mafia and has long shaken down local businessmen for money. Those who refuse risk violence to themselves or their property.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

British gangs operating in Spain control the UK cocaine market

British traffickers traditionally operate in Spain and the Netherlands, where they will buy the cocaine alongside other drugs. Traffickers will vary their routes, use coded communications and conceal their drugs in ingenious ways to import into Britain. Often a middleman is used to drive drugs into the UK, where they are recovered by the buyer. cocaine on the UK market is controlled by British gangs operating in Spain. Increasingly, however, Colombian gangs are based in Britain, where they run the supply of drugs to dealers.West Africa is a growing hub, but the traditional trail into the UK, via the Caribbean, still brings cocaine eastwards on yachts or via air couriers.In Britain the trade is estimated to be worth between £4bn and £6.6bn a year. The Home Office estimates there are 300 large-scale drug importers, 3,000 wholesalers and 70,000 street dealers.Profits from the drugs trade are used in other criminal enterprises. Cocaine traffickers will often import guns as well, partly to provide their own protection and also to sell to other criminals lower down the pecking order. The consumption of crack cocaine - which is imported as cocaine powder and produced in the UK - was once confined to urban areas, but is now being seen across the country. The links between drug use and crime are clearly established. With crack addiction comes acquisitive crime - street attacks, robberies, burglaries - all carried out to fund a habit. At the most violent level shootings, kidnappings and knifings are carried out by dealers to protect their stash or move in on a rival's patch. At times members of the public are caught in the crossfire, sometimes with fatal results.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Armed with an arrest warrant Thai police entered the offices of Prachatai, and detained Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the woman who founded the popular news

Police in Thailand have arrested the editor of a leading political website, on charges of carrying content that threatens national security.
The Bangkok-based Prachatai website is well-known for carrying content that Thai newspapers will not publish.The charge carries a maximum five-year jail sentence.Thailand's reputation for media freedom has suffered in recent years, in particular through lese-majeste laws, which ban criticism of the monarchy.Armed with an arrest warrant Thai police entered the offices of Prachatai, and detained Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the woman who founded the popular news website five years ago.She has been charged under a new law which makes it an offence to carry computer content that endangers national security.When asked to explain what kind of content had brought about the charge, the police refused to comment, saying it was too sensitive.But one officer, who did not want to be named, told the BBC it was comments about the monarchy posted by readers on the website at the end of last year that were at issue.The Thai authorities have been increasingly intolerant of perceived criticism of the monarchy in recent months.Thousands of websites have been blocked, and a number of people charged and arrested, including a well-known academic, who fled to Britain before he could be detained.However the use of the severe lese-majeste law has provoked widespread condemnation around the world, and a campaign by academics to have the law changed.By instead invoking the new computer crimes law - passed just 18 months ago - the authorities may be hoping to stifle debate about the monarchy without stirring up another outcry over freedom of expression in Thailand.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Black Power v Mongrel Mob Dunedin's streets turn into a boxing ring for gangs

Dunedin's streets turn into a boxing ring for gangs after Black Power members got out of a car in Brockville Rd yesterday and allegedly attacked a lone Mongrel Mob member walking on the street.
The incident is another in a growing list of gang assaults as tensions rise between the gangs. Police say gang numbers in the city are swelling, as gangs seek a share of the lucrative cannabis market. Acting Senior Sergeant Ed Baker, of Dunedin, said two gang members were arrested following yesterday's incident. Black Power member Allan Waru Kukutai (31), of Henley, was charged with unlawfully having an offensive weapon (a broken broom handle), which he allegedly used to assault the Mongrel Mob pedestrian.
A 19-year-old Mongrel Mob member was also arrested and charged with a drug offence in nearby Wray St. He had been travelling in a vehicle to help his associate, Snr Sgt Baker said. "The most concerning aspect of it was, when the incident occurred, the bush telegraph went into action and a carload of Mongrel Mob members went to his aid. Fortunately, we intercepted them before they made it to the scene." No-one was injured in the altercation, which took place at 10.15am near the shopping centre at the top of Brockville Rd. The frequency of recent gang-related assaults in the city was beginning to irk Dunedin police, Snr Sgt Baker said. "That type of behaviour is not going to be tolerated and we are going to respond to it in urgency," he said. "They can't use our streets as a ring for fighting. If we catch them and identify any offence, they will see the inside of a cell and a court room. The entire police force will be focused on these people." Black Power kingpin Albert Epere was recently recalled to prison and Dunedin police have arrested more than a dozen gang members in the past month for a range of offences. The most serious include a drive-by shooting at a South Dunedin house, the arson of another house and the throwing of Molotov cocktails at several other properties. Kukutai, unemployed, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday afternoon and was remanded in custody until today.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Francisco Velasco cruised around in an SUV that had been reported stolen. He toted corrido music glorifying drug smugglers and hit men

Francisco Velasco cruised around in an SUV that had been reported stolen. He toted corrido music glorifying drug smugglers and hit men, and allegedly helped them operate in this beach resort.And until a few weeks ago, he was Cancun's police chief.Now Francisco Velasco is in custody in Mexico City while federal authorities investigate whether he took part in the killing last month of a retired army general who had been hired to revamp the city's police force.The 57-year-old Velasco, who was in his fourth stint as Cancun's police chief, has not been charged. But federal officials say they believe he protected seven people accused of kidnapping and killing Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello and two others."Without a doubt, we are talking about an organized crime execution," state Atty. Gen. Bello Melchor Rodriguez told reporters. He said the bodies were found in a bullet-riddled SUV that had probably been intercepted on the dark road. The men had apparently been tortured before being killed with single shots to the head, Melchor said. Killed with the general were an active-duty army lieutenant and a man thought to be a civilian who was serving as a bodyguard, authorities said. There was speculation that the slayings were intended as a warning to Cancun officials, some of whom have sought to rid the popular beach resort of drug traffickers and other gangsters. The notorious Gulf cartel, among the most ruthless of Mexico's drug gangs, is active in Cancun. Tello and the two others "fell in the line of duty," Cancun Mayor Gregorio Sanchez said at a news conference. "We will continue with a firm hand. They are not going to intimidate us."
The trio disappeared in downtown Cancun late on Feb. 2. Their bodies, riddled with bullets, were found the next morning beside a highway, 15 miles away. The general's arms and legs had been broken, apparently as a result of torture. Authorities believe the slaying was the work of the Zetas, much-feared enforcers for drug-smuggling gangs.The murky case has hit Cancun like one of the tropical storms that lumber in off the Caribbean, setting off charges that a police force touted as one of the most trustworthy in the nation is rife with corruption.A high-profile killing in the country's signature beach resort is the last thing Mexico needs at a time when drug-related violence has scared away visitors from areas such as Baja California. More than 6,000 people were slain last year, predominantly in areas near the U.S. border, while President Felipe Calderon has struggled to root out corruption in law enforcement at every level."The reality is that Cancun, like the rest of Mexico, is at war," said Cesar Muñoz, an editor at Novedades, a daily newspaper in Cancun that has closely followed the Tello case. "It's at war with the drug cartels.

"The slayings are raising uncomfortable questions about how deeply corruption has infected the city's government. The director of the Cancun jail and head of the city's traffic division also have been detained, according to news reports. There is no sign, however, that Mayor Gregorio Sanchez, a self-styled reformer elected last year, is under investigation.

"There is corruption," Cancun's new police chief, Maria Esther Estiubarte, the first woman to hold the post, conceded in an interview a few days after taking the job. But she said it was limited. "It doesn't put the tourist destination at risk," Estiubarte said.The incident does not seem to have spooked spring break vacationers, who already are pouring into the palm-lined beach region. The killings took place miles from the sprawling resorts and high-rises, where security is strict and crime against tourists is rare.The surrounding state of Quintana Roo remains relatively tranquil compared with other states where drug violence has exploded. The state registered about 20 homicides last year.
But although roadside billboards welcome visitors to "paradise," Cancun has long had an unsavory side that looks nothing like the brochure pictures of sugary beaches and deep-blue waters.
The area is a well-established transshipment point for cocaine smuggled by air from South America or overland through Central America on its way to the U.S. A former Quintana Roo governor, Mario Villanueva Madrid, awaits extradition to the United States on charges that he took payoffs in exchange for helping Mexican traffickers move tons of cocaine through his state.In August, a pile of 11 decapitated bodies turned up in the neighboring state of Yucatan, in what was believed to be an organized-crime hit. A 12th headless body was found the same day in a separate spot. The killings were attributed to the Zetas.Many residents worry that the killings augur a menacing new phase for Cancun. Apart from the main tourist zone, drug sales flourish on the streets of the shabbiest barrios, where prostitutes beckon from the shadows and fear of gang members keeps residents from venturing out more than a few blocks at night.A stream of job seekers from Mexico's impoverished south means business for flophouses that charge as little as $50 a month, but it has strained the city's resources. Along rutted streets on the edge of town, squatter families inhabit stick shacks that are lighted by electricity stolen from nearby utility lines.
The fast growth has turned this other Cancun into a traffic-clogged city of about 750,000 -- big enough, some say, to serve as cover for the drug syndicates that operate elsewhere in Mexico."This is the moment. Cancun has grown a lot and now looks like a good cave, a good hiding place, for these activities," said Father Rafael Ruiz, a parish priest in a graffiti-spattered part of what he calls the "Mexican Cancun."Around town, mystery cloaks the case of the slain general. Tello's body, along with those of army Lt. Getulio Cesar Roman Zuñiga and Juan Ramirez Sanchez, who was the mayor's nephew, were found in a pickup next to the road to colonial Merida, which sits across the Yucatan peninsula about 175 miles from Cancun.
They were seized apparently in downtown Cancun hours after Mayor Sanchez introduced Tello to other municipal staffers as his new security advisor, with the task of creating a separate elite police squad.Former top infantry commander of the Mexican army, Tello had completed a command tour in the western state of Michoacan as part of Calderon's military-led offensive against drug traffickers. He had arrived in Cancun in late January.Sanchez had asked Tello, known as a well-trained and tough commander, to organize a SWAT-type team of 100 former soldiers that would answer only to the mayor; essentially a parallel force above the reach of then-Police Chief Velasco.The mayor said he wanted a new force that would remain "outside the contamination" of the 2,000-officer police department."We don't want to put all our eggs in the same basket," he said in an interview.Sanchez said he did not suspect Velasco of wrongdoing, but believed that there were dirty cops on the force, despite months of culling.A popular businessman who ran as candidate of a leftist coalition, Sanchez has cultivated the image of a reformer in less than a year in office. He announced a "zero tolerance" policy on corruption and has fired 150 suspect cops. In December, Sanchez said, the federal government named Cancun's force the third-most trustworthy in the country.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Richard Buttrose police who raided his Darling Point apartment allegedly found $1.3 million in cash and 7.7kg of cocaine.

Richard Buttrose after being arrested twice in two days, the nephew of media personality Ita Buttrose was behind bars as his wife Pollyanna, gave birth to their second child, a sister for two-year-old son William.Described by friends as a revhead with a need for speed, the aspiring TV producer and race-car driver was refused bail after police who raided his Darling Point apartment allegedly found $1.3 million in cash and 7.7kg of cocaine.Mark O'Connor, who drove with Buttrose and Simon Hogg in a Lotus Exige at Bathurst in the 12-hour enduro race, was stunned by news of his co-driver's arrest."Like everyone else I have been quite shocked," O'Connor said yesterday.Commentator Lachlan Mansell said the 36-year-old Buttrose had been living his racing dream, finishing 31st of the 47-strong field.
"He's really passionate about his racing, he loved it," said Mansell, who has been reporting on Buttrose's motorsport rise since he first competed in the Daewoo series in 2001."Some of the drivers are very focused but when I'd bump into Richard in the pits he'd always have a chat. He was a pretty nice guy and not a bad steerer either."
Coupling his passion of motorsport with TV, Buttrose, who is believed to be struggling with the death of father Will, 62, in 2006, spent the past three years pioneering a reality TV program under the working title Race Star.In September, 2006, Buttrose pitched the concept to Channel 7. The network says they declined. However, a friend of Buttrose's said Seven had maintained interest in the The Biggest Loser or Australian Idol-style program, which would pit aspiring drivers against each other in a series of challenges. "It is a show for young racers. The concept had legs and Seven were definitely interested, we spoke about it six months ago. What's happened is such as shock because he was a lovely guy, a real family man," the source said

Smugglers operating in the Golok river where a marine police boat was rammed and the officers were threatened

Smugglers operating in the Golok river where a marine police boat was rammed and the officers were threatened in Tumpat on Thursday.
Rahim said the GOF would cooperate with the marine police to nab the people involved in the incident."We want them to know that they are not in power and can do anything they like if harassed by the authorities. "We won't tolerate this. They rammed an enforcement boat and took the law into their own hands. This shows that they do not respect the law."We will take action against them and will detain them if we spot them during our patrols," he said after witnessing the handing over of border duties between the Ninth and Seventh battalions here yesterday.At the handing over, Rahim said the Ninth Battalion had seized about RM3.83 million worth of smuggled goods, mostly cattle.He said 60 smugglers, including 10 women, were arrested during a series of operations along the border. He said 58 vehicles which were used in the smuggling operations were also seized."Three illegal immigrants, two Thais and a Myanmar, were also detained," he added.

Cook and two carpenters are in custody as detectives continue to look for the killers of UK-based George Cadogan

Cook and two carpenters are in custody as detectives continue to look for the killers of UK-based George Cadogan, who was found bound and strangled in his D’Urban Backlands home on Thursday evening.Police said that the three were detained on Friday.
Investigators were “working on some things”, but declined to say whether they have found any evidence to implicate any of the suspects.The cook was employed by Cadogan, while the 77-year-old man had recently hired the carpenters to conduct renovations at his home.Relatives said that on the day the body was found, the carpenters failed to turn up to complete renovations to the Lot 180 Century Palm Road, D’Urban Backlands premises. One theory is that the killers gained entry through a broken window that was covered with plywood.Cadogan was found lying on the floor in one of the bedrooms. His limbs were bound with strips of cloth while a rag was stuffed into his mouth. An autopsy confirmed that he died from strangulation.A kitchen knife was near the body but the corpse bore no visible marks of violence.The spacious two-storey house was ransacked and there are reports that a laptop computer and two cell phones were missing. Police said that the items have not been recovered.The victim was the only occupant of the home.It is believed that Cadogan was slain sometime between Thursday night and yesterday morning.Relatives said that Cadogan, who fathered five children, was a retired solicitor who resided in England.
Cadogan had suffered a stroke and returned to Guyana sometime last December to escape from the cold English weather.According to the niece, Cadogan had lunch with a nephew last Sunday and a relative spoke to him by telephone at around 18:00 hrs on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, a nephew went to Cadogan’s home to give him a papaw, but left after calling and getting no answer.Around 17:00 hrs that same day, another male relative returned and again got no answer after calling repeatedly for his uncle. The relative then observed that the plywood that had covered the broken window at the front of the bottom flat had come loose.The relative said that he entered the house and eventually found Cadogan’s bound body on the floor in a back bedroom.Relatives said that the victim’s wife and two of his children, who live in the UK, arrived in Guyana on Friday.


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