Friday, 29 May 2009

Cocaine worth £30million was found in the back of a lorry heading for London

Cocaine worth £30million was found in the back of a lorry heading for London, cops revealed yesterday. The trucker and a passenger - both British and in their 50s - were being questioned by French detectives last night. Both men denied knowing anything about the coke but said they had been delivering their load to London where it was to be distributed throughout England and Scotland. Officers had become suspicious when the HGV was seen travelling erratically on the A9 Mediterranean coast motorway outside the city of Montpellier, southern France.
A spokesman said: "It's the biggest haul of cocaine ever seized in mainland France.
"The drugs were found on the lorry as it travelled from Spain. It's likely its ultimate destination was London. "At the moment, the driver and passenger can be held for up to four days but clearly this period will be extended if they are charged. "This is such an important find that budget minister Eric Woerth is coming to examine the drugs personally." The cocaine was hidden at the back of the lorry trailer, behind a pile of peat. It was distributed around 32 freshly painted cash registers which had been stacked on two wooden boards. Customs officers said the drug had also been packed inside a number of plastic bags and rubber containers sealed with silicon. Powerfully-smelling coffee beans had been placed throughout the lorry in an attempt to confuse sniffer dogs, said police.

Spain's police have captured four members of an international drug trafficking gang

Spain's police have captured four members of an international drug trafficking gang, including its Bulgarian leader.The police operation in Madrid discovered 10 kg of heroin with the gang, which is the largest quantity of heroin captured in Spain this year, the EFE agency reported.The drug gang and its Bulgarian leader had a whole criminal network in Spain, and had direct contacts with heroin providers from Bulgaria. Its job was to organize its distribution in Madrid.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Carlos “Ciego” Bladimir Montoya is an active member of the gang Mara Salvatrucha,was arrested on Sunday, May 3

Carlos “Ciego” Bladimir Montoya is an active member of the gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13. Montoya was arrested on Sunday, May 3 in eastern Loudoun.
Montoya joined the ULS clique of MS-13 in 2002, and rose to become its leader. At the time of Montoya’s arrest last week, on federal charges of Aiding and Abetting Murder in the Aide of Racketeering, he was staying at a residence in Sterling.
Montoya’s gang-related activities were not limited to Loudoun. On May 5, 2007 in Fairfax County, police were called to an apartment complex after residents reported gunshots fired in the area. When Fairfax Police arrived, they found the dead body of Melvin “Pelon” Aguilar Reyes lying in the parking lot. Pelon was a member of the 18th Street gang, the rival gang of MS-13.The FBI was able to solve the case after a confidential witness spoke to the investigator about their role in the May 5, 2007 murder of Reyes. The witness admitted that he/she, along with four other MS-13 members, went to the apartment “patrolling” for chavalas—rival gang members or associates identified as disloyal. The five MS-13 gang members, driven by Montoya in his black Lexus, set their sights on Reyes. Montoya later confessed to FBI officials that two of these members had handguns, one of which was a revolver. According to Montoya, he drove to the back of the apartment buildings, parked on the street, and three of the gang members exited his vehicle. Reportedly, the three individuals told Montoya to wait in the car and to keep it running. They ran toward the apartment building when Montoya heard shots fired. When the three returned to the car, according to Montoya, they “bragged” of how they had shot the chavala and he had “fallen down.”According to court documents, Reyes was known to have had prior run-ins with members of MS-13. In an interview, Montoya described him as “cocky and all tatted up.” This was the second time Montoya had gone searching for the 18th Street gang member. Just a few days before, the same group had searched for “Pelon,” but could not locate him.On Sunday, May 3, the future of Montoya’s leadership in this part of MS-13 came to a swift end when a sheriff’s deputy recognized a vehicle registered to Montoya parked at a residence on Samantha Drive in Sterling. Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant and too Montoya into custody for the 2007 homicide of Reyes.Montoya faces federal charges of Aiding and Abetting Murder in the Aid of Racketeering under Title 18 of the United States Code. Montoya–originally held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center–has now been transferred to federal authorities.In the wake of the recent homicide in Lansdowne less than two months ago, Loudoun residents are particularly sensitive to gang-related issues. After March 22, when Potomac Station residents William Bennett was murdered and wife Cynthia brutally beaten during a Sunday morning walk, residents demanded answers. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office captured four suspects in six weeks—with not much more than a white van as a clue. When four suspects were arrested with “loose ties” to a nationally recognized gang, old questions turned into new concerns.
Although Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson could only say the motive was most likely robbery, he remains certain the attack was not connected to a gang initiation or ritual.Gang Response Team Coordinator Edward Ryan of the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force said that although things are under the microscope more now than they were before the Lansdowne murder, gang activity is no more prevalent than it was at this time last year. Ryan notes the Gang Task Forces philosophy is three-pronged: suppression (which works more for law enforcement), intervention and prevention. They provide services to kids and families at risk, instilling positive role models to prevent furthering the gang lifestyle. Non-profits and other organizations are involved–hoping that the converged efforts will curtail future gang activity.
At the April 30 Community Meeting at the National Conference Center, Sergeant David Zuleger acknowledged the existence of four gangs in the Loudoun area—MS-13, 18th Street Gang, the Bloods and the Crips–with a total of 180-200 members. Zuleger runs the seven-person Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit. The unit’s functions include gang-related investigations, intelligence gathering, training, inter-agency support and suppression.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Gold Coast's dangerous mix of wealthy beachfront and canal estates, nightclub precinct,has changed from a surfers' paradise to a Gangster Heaven

Gold Coast's dangerous mix of wealthy beachfront and canal estates, a congested nightclub precinct, and new arrivals wanting to join the rich real quick, has changed the tourist strip from a surfers' paradise to a gangsters' heaven."I think the concentration of amphetamines, nightclubs and playground atmosphere, along with the worship of consumer goods like houses and cars, is a potential fireball for crime and, probably, violent crime," Professor Wilson told The Sunday Mail.
Cut again to some more action, this time at a Hedges Ave mansion in the wealth belt along Mermaid Beach.The scene: we're inside a recognisable beachfront property, as famous for its price tag as much as for its owners, who have included its builder, the showbiz promoter Michael Edgley, who once rented the beach pad to pop diva Diana Ross.Former Melbourne milk magnate Ken Lacey and his wife Madeleine are inside the property now, and it is filled with police. This is a raid, and the police are after drugs.They find a firearms silencer in a Versace shoe box. A photograph shows the Laceys' elder son, Jade, with a gun.He has been profiled in the Coast media about launching his music career in the United States as a rapper, but until this moment in January 2006 his photograph is yet to feature on a police brief.The skinny kid from St Michael's College has bulked up a bit since leaving school and rents a unit in Broadbeach's Albert Ave, just a few blocks from the nightclub and cafe precinct and not too far from Mum and Dad.A mate of Jade, who worked as a security guard in Broadbeach, arrived bloodied at the unit after an unprovoked beating inside a nightclub.He later alleged the gun he used to shoot a man in his upper arm was obtained from Jade.Jade is arrested on drugs and weapons charges but his father Ken tells a summary trial that his son, then aged 23, is "right against marijuana" and "all types of drugs".Magistrate Ron Kilner finds the offences at the "lower end of the scale", fines Jade $1000 and does not record any convictions.But keep watching, because this storyline is only just developing.Jade and younger brother Dionne are wearing suits and shirts in the style of the US rap stars they idolise when they surrender to police in May 2007. They are arrested at the office of their Southport lawyer Chris Nyst over the killing of Nerang landscaper Kevin Palmer.
Dionne, 22, was found guilty last week by a Supreme Court jury of Mr Palmer's manslaughter. Jade, 26, was found guilty of unlawful wounding. Both said they acted in self-defence.The jury heard Jade, who gave evidence on his own behalf, admit he often carried a loaded gun, even when at dinner with his grandmother, because he believed it was "tough".That remark grabbed everyone's attention because Prof Wilson, senior police and experienced criminal lawyers such as Coast solicitor Bill Potts, had not heard before of anyone other than bikie criminals carrying guns in public on the tourist strip.But Mr Potts, who has an office just down from the daily passing parade of crims at the Southport Courthouse, is seeing changes in the Coast's gun culture which frighten him.Possession of guns decreased after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, but there have been some recent disturbing signs.Young druggies are not just arming themselves with knives any more."And there's no point in having a gun unless you use it and want to bring fear to other people," Mr Potts said. "The carrying of them inevitably leads to them being used."
Cut to more action, this time inside the Burleigh police criminal investigation branch, where detectives are working fast to retrieve closed-circuit security footage of the bashing of an off-duty officer and his girlfriend by a gang of youths.
Inspector Marc Hogan presses the "play" button again, and from different angles cameras catch the chilling street assault by up to 20 youths, who king-hit the officer and then drag his girlfriend to the ground by her hair and bash her.
The footage shows it is 1am in Dutton St in central Coolangatta on November 17, 2007, and these teens and sub-teens are running from all corners of the intersection to join in, high-fiving each other as the couple lie bleeding on the footpath.
They're small kids. Insp Hogan, asked how old they might be, takes a closer look before replying: "There are kids there judging by their size, who look to be about 10 years of age. When I saw this, I had to wonder, 'Do their parents know their kids are out and about this time in the morning?' "Southport District Court is later told one of the boys – 11 at the time – feared that if he yelled out to pedestrians to help the policeman and his partner, he might be bashed by his mates.The female face of the attack, Tiani Slockee, 18, from Chinderah in New South Wales, is placed on two years' probation after being convicted of assault causing bodily harm while in company.Keep watching. Slockee is in a car chase with police, this time at Broadbeach in January this year.She walks free from court again after Magistrate Dermot Kehoe concedes she would face a lengthy wait for blood-alcohol results.
Crime on the Gold Coast has changed, evolved.The prospects of being mugged on Cavill Ave or having your wallet pinched from underneath your towel while you had a swim seem like misty memories of a simpler time.The Chinderah kids are just one of several aspects of gangland on the Gold Coast, senior police say.Some Coast teenagers are bred into the crime culture through their early experimenting with drugs, which brings them into contact with bikies.Some view crime from an entrepreneurial perspective, selling drugs to join the rich.Others begin their apprenticeship in youth gangs like those just across the border in northern NSW, starting with a bit of graffiti before launching into assaults.Also in the mix are established outlaws from Sydney and other countries dropping in to the Coast. Many of the gangs are ethnic-based and out to make a quick buck."The bikie gangs are here, and we have Russian organised crime. It is transient," a policeman said.
"We appear to be becoming very attractive for many NSW crime elements. There's a lot of interstate stuff, like skimming, where these criminals will watch you put in your credit card at an ATM and take down your details."We have professional shoplifters who will come in, steal and leave town."Drug deals and stolen cars no longer raise an eyebrow.In recent times, headlines have been created by road-rage executions on the side of the highway, the abduction and robbery of a bank manager, the brutal slaying of a husband and wife at separate locations, and a husband and mistress plotting the execution of his wife.Gold Coast crime has gone prime time.
When Arch McDonald arrived in town and began work on the Surfers Paradise police beat in 1994, he thought twice about moving his family to join him."As a young policeman, I thought I might not bring my children here to Surfers. But after I met people in the suburbs it was just like any other place," Mr McDonald said.
"The Coast has had a fairly violent history, unfortunately. The reputation it holds doesn't reflect on the good done by a lot of people."He retired after six years, but remains close to the city's heart as president of Surfers Paradise RSL.
"I've got several theories (about Coast crime), and the simplest is the fact that we have so many people who are not native-born and bred in the place," Mr McDonald said.
More than three million domestic tourists visited the Coast during 2008, and many of them return for a permanent stay.Some guests are more notorious than others. Melbourne underworld kings Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel used to enjoy some free time on the Coast, with regular and lengthy stays at top spots such as the Versace resort.An earlier generation of Mr Bigs, such as Sydney's Lennie McPherson and hitman Christopher Dale Flannery, had their own digs on the Coast, with caretakers looking after their holiday homes."It's a microcosm of all cultures here. They bring with them the issues of their culture, or how they were treated as kids," Mr McDonald said.To solve it, to reduce this element of organised crime, Mr McDonald argues that the region's young policemen need stronger back-up from civic leaders and parents in a city yet to reach maturity."It's the best training ground. Most young policemen who come here enjoy an extensive career and reach the highest echelons because of the experience here," he said.The city is immature because parents who arrive to live "see the beach and other entertainment and they relax and don't understand that young people are led astray".
"I do believe the civic leaders (Gold Coast City councillors) don't march to the same tune. The whole of the city needs to be brought together."
Gold Coast police superintendent Jim Keogh agrees that the policing environment is tough, and that the transient nature of the population does not help. Rather than generations of criminals in one family, there are just new and unknown crooks.
"It's a challenging environment. You have to deal with all facets, from juvenile crime to organised crime," Supt Keogh said.And television series such as Underbelly, he concedes, just add gloss to what some kids perceive as the glamour of organised crime."Some kids are influenced by TV. There is no two ways about it. Some of them see these guys as folk heroes in their eyes," Supt Keogh said.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Threats by two suspected members of the MS-13 gang to kill a Baltimore police officer

Baltimore homicide detectives are investigating threats by two suspected members of the MS-13 gang to kill a Baltimore police officer, the alleged gang members threatened to kill an unidentified police officer during questioning at Southeast District headquarters.The suspects had been arrested on gun possession charges.The officer reported that the suspects – whom police believe have ties to the violent MS-13 gang – said they had killed a police officer in El Salvador and only got two years in prison, according to a report filed by the officer.Then, the officer alleges, the suspects threatened to kill him.
“We’ll do the same to you,” the report states.The threats were made during an investigation of activities of the gang in the Southeast police district that includes parts of Fells Point, home to the city’s 5,000-member Hispanic community.The officer who was threatened is Hispanic, and was translating questions posed to suspected gang members after their arrests. The officer noted in his report the violent history of the gang, which often target family members.The threats were made directly to the police officer during an investigation and were considered credible enough to warrant a full investigation by the city’s homicide division, a source from the Southeast district said.MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a gang with Salvadorian roots that has been gaining growing influence in the Baltimore/Washington area, according to federal prosecutors.Last week, Victor Ramirez, aka "Mousey," 30, a resident of Hyattsville who was born in El Salvador, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for his role in three murders and a string of violent crimes including armed robbery."The evidence proved that MS-13 sent Victor Ramirez to Maryland from El Salvador as part of a plan to strengthen the MS-13 gang and expand the gang’s criminal activity," U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said after Ramirez was sentenced.Along with MS-13, the recent high-profile murder case involving eight alleged members of the city’s Bounty Hunters gang, a violent drug organization with ties to the Bloods, also has garnered headlines. Eight suspected members, incuding a 16-year-old female, have been charged with first-degree murder.Police allege that eight gang members beat 20-year-old Petro Taylor unconscious at a Baltimore motel last December then drove him to a secluded area of Leakin Park,where they stabbed him more than 30 times before dousing him with gasoline and setting him on fire. The state medical examiner’s office determined Taylor was burned alive.Last week a series of violent incidents at the city’s Inner Harbor area – including two stabbings – raised the specter of a growing gang presence at Baltimore’s most popular tourist destination. The violence including the vicious beating of a Michigan teen who was pummeled on Pratt Street by a group of young men wearing bandannas.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

President of Capistrano Playa in Nerja arrested

The ex-president of Capistrano Playa was voted out of his position on March 28th at a meeting after other residents in the community had started to suspect that what they were paying out didn't balance with the bills and expenses for work being done.Saturday Civil Guards in Nerja arrested a British man, M.P.T., who is aged around 50 years old, after a community of neighbours had reported him on Friday and accused him of taking a large amount of community money, which could be as much as 200,000 euros.Capistrano Playa overlooks Nerja's Burriana beach and there are 130 homes in the development, many of them owned by foreigners who do not live there permanently. Apparently there had been various problems with the foundations and three years ago the community set about having them reinforced. The work which was contracted and supervised by the ex-president has a cost of more than 1.2 million euros.
According to the other Capistrano Playa home owners the British man, who has lived in Nerja for 20 and is married with three children, had stopped paying some electricity bills which meant that the supply was cut off in some of the homes. "He was friendly with many owners, who trusted him with the payments of taxes or household bills," said a community employee. "The problems started when he started to manage so much money for the work on the foundations," he added.M.P.T. is now due to appear before a judge in Torrox.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

44-year-old Jafar Hajebrahim,22 year sentence,the gang’s ringleader,.

Heaviest sentences, each of 22 years, on the gang’s ringleader, 44-year-old Jafar Hajebrahim; and his associate, ex-soldier and fireman Alan Austin, 55, of Barnstaple.
five members of a gang jailed for a total of 72 years for conspiring to smuggle £1 million worth of cocaine into the UK were told their activities were “evil” by a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court. Judge Christopher Harvey Clark told them: “Almost every day in this court, I see the consequences of heroin and cocaine addiction. “It wrecks and destroys people’s lives. It leads these days to most offences of robbery, burglary and theft being committed in our society.” Hajebrahim’s nephew, 24-year-old Poria Abraham of Charminster in Bournemouth, was sentenced to 12 years; and the man described as a “go-between”, Iranian Ali Tavakolinia, 39, also of Charminster, was sentenced to 11 years. Drugs courier and single parent Louise Brindle, 33, from Christchurch, was sentenced to five years. She had her 13-year-old son with her when Customs officers at Portsmouth found 10 kilos of cocaine hidden in the car on the pair’s return from Spain in December 2006. The sentences were the culmination of a complex three-year police and customs investigation and 14-week trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. Three weeks into the trial, Hajebrahim changed his plea to guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence against him. The other four were found guilty on April 8. The prosecution case was that Hajebrahim, who first came to the UK from Iran as an illegal immigrant in the 1980s, was at the heart of the conspiracy to buy cocaine from South America and import it into England via Spain. The gang used Vauxhall Corsa cars because the drugs could be hidden in the petrol tanks. Father-of-two Hajebrahim is thought to be the first criminal to be successfully extradited to the UK from Brazil, where he owned properties and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Austin, who had been in business and owned properties in Bournemouth with Hajebrahim, was described as “controlling and cunning” by the prosecution. Abraham was heavily involved in laundering the drugs money and had taken Brindle to Spain to “show her the ropes”. Senior investigating officer Det Chief Inspector John Crossland of Dorset Police said after the case: “This is an excellent example of what can be achieved through police forces sharing resources and intelligence and working with our partnership agencies.”


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