Organized Crime

Organized Crime

Chinese fentanyl targetted by U.S.

Four Chinese companies as well as eight of their executives and employees are facing U.S. Justice Department charges arising from their role in trafficking materials used to make fentanyl. Attorney General Merrick Garland says the new strategy goes beyond targeting Mexican drug cartels by also pursuing their suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Petroleum sector hacking expected

The Communications Security Establishment warned today that Russia-aligned non-state actors will continue trying to compromise Canada’s petroleum sector. “The intent of this activity is very likely to disrupt critical services for psychological impact, ultimately to weaken Canadian support for Ukraine,” it said in its latest threat assessment. “This activity will almost certainly continue for the duration of the war, and will likely increase as Russia’s invasion efforts falter, or new support for Ukraine is announced.” [node:read-more:link]

Bad apples in CBSA barrel

Canada Border Services Agency officers have been disciplined for hundreds of acts of misconduct over the past two calendar years, including preferential treatment and criminal association, according to documents obtained through the Access to Information Act. In the last fiscal year alone, 93 investigations resulted in 54 verbal or written reprimands and 38 suspensions. [node:read-more:link]

Student deportations on hold

The planned deportations of international students who may have been caught up in a scam in their home countries has been suspended by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada. They had been accused of using forged documents to obtain student visas, but the government has opted to analyze individual cases before proceeding and has granted eight-week residency permits which enable the students to work. [node:read-more:link]

CHINA: Friend or Foe?

Investigators around the world have long been uncovering criminal Triad activity, but many countries do not seem to have the political will to effectively try to thwart the se finely honed organizations. [node:read-more:link]

India wants Canadians extradited

Two Vancouver residents face extradition to India in connection with the case of four Indian nationals who froze to death last winter while trying to cross into the U.S. from Manitoba. “We need to interview them,” said a deputy police commissioner in Gujurat state. Two other suspected members of a human smuggling operation were arrested earlier this year in India. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. cracks down on scams

Unsolicited calls offering consumers financial or insurance products are to be prohibited by the British government as part of a crackdown on the increased prevalence of fraud. The initiative is to be backed by an increase in the government’s fraud squad to 500 personnel from 120. [node:read-more:link]

Italy bans ChatGPT for now

The Italian National Authority for Personal Data Protection today ordered an immediate but temporary ban on access to the increasingly popular ChatGPT application. It said that the chatbot “suffered a data breach on March 20 concerning users’ conversations and payment information of subscribers.” The agency criticized the application’s owner, San Francisco-based OpenAI, for not giving users information on how their data is collected. The European police agency warned earlier this week that criminals were ready to take advantage of chatbots to commit fraud and other cybercrimes. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. targets unexplained wealth

The B.C. government is planning to widen the scope of its money-laundering legislation to crack down on organized crime assets by compelling people to explain how they acquired assets. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said March 30 that it will, among other things, facilitate finding criminal assets hidden with family members but the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says B.C. “are going to have to go to court to prove that they are not criminals, and that's just unconstitutional.” [node:read-more:link]

Major drug trial collapses

A trial arising from the largest “international drug takedown” in Toronto’s history has fallen apart after all charges were stayed. “No reasons for the stay were provided,” the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed March 7, but a defence lawyer said that “a combination of witness issues, disclosure issues and delays in the progress of the proceedings.” Project Brisa’s six-month investigation led to the seizure of more than a tonne of smuggled drugs and a total of 182 charges against 20 persons [node:read-more:link]

RCMP officer faces trial on drug charges

An RCMP officer in western Newfoundland has been charged by the province’s Serious Incident Response Team with possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. The SIRT began its investigation last summer after the officer’s activities were reported by the RCMP. [node:read-more:link]

New U.S. focus on northern border

Canada’s border with the U.S. has largely avoided partisan politics in Washington but that may be changing. Twenty-eight members of Congress have formed a “northern border security caucus” focused on immigration, crime and national security. [node:read-more:link]

Cocaine dealer unhappy with fine

Convicted cocaine dealer Abdallah Abdelrazzaq is challenging a court-ordered fine on constitutional grounds, claiming that the penalty in lieu of forfeiting the proceeds of his crime is cruel and unusual punishment. He was arrested in Ontario in 2019 after selling cocaine to an undercover police officer and, after winning one appeal and losing another, his lawyer says he is prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Former Mexican minister convicted

Genaro Garcia Luna, a former Security of Public Secretary in Mexico’s cabinet, was found guilty in U.S. federal court in New York February 21 of accepting bribes to protect drug cartels. Hia lawyers, who plan to appeal, say the charges were based on lies from criminals who wanted to punish him and protect themselves by helping prosecutors. [node:read-more:link]


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