Organized Crime

Organized Crime

“Ghost guns” a haunting threat

Police services across Canada last year seized an increasing number of 3D-printed “ghost guns”, so named because the lack of serial numbers make them untraceable. While the receivers which integrate components that enable guns to fire are illegal, the other elements can be bought without a Firearms Acquisition Certificate. “It’s cheap, it's accessible and its purpose is to evade the law,” says Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, adding that a parliamentary committee reviewing Bill C-21 draft amendments to the Firearms Act “is examining a way in which we can make it illegal.” [node:read-more:link]

International criminals targetting Canada

A surge in automobile thefts across Canada is being tied to international gangs and police services are having trouble stopping them. In Toronto alone, they overtook burglary as the second-most common crime in 2022, jumping to 9,439 from the previous year’s 6,518. Hundreds of vehicles are retrieved and dozens of thieves arrested but Insurance Bureau of Canada investigator Bryan Gast says the problem is that “we’re getting to a point now where globally we’re a source country for stolen vehicles.” [node:read-more:link]

Mexican violence traps Canadians

Canadian tourists were trapped inside a Mexican hotel January 5 when widespread violence between drug cartels saw the trvellers’ airport transportation set ablaze outside. The upshot was advice from the federal government shelter in place. [node:read-more:link]

Haitian politician wants sanctions lifted

A former Haitian prime minister is asking the Federal Court to strike down Canadian government sanctions imposed on him over claims he supported gangs behind the current crisis in his country. Laurent Lamothe says the sanctions were an arbitrary decision that did not give him a chance to offer his side of the story. [node:read-more:link]

Enough Fentanyl to kill entire U.S.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says a recent drug bust resulted in the seizure not only of methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin but also 4,500 kilograms of Fentanyl and 50.6 million pills made to resemble different prescription pain-killers. The DEA said December 20 that the highly-addictive substance made by Mexican cartels from Chinese raw materials could have been used to manufacture 379 million fatal doses. [node:read-more:link]

Stolen vehicle ring suspects arrested

Toronto-area police forces have arrested 51 people and recovered more than 215 stolen after a months-long investigation. Project Touchdown also resulted in the seizure of 15 handguns and an assault rifle, most of which have been traced to the U.S., as well as ammunition, a kilogram of cocaine, and “various reprogramming devices.” York Regional Police Chief Jim Macsween said today that in his jurisdiction alone, vehicle thefts this year are more than 44 per cent higher than in 2021. [node:read-more:link]

More armoured vehicles for Haiti

Canada’s UN envoy, Bob Rae, says the federal government will send more armoured vehicles to Haiti to help its national police deal with gang violence that has escalated over five years and effectively paralyzed the country. Canada shipped three Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles and three commercial-pattern AVs in October and details of the next batch evidently will await an in-country assessment by three Canadian experts. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. man faces long prison term

A British Columbia man and two from the U.S. face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years after beachcombers in Washington state found duffel banks containing methamphetamines and Fentanyl worth some $7 million. Their grand jury indictment in Seattle was delivered after an extensive investigation by the RCMP and U.S. agencies. [node:read-more:link]

Dominican Republic mystery deepens

The charter clients of Toronto-based Pivot Airlines, whose aircraft was held and its crew detained by the Dominican Republic for seven months after the crew reported finding smuggled cocaine, evidently was a front but police will neither confirm or deny they are investigating. Pivot CEO Eric Edmondson has been unable to contact his “Trust Capital” contact, there is no real postal address or corporate registration, and the phone number and email are not in service. [node:read-more:link]

European MP charged with corruption

Eva Kaili, a Greek member of the European Parliament since 2014 and one of its vice-presidents, is one of four persons charged with money laundering and corruption linked to Qatar, which has denied any involvement. Kaili, whose VP role includes Middle East interests, has defended Qatar’s human rights record in the past. [node:read-more:link]

German “crackpots” attempted coup foiled

Members of a disparate right-wing German group widely derided for years as “crackpots” evidently were part of an alleged attempt to overthrow the government this week. Twenty-five persons arrested in 150 police operations in 11 states included members of the Reichsbürger group which security services have becoming more radical and more dangerous in recent years. [node:read-more:link]

Millions in U.S. pandemic funds stolen

The U.S. Secret Service says hackers linked to the Chinese government stole at least $20 million on pandemic relief funds destined for more than a dozen states. Based in Chengdu, the APT41 hacker group is the first foreign state-sponsored cybercriminal organization the U.S. has acknowledged publicly. “It would be crazy to think this group didn’t target all 50 states,” said an official coordinating fraud recovery efforts which are part of more than 1,000 ongoing investigations involving domestic as well as foreign actors. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s non-militry approach to Haiti

Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, is in Haiti for three days of talks with political leaders and in-country UN staff in an attempt to breach a political impasse after months of crises caused by armed gangs. The government in Port-au-Prince has requested military intervention but its critics say that could only prolong what they say is an unpopular government. [node:read-more:link]


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