Organized Crime

Organized Crime

Gun smuggling charges in Toronto

Six persons face a combined 260 criminal charges after a months-long firearms trafficking investigation in Toronto which resulted in the seizure of 62 long guns and handguns, all but five having been brought in from the U.S. “Our youth are dying over this issue,” Interim Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said December 5. “Shootings devastate families and erode the sense of security for entire communities.” [node:read-more:link]

Massive Salvadoran gang crackdown

Unable to deal with widespread gang violence through conventional policing, the government of El Salvador deployed some 10,000 troops to surround the city of Soyapango December 3 as part of a massive crackdown. President Nayib Bukele said “extraction teams from the police and the army are tasked with extricating all the gang members still there one by one.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada sanctions Haitian leaders

Former Haitian President Michel Martelly and two former prime ministers have been sanctioned by Canada for allegedly financing gangs whose violence has brought their country to a standstill, including by blocking a critical terminal for importing fuel. Trudeau’s office did not specifically name the sanctioned individuals [node:read-more:link]

Library fines take on a whole new meaning

Two Russian nationals have been charged by the U.S. of running Z-Library, a global pirated e-book site used by thousands of students, professors and others worldwide for more than a decade. Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, arrested in Argentina, are accused of copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering. [node:read-more:link]

Ransomware a British preoccupation

The British government’s interdepartmental COBRA crisis management team has spent post of its recent meetings addressing ransomware attacks on utilities and other critical services rather than other emergencies. The focus seems to be a response to warnings by the National Cyber Security Centre that ministerial responses to the growing number of attacks was inadequate. [node:read-more:link]

Accused Ukrainian cybercriminal extradited

The accused leader of the JabberZeus cybercriminal group that stole tens of millions of dollars from U.S. and European companies reportedly has been arrested in Switzerland. Vyacheslav “Tank” Penchukov, a Ukrainian national on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list for 10 years, is being extradited for trial in the U.S. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. minister challenges deportation order

British Columbia’s health minister, Andrian Dix, wants the Canada Border Services Agency to cancel a December 19 deportation order for a Mexican family. Dix says New Westminster hospital employee Claudia Zamorano, who fled her country in 2017 with her family after gang death threats and who applied for permanent residency in 2021, should be permitted ed to continue to contribute to the province's health-care system. [node:read-more:link]

Australian health insurer extorted

The Australian Federal Police suspects “loosely-affiliated” Russian hackers of trying to extort a major medical insurance company. “We believe that those responsible for the breach are in Russia,” Commissioner Reece Kershaw said today. Meanwhile, the AFP was ““undertaking covert measures and working around the clock with our domestic agencies and our international networks.” [node:read-more:link]

Role for Canada in Haiti?

Ahead of today’s visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a senior official in his department voiced optimism about creating an intervention force to help Haiti deal with gang violence which has crippled the country’s already fragile economy for months. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it has no desire to send troops but Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, said October 26 that “a number of countries” are capable. [node:read-more:link]

Major cross-border drug bust

Fifteen people and a Calgary company have been charged following a cross-border $55-million drug bust. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, an umbrella agency, said September 27 that the investigation which began in 2020 also involved police in B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. swaps prisoners with Taliban

A U.S. Navy veteran who worked for more than a decade as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan and who had been held hostage by the Taliban for two years was released by the Taliban September 19 in exchange for a drug trafficker associated with the Taliban who was jailed in 2008. There had been concerns that repatriation attempt would be undermined by the fundamentalists’ return to power last year and the subsequent withdrawal of the U.S. military. [node:read-more:link]

Private jets used to smuggle migrants

A multinational police operation has resulted in the arrest of five persons who used private jets to smuggle migrants into Europe. The suspects and two others still at large are accused of giving the migrants fake diplomatic papers from Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean but flew them from Turkey to a European airport where declared their true identity and claimed asylum. Two jets worth €426,000 have been seized. [node:read-more:link]

Border patrol exercise proves fruitful

A recent Canada-U.S. maritime border control exercise in the waters between British Columbia and Washington state turned into the real thing. Coordinated by the RCMP Border Integrity as part of a regular series of are usually routine operations, the interception and boarding of several vessels in the August exercise yielded several individuals associated with transnational organized crime [node:read-more:link]

Seized guns in Toronto mostly smuggled

Information gleaned from a Toronto Police Service social media account indicates that most seized crime-related firearms are imported, most likely from the U.S. So far this year, 84 of 116 seized weapons were prohibited, 20 were restricted and 11 were non [node:read-more:link]

Italy’s energy sector under cyberseige

Cyberattacks on Italian energy operators and infrastructure are increasing, says the country’s National Cyber Security Agency. Following two breaches over the last week, it urges the sector to “raise the levels of protection of digital infrastructure of energy operators” and says it is “constantly updating them in line with the most recent threat information” as attackers use new coding software. [node:read-more:link]


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