Organized Crime

Organized Crime

American mercenaries jailed

A Venezuelan court has sentenced two former U.S. soldiers to 20 years in prison for their participation in a failed bid to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro. Found guilty of conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons and terrorism, they were among 13 people arrested in May when they attempted to enter Venezuela by sea from Colombia. Proceedings against others are continuing. [node:read-more:link]

Switzerland an oligarch haven

Switzerland was accused by one of its own non-governmental organizations of having become a “safe haven” for Russian oligarchs and as a trading hub for Russian oil, grain and coal. Referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Public Eye urged the government to “use all levers at its disposal to stop the financing of this inhuman aggression.” [node:read-more:link]

Money laundering report released

A three-year-long public inquiry into money-laundering in British Columbia delivered strong criticism, finding billions of dollars of criminal funds flowed annually through casinos, real estate and luxury goods in the absence of effective federal law enforcement. The report released Wednesday by former B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen says the anti-money laundering actions taken by the former BC Liberal government were largely ineffective. [node:read-more:link]

Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia

The final report of the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia was released on 22 June 2022. Since the Commission was announced in May 2019, it has held five community meetings around the province, undertaken thousands of hours of investigation, research and interviews, held 143 hearing sessions over 138 hearing days, heard testimony from 199 witnesses with an additional 23 witnesses providing evidence via sworn affidavit, received 1,063 exhibits, and released an Interim Report. [node:read-more:link]

Organized Crime Strategy

A look at why has Canada gone so long without a comprehensive Organized Crime Strategy. We have seen how organized crime infiltrates and damages the total fabric of society. This article assesses the best options for moving forward. [node:read-more:link]

BVI Premier arrested in Miami

Premier Andrew Fahie of the British Virgin Islands has been charged in Miami with drug smuggling and money laundering. Drug Enforcement Agency officers, who had posed as a Mexican drug traffickers, say the politician had agreed to a £560,000 payment to allow traffickers to use the Caribbean territory’s ports. A BVI port official and her son also have been charged. [node:read-more:link]

North Korea benefits from cryptoheist

Hackers associated with the North Korean government have been identified by the U.S. as responsible for the theft of $620 million in Ethereum cryptocurrency from a Vietnam-based video gaming studio in March. “We were able to confirm Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors associated with the DPRK, are responsible,” the FBI says. The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned the cryptocurrency address used by the hackers. [node:read-more:link]

Massive coronavirus relief fraud in U.S.

U.S. coronavirus relief programs are said to have resulted in what is being called as the largest fraud in the country’s history, siphoning off an estimated 10 per cent of the $800-billion program. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz says the Small Business Administration basically advised potential claimants to “apply and sign and tell us that you're really entitled” to relief payments. “What didn't happen was even minimal checks to make sure that the money was getting to the right people at the right time.” [node:read-more:link]

Foreign players in Ottawa protest

Facebook is being pressed by members of the U.S. Congress for details on how many of the social media giant’s accounts were created by foreign entities promoting coronavirus vaccination protests in Canada. The representatives were responding to reports that Facebook had confirmed fake user profiles set up in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Romania. [node:read-more:link]

Accused human smuggler indicted

A U.S. grand jury has indicted a Florida resident arrested Jan. 19 near the Manitoba-U.S. border last month and accused of involvement in human smuggling. Steve Anthony Shand was arrested shortly after RCMP found the bodies of a family of four from India who froze to death a few metres north of the border after being separated from others in their party found in a van driven by Shand. [node:read-more:link]

Record bitcoin seizure in U.S.

The U.S. Justice Department has announced the seizure of more than $3.6 billion in stolen cryptocurrency and the arrest of a New York couple it accused of conspiring to launder the proceeds. Officials linked the recovered amount to a hack of a virtual currency exchange nearly six years ago. “The message to criminals is clear: cryptocurrency is not a safe haven,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said. “We can, and we will, follow the money, no matter what form it takes.” [node:read-more:link]

Human smuggling investigation continues

A family of four from India who arrived in Toronto Jan. 12 and were found frozen to death in Manitoba near the U.S. border last week have been officially identified. Police are continuing their investigation into suspected a human smuggling ring. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian deaths in Mexico gang-related

A Mexican prosecutor said Jan. 25 that the killing of two Canadians at a Caribbean coast resort last week was motivated by debts between gangs apparently involved in drug and weapons trafficking. The victims both had criminal records at home, one of them a known felon with a history of robbery, drug and weapons offences. A Canadian woman hospitalized after the attack has been unable to speak to investigators. [node:read-more:link]

“Cyber incident” at Global Affairs

Global Affairs Canada access some “internet-based services” evidently remained unavailable today after a “cyber incident” Jan. 19. While it remains unclear whether there is a direct link, the breach was discovered on the same day the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security warned operators of critical infrastructure to be ready for a Russia-based threat. [node:read-more:link]


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