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Friday, 8 August 2014

Gang boss burns out garda sergeant's car while he plays football

Posted On 17:51 0 comments

Gardai have launched a major investigation after a car belonging to a popular sergeant was burnt-out in a grudge attack linked to gangland thugs. SHARE The highly-respected officer's Toyota Corolla was burnt-out as he played a football game in Ashford, Co Wicklow, over the bank holiday weekend. Sources said everything points to the shadowy crimelord nicknamed 'The Businessman' being behind the sinister attack after a recent garda raid on a pub linked to the middle-aged thug.

The major crimelord is the chief suspect for organising the attack after he "became irritated" with increasing pressure from detectives in recent weeks. The officer's car was targeted on Monday evening in an attack that was planned. The gangster is considered a major player nationwide. He leads a gang active mainly in the east of the country but with links to drugs mobs all over the country, including in the capital.


Ireland's latest gangland victim may have been shot with his own gun

Posted On 17:49 0 comments

Ireland's latest gangland murder victim was shot with a handgun that he had intended to sell to his killers, gardai believe.  In an extremely well planned double cross, the garda probe is now focusing on whether north Dublin drug dealer Paul 'Ralph' Gallagher (26) was shot with a gun that he intended to sell to his killers after being lured to a secret meeting.  among the four men who gardai suspect were in the Co Meath field when Gallagher was shot dead was a psychopath who is strongly linked to the IRA and INLA. sickening The sickening events of the night can be revealed as it has now emerged that a young man who drove the drug dealer to the remote scene may have witnessed his pal being shot dead.

He has not been arrested yet but sources say that gardai are aware of his identity and plan to obtain a statement from him in the coming days. Sources say that murdered drug dealer 'Ralph' Gallagher was driven by his younger pal from their Donaghmede base to the murder field in Co Meath.  Investigations have established that both men got out of the car and entered the field where it is understood that Gallagher produced two handguns which he was told were to be sold. It's believed that one of the guns was then turned on Gallagher. He did not realise that among the four criminals in the field was a close pal of a Drogheda drug dealer, who Gallagher is suspected of stealing a large quantity of cannabis herb, heroin and cocaine from last April. Gardai believe another individual present was a psychopathic criminal originally from the North.

He was also responsible for a security alert in Louth after gardai received intelligence that he was plotting to steal garda uniforms from a station there. Also present was a major criminal from Donaghmede, now based in Balbriggan, who owned the stash of drugs that Gallagher is suspected of stealing last April. Last weekend, the Herald revealed that Gallagher's killers spent weeks plotting the murder which was organised after the victim stole drugs. The chief suspect for pulling the trigger is a highly volatile Donaghmede man who is aged in his early 20s. He is known for violent crime and has a number of previous convictions. Target The Dubliner has become a "big player" in the Louth and Meath drugs scene over the past year and is a major target for gardai in the north east and specialist units in the capital. He is a key member of the 'Mr Big' drugs organisation and was one of the main participants in the feud with Alan Ryan's Real IRA faction which led to Ryan's murder in September, 2012. Gallagher was buried on Tuesday at St Fintan's Cemetery in Sutton. A large crowd had attended his funeral mass at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede. But the attendance would have been much bigger but some of Gallagher's associates were warned not to attend by criminals.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Fugitive conman, drug dealer and money launderer Martin Evans has been arrested by armed police in South Africa after three years on the run.

Posted On 16:33 0 comments

Fugitive conman, drug dealer and money launderer Martin Evans has been arrested by armed police in South Africa after three years on the run.

Evans, 52, from Swansea - who was jailed for 21 years in 2006 for conspiracy to supply cocaine and fraudulent trading - was arrested in Johannesburg on Saturday.

His scams included swindling 87 investors out of £900,000 in an ostrich farm fraud in south Wales.

He will appear in court on Monday.

Evans was named by police as one of the UK's "most wanted" in 2012 who said they suspected he was living a life of luxury, probably on Cyprus.

A spokesman for the National Crime Agency (NCA) said Evans was sought as part of Operation Zygos, which was set up to track Britain's 12 most wanted people.

He said: "We knew he had moved to South Africa. We were tracking him down."

Evans disappeared in August 2011 after failing to return from a weekend release from prison in Wiltshire.

He was arrested on Saturday night after an operation involving the NCA and Interpol, and intelligence-led surveillance operations were handled by South African Police.

Hank Cole, the NCA's head of international operations, said: "The exceptional level of collaboration and intelligence sharing with the South African Police Service led to the capture of Evans.

"This arrest shows the NCA and its partners will pursue fugitives wherever they are in the world.

"They can run but they can't hide. We have the capacity to track them down and bring them to justice."

Evans had been known to use the aliases Martin Roydon Evans, Martin Wayne Evans, Anthony Hall and Paul Kelly.

It is not the first time Evans has been on the run.

Before he was jailed in 2006, he had been hiding in Holland and Spain, where he masterminded a drugs and money laundering operation, shipping at least £3m of ecstasy and cocaine into Britain.

Evans began his criminal career in the mid 1990s after his double-glazing firm in Port Talbot failed.

Martin Evans at his ostrich farm
Evans set up his ostrich farm after another business failed

He set up an ostrich-breeding business, promising profits of 70% a year, and targeting newly-retired people for investment by advertising in specialist retirement magazines.

On the day his trial was due to start in Swansea in March 2000, Evans jumped bail and sent a fax to the court saying he would not be attending.

Criminal earnings

He went on the run as the authorities searched for his assets in Jersey and the Bahamas.

 


Detectives are poring over social media for details that might help them arrest new generation of mobsters who have turned their back on traditional code of discretion

Posted On 16:24 0 comments

Just when police thought they had finally loosened the Mafia's historical stranglehold over Sicily, a new generation of brash mobsters is reclaiming the streets of Palermo - and bragging about it on Facebook. After years when Cosa Nostra luminaries communicated only by hand written notes in code, their youthful successors are making increasingly unabashed online boasts about their wealth, power and contempt for the magistrates hunting them down. One Palermo mobster, Domenico Palazzotto, 28, who created a Facebook page under a false name, posted photos of himself cruising on motorboats, sitting down to sumptuous lobster and champagne dinners and riding in a limousine. The rising boss, who called the shots in the Arenella neighbourhood of Palermo, where he allegedly helped run extortion rackets, listed his liking for Neapolitan music and the US singer Kenny Loggins and name-checked an Italian TV series about the Mafia. Amid crude insults apparently aimed at the police, Mr Palazzotto also swapped messages with an aspiring mobster who asked to be enrolled in his clan

Domenico Palazzotto, a Palermo mobster, has created a Facebook page under a false name, posted photos of himself cruising on motorboats, sitting down to sumptuous lobster and champagne dinners and riding in a limousine

Domenico Palazzotto, a Palermo mobster, has created a Facebook page under a false name, posted photos of himself cruising on motorboats Photo: Facebook
 

Just when police thought they had finally loosened the Mafia's historical stranglehold over Sicily, a new generation of brash mobsters is reclaiming the streets of Palermo - and bragging about it on Facebook.

After years when Cosa Nostra luminaries communicated only by hand written notes in code, their youthful successors are making increasingly unabashed online boasts about their wealth, power and contempt for the magistrates hunting them down.

One Palermo mobster, Domenico Palazzotto, 28, who created a Facebook page under a false name, posted photos of himself cruising on motorboats, sitting down to sumptuous lobster and champagne dinners and riding in a limousine.

The rising boss, who called the shots in the Arenella neighbourhood of Palermo, where he allegedly helped run extortion rackets, listed his liking for Neapolitan music and the US singer Kenny Loggins and name-checked an Italian TV series about the Mafia.

Amid crude insults apparently aimed at the police, Mr Palazzotto also swapped messages with an aspiring mobster who asked to be enrolled in his clan.

"Yes, brother," replied Mr Palazzotto jokingly. "We need to consider your criminal record. We do not take on people with clean records."

A photo uploaded onto the Facebook page (Facebook)

The boss then adds, "Join my team.. We are the strongest, ha ha ha."

In a brief video also posted online, one of Palazzotto's loyal mobsters yells "I am the Godfather," to which Palazzotto adds the comment, "Well, I am the original."

However, while the online postings, which were revealed by Italianmagazine L'Espresso, are thought to be partly intended to spread fear among the Mafia's host communities, such flagrant disregard for mafia's traditional penchant for discretion could also be the mobsters' undoing.

An investigative source in Palermo told The Telegraph that officers were spending time checking through Facebook to seek out the bosses lurking behind false names.

Salvatore D'Alessandro, a rising mob henchman loyal to Mr Palazzotto, also posted on Facebook under a pseudonym, uploading photos of dinners and boat rides with his boss and described his ambition to move up the organisation's ranks.

Domenico Palazzoto on a motor boat, which he uploaded to his Facebook account which was under a false name (Facebook)

"For the time being I am one of the small sharks hunting in the deep," he wrote. "But the moment will come when I rise to the surface and will have no pity for anyone."

The investigative source, who declined to be named, said the mob was "pushing to make a comeback in Palermo", following years when the ranks of Mafiosi were decimated by arrests. But the new generation, the source added, could not be more different to its predecessors.

"Going online would have been unthinkable for the old guard," the source said. "They lived in farm houses and existed on bread, cheese and vegetables grown there, without using phones and relying on 'pizzini' (handwritten notes) to get their orders out.

"The new generation are using Facebook, texts and WhatsApp to show that they are going to the best discos, beaches and restaurants, because they believe that is key to earning respect. The problem is that makes you traceable and they are getting arrested."

"There is a new generation of Mafiosi in Palermo," said a Sicily-based magistrate who also declined to be named, "but they have yet to prove they have the quality of their predecessors."

Mr Palazzotto was among 95 mobsters rounded up in June in Palermo in an operation dubbed 'Operation Apocalypse' aimed at decapitating the city's new Mafia leadership. Police said they had put a temporary stop to vote rigging, extortion and drug trafficking operations as well as the laundering of ill gotten cash through betting shops. More importantly, officers said they had halted a bid to pull together scrapping clans across the city into a more compact criminal empire, harking back to the leadership of Toto Riina, the "boss of bosses" jailed in 1993.

Investigators alleged a key figure in the rebirth was Mr Palazzotto's cousin Gregorio Palazzotto, 37, who was issuing orders despite being in jail.

The Facebook page which Domenico Palazzoto made under a fake name (Facebook)

A keen user of Facebook, Gregorio used the site to insult Mafia turncoats who gave evidence to get out of jail, writing "I have no fear of handcuffs, but I am afraid of those who start singing to get out of them." In other messages he demanded an amnesty for prisoners to end prison overcrowding.

He also posted loving messages to his wife, pasted onto a background of an image of jail cells, writing in one: "If my heart was a jail, you would be condemned to a life sentence."

His wife wrote back: "My love, I am here to support you," and "When this nightmare is over, you will start to live again."

In another message, in which she superimposed the image of a wedding behind bars, Pallazzotto's wife wrote, "These bars will not divide us and will make our love stronger."

As police get wind of Facebook bragging by Mafiosi, a more time honoured means for the mobsters to show off their power, involving Cosa Nostra's venerable links to the Catholic Church, resurfaced in Palermo last week.

During one of the religious processions that frequently wind their way through the city, volunteers carrying a statue of a Madonna briefly set it down outside a funeral parlour owned by the family of Alessandro D'Ambrogioin, a jailed Mafia boss, what was viewed as a sign of respect.

During the pause outside the shopfront, where D'Ambrogio held mob summits, local children were lifted up to kiss the statue.

The incident recalled a similar, suspicious pause in a procession in Calabria last month near the home of jailed Calabrian boss Peppe Mazzagatti, which prompted outrage in the wake of Pope Francis' call for mobsters to be excommunicated.


Charles Bronson 'approached to appear on I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! when freed'

Posted On 16:19 0 comments

Charles Bronson - the man dubbed “Britain’s most violent prisoner" was approached to star on I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! once he’s made a free man, his younger brother has claimed. Mark Peterson told WalesOnline that Bronson was asked about going on the jungle reality show a few years ago, "should he ever get parole". Mr Peterson said: “He’d be great on TV, I think – he’s a very bright, charismatic man." “He’d be brilliant on that show because no matter what they’d find to throw at him he’d have already had it 100 times worse. “The only down side would be that none of the other contestants would get a look in. “Come every bushtucker trial, Mickey would always be the first one with his hand in the air.” The revelation came as Mr Peterson talked about what it was like being the younger brother of one of country's most notorious criminals. He revealed that Bronson would like to have a quiet life in Wales if he is ever released from jail, and spoke about the nightmare his brother endured during his ‘80s stay at high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor. He told how he acted as a negotiator during Bronson's 47-hour rooftop protest at the asylum against being forcibly drugged and reportedly beaten, and of the moment Bronson was almost stabbed to death whilst building a fish pond for fellow inmates at Parkhurst.


Friday, 1 August 2014

TASMANIAN bikies accused of importing $10 million worth of speed into Queensland from the UK

Posted On 07:48 0 comments

TASMANIAN bikies accused of importing $10 million worth of speed into Queensland from the UK eluded the state’s tough anti-gang regime because their alleged crimes break Commonwealth law.

However a fate worse than VLAD potentially awaits the Rebels bikies, who face life sentences if convicted over a racket that allegedly used murky non-bank money transfers in a bid to make big profits on cheap English amphetamines.

Jed Leggett, 25, a welder who lives in a Carrara caravan park, was the alleged Queensland receiver of 4kg of speed sent by courier in two packages from Liverpool in the UK to Brisbane.

Facebook image of Tasmanian Rebels bikie member Jyden Kirkpatrick.

Facebook image of Tasmanian Rebels bikie member Jyden Kirkpatrick.

Jyden Kirkpatrick, 27, a personal trainer, is the alleged organiser of a ring the Australian Crime Commission claims paid $194,000 for speed worth $20 million on Australian streets.

Police claim the pair recently moved to the Gold Coast where they went “under the radar” while planning to mail the speed on to Tasmania, where both are members of the Eastern Shore Rebels chapter.

The ACC uncovered the alleged drug plot in April as part of its investigations of the “alternative remittance sector”, used by organised crime groups to bypass banks and avoid scrutiny when sending money offshore.

Queensland’s tough bail provisions, which automatically keep bikies behind bars unless they can “show cause” for their release, did not apply when the pair appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday because importing drugs is a Commonwealth offence.

Facebook image of Tasmanian Rebels bikie member Jed Leggett.

Facebook image of Tasmanian Rebels bikie member Jed Leggett.

Leggett was freed on bail but Kirkpatrick was remanded in custody until August 5.

It follows the granting of bail to Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Chris “Chubbs” Barrett on riot charges on Monday, when “show cause” did not apply because the alleged offence took place before bikie laws came in.

Detective Superintendent Mick Niland said importing was the right charge because there was no evidence Kirkpatrick and Leggett were trafficking in Queensland. Here the crime would trigger a mandatory extra 15 years’ punishment under VLAD (the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act).

Fellow Rebels Ryan Zmendack and Nick Stebbens also face importing charges over another 4kg of speed sent to Tasmania from Liverpool. The drugs were allegedly packaged by a 27-year-old man from Kidderminster, who was arrested and allegedly had phones, heat-sealing machines and foil packaging when seized.

 

Some of the drug haul imported by courier from Liverpool in the UK.

Some of the drug haul imported by courier from Liverpool in the UK.


Hells Angels bikie jailed after found guilty of trafficking methamphetamines

Posted On 07:44 0 comments

bikie gang member in Adelaide, who almost avoided being caught drug trafficking, has been jailed for more than four years. Twenty-nine-year-old Ross William Montgomery was pulled over by police while driving a hire car at Lockleys last October. The District Court heard his driver's licence had earlier been disqualified. Two mobile phones and about $3,000 were seized. But later during a search of his home, police became suspicious after overhearing a phone call between Montgomery and his girlfriend. Two sealed boxes of water, which had been in the boot of the car, were searched. They contained nearly $37,000 in cash, and methamphetamine with a street value of up to $18,000. At the time, police said Montgomery was a member of the Hells Angels bikie gang. Chief Judge Geoffrey Muecke said Montgomery had a troubled upbringing, and as a result no longer had contact with his family. He said this lack of family support saw Montgomery seek out other role models.


Police sources have also alleged in the past that Semino was once tied to the K-Crew, a street gang aggressively involved in heroin trafficking in Montreal around 2006.

Posted On 07:43 0 comments

A man once tied to a Montreal street gang that clashed with the Hells Angels has seen his recent release from a penitentiary revoked after he was caught drinking in a bar with known criminals. Eric Semino, 35, was released to a halfway house on Jan. 31 after reaching the statutory release date on a 45-month sentence he received in 2011. The sentence came with his guilty plea to charges related to three firearms found in his apartment. That included a sawed-off shotgun Semino kept under his mattress. While the protection was illegal, Semino likely saw it as necessary. A written summary of the Parole Board of Canada’s recent decision to revoke Semino’s release reveals the Montreal police seized the firearms because they suspected he committed a series of home invasions where drug dealers were robbed of illicit stashes. The summary notes the police suspect Semino carried out the home invasions for a street gang, which he denies. Police sources have also alleged in the past that Semino was once tied to the K-Crew, a street gang aggressively involved in heroin trafficking in Montreal around 2006. The gang’s leader, 39-year-old Hasan Eroglu, was murdered in Pointe-Claire on July 5, 2007. The homicide remains unsolved. But at the time, police sources said Eroglu ignored warnings that drug trafficking turf the K-Crew tried to take over was controlled by a powerful organized crime figure. The dispute involved members of the Mafia and the Hells Angels. Two months previous to Eroglu’s murder, Semino fired a shot into the window of a bar on St-Laurent Blvd. while Normand Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, a Hells Angel, was inside. On April 29, 2011, Semino was still on probation from the sentence he received for firing the shot into the bar when the Montreal police raided his Aylwin St. apartment. That was when the police discovered the three firearms involved in his current sentence. The parole board imposed the condition that he reside at a halfway house because, they determined in January, a full release “represented an unacceptable risk to society.” The summary details how Semino initially appeared to serious about addressing what contributes to his criminality. Within weeks, he had found a job and began a program aimed at curbing his violent ways. But on April 19, he was “seen inside a bar about to consume alcohol. You were also in the presence of people who are (members of) street gangs known to the police.” His statutory release was suspended and he was returned to a penitentiary the same day. Semino asked the parole board for a second chance but a decision was made to officially revoke the statutory release (most inmates who have not been granted full parole by the time the reach the two-thirds mark of a sentence automatically qualify for a statutory release.) As a means of explanation, Semino told the parole board that he went to the bar to meet with his brother. He said he consumed too much alcohol and the drinks impaired his judgment when street gang members showed up at the same bar and influenced his decision to remain. The parole board noted that at the very least Semino admitted to having been inside a bar, a violation of one of the five conditions imposed on his release in January. Semino was also the longtime friend of Marilyn Béliveau, a former employee of Canada Border Services Agency who was convicted on ten charges filed in Project Colisée, a lengthy investigations into the Mafia in Montreal. Béliveau, 34, was working as a customs agent when she tried to help two Mafia-tied drug smugglers bring in a container of drugs. In 2012, she was convicted on 10 counts, including breach of trust, conspiracy and committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal organization, but served no jail time for the offences. During Colisée, investigators learned that Semino gave Beliveau advice and support while acting as an intermediary between her and the drug smugglers.


Two men charged after heavily armed police storm Comanchero gang clubhouses in Melbourne

Posted On 07:40 0 comments

COMANCHEROS enforcer Norm Meyer looked on as police raided the gang’s South Melbourne clubhouse in a spectacular crackdown on the outlaw bikies. The club sergeant-at-arms, who has been seen marching in protests with the militant CFMEU, observed police after an armoured truck dramatically smashed its way into the heavily fortified clubhouse on Thursday. Police also raided a Williamstown clubhouse and homes in Oak Park and ­Broadmeadows. The raids followed a vicious attack on a man who tried to leave the notorious bikie gang. Detective Superintendent Peter De Santo, of the Anti-Gangs Division, said police were looking for evidence over an assault on a 29-year-old ­former Comanchero outside his business in Johnston St, Collingwood, on July 21.


Christy Kinahan was celebrating today after being told he will not face trial in Spain on drugs and arms trafficking charges.

Posted On 07:23 0 comments

English: Puerto de Estepona, Málaga, Spain


Christy Kinahan was celebrating today after being told he will not face trial in Spain on drugs and arms trafficking charges.

The underworld boss feared he would be prosecuted for the crimes after a high-profile police raid on his Costa del Sol home in May 2010,

But a judge investigating the Irishman and a gang of alleged accomplices including his two sons has decided to drop the allegations.

Kinahan, who was hauled back to a court in Estepona yesterday for further questioning, is now being probed only on suspicion of money laundering and membership of a criminal gang.





The dramatic decision, which a state prosecutor decided not to appeal against, will be seen as a major blow for the Spanish police and politicians.

Former Home Secretary Alfredo Rubalcaba branded the Kinahans a “mafia family” when Christy and sons Christopher and Daniel were arrested during a series of dawn raids on the Costa del Sol.

Nearly a dozen suspects were arrested in the UK and Ireland as part of the same Europol-coordinated police operation.

Rubalcaba, who has just been replaced as leader of Spain’s main opposition party, even linked the alleged gang ringleaders to a string of murders when he reacted to news of the arrests during a visit to Poland.

He said at the time: “This was an operation against an important, well-known mafia of organised crime, which has operated in different countries and which is being linked to various murders and with a number of crimes from drug trafficking to people trafficking.

“It is a mafia family relatively well-known in the United Kingdom, a little less known in Spain, but they are established on the Costa del Sol.”

Investigating judge Maria Carmen Gutierrez Henares is understood to have binned her drugs and weapons trafficking probe after finding no evidence linking Kinahan and his alleged accomplices to the crimes.

Christy and his sons and alleged right-hand man John Cunningham will remain on bail along with the other suspects while the secret court probe continues into the money laundering and criminal gang membership allegations.

Daniel Kinahan, front wearing shades, carries his mother's coffin



Sources close to the long-running case predicted last night it could take at least two more years to reach trial - and the number of defendants in the dock would be a fraction of those originally arrested.

One insider said: “All the suspects including Christy Kinahan have been called back to court over the last three weeks to give evidence behind closed doors.

“Most said they had nothing to add to earlier statements.

“Christy KInahan attended court yesterday/on Wednesday but managed to get in and out of the building without anyone cottoning on to the fact it was him.

“He’s not surprised the drugs and weapons allegations against him have been dropped but he’s obviously very relieved.

“The judge took her decision around the same time she called the first of the suspects in for further questioning.

“Their defence lawyers are confident the money laundering charges are not going to prosper either.”

Another well-placed source added: “The suspects weren’t asked a single question about drugs or weapons.

“Most declined to add anything to their original statements.”

More than 20 people including the Kinahans were arrested on the Costa del Sol more than four years ago as part of Operation Shovel.

Christy, arrested at his luxury apartment in a private development near Estepona, spent six months on remand in jail before being bailed.

Armed officers sealed off a residential street after his detention before marching him into court.

Police said at the time the gang he is said to have led owned property worth 500 million euros in Brazil and 160 million euros in Spain.

The suspects had a fleet of expensive cars seized and bank accounts frozen

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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ryanair plans to launch budget flights to the Middle East and Russia

Posted On 15:17 0 comments

Forget the Costa del Sol, Ryanair announces plans to launch budget flights to the Middle East and Russia CEO Michael O'Leary said airline wants to use Cyprus as a base Will allow carrier to fly to destinations including Israel and Jordan Has put in bid for Cyprus Airways but is 'not particularly interested'


SHOCK WEATHER FORECAST: Hottest August in 300 YEARS on way as jet stream BOILS Britain

Posted On 08:13 0 comments

SHOCK WEATHER FORECAST: Hottest August in 300 YEARS on way as jet stream BOILS Britain BRITAIN will roast in the hottest August EVER with temperatures set to hit an unbearable 100F within weeks.


Ebola: UK border staff 'unprepared' says union leader

Posted On 08:02 0 comments

Border, immigration and customs staff feel unprepared to deal with people coming to the UK with possible cases of the Ebola virus, a union leader says. Immigration Service Union general secretary Lucy Moreton said her members needed more information on the threat. Almost 700 people have died since the first case was detected in west Africa in February. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said the UK government is taking the current outbreak "very seriously".


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Savile charity 'to fight against payouts for victims'

Posted On 16:55 0 comments

A charity set up by Jimmy Savile is to challenge a compensation scheme for victims of the sex attacker. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust will take its case to the Court of Appeal later this year, victims' lawyers said. It wants to overturn an agreed scheme, under which the Savile estate, which is separate to the trust, the BBC and the NHS are liable to compensate victims. Liz Dux, who represents 176 of the late DJ's victims, said her clients would be "angry and disappointed" by the move. The charitable trust controls £3.7m and is a separate entity to the Savile estate. Ms Dux said the estate had its own pot of funds, which is where its share of payouts are to come from. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote The victims deserve redress and closure. They have suffered enough” Liz Dux Abuse lawyer She said she could therefore not understand why the charity trustees were taking the legal action. "For one, it's going to mean that more precious funds that should have gone to victims are being spent on legal costs, which is exactly what the settlement scheme was designed to avoid," she told the BBC. "And secondly, the charitable trust is not even responsible for compensating victims - that is for the estate to do." Unrestricted access Savile is said to have abused more than 200 people over a 60-year period. Last month, investigators found the ex-BBC DJ sexually assaulted victims aged five to 75 in NHS hospitals over decades of unrestricted access. The High Court approved a compensation scheme for victims earlier this year. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust was granted leave in mid-July by the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling. Victims' lawyers were informed by the court last week. The appeal is expected to take place between September and January, Ms Dux said. Under the agreed settlement scheme, abuse victims will be able to claim against the BBC, the NHS and the Savile estate. 'In the dark' Ms Dux said all three bodies agreed they would make payouts and that claims to the BBC and the NHS would not deplete the estate's available funds. "The victims, the Savile estate, the NHS and the BBC are all acting on the same side. We all want and support the approved scheme," she said. "The scheme is a pragmatic and sensible solution to what will otherwise be protracted and hugely expensive litigation." The abuse lawyer added: "The charitable trust offered no explanation then as to why it objected to the scheme and even now we and the victims remain in the dark. No money can be paid from the charitable trust to compensate victims. "The victims deserve redress and closure. They have suffered enough. We urge the Court of Appeal to back the original scheme as previously agreed so this process can move towards a much-desired conclusion." Ms Dux said the Savile estate had funds of about £3.2m last year, but had probably been "haemorrhaging" money in legal fees.


British airlines are on alert for cases of the deadly virus, after tests revealed a man died in Nigeria from the disease, having been allowed to board an international flight from Liberia.

Posted On 16:46 0 comments

 A British man has also been tested for the Ebola virus, putting doctors on red alert that it could be on its way to the UK. A spokesman for Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) will be notified if it is confirmed the patient is suffering from the Ebola virus. In Nigeria health officials said today, they are in the process of tracing 30,000 people at risk of contracting the disease after coming into contact with a Liberian man who died on Friday. Meanwhile, the British man was taken to hospital in Birmingham after complaining of feeling ‘feverish’ on a flight back to the Midlands from West Africa. He had been travelling from Benin, Nigeria via Paris, France when he became unwell on Monday. However, after undergoing a number of tests he was given the all-clear for the virus which has already killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and infected more than 1,200 since it was first diagnosed in February. In another scare, medical staff at Charing Cross Hospital in London became concerned a man in his twenties had caught the virus this week. But his symptoms were quickly confirmed as not being linked to the bug and doctors ruled out the need for an Ebola test.


Ex-policeman on Azelle Rodney murder charge

Posted On 16:33 0 comments

A former policeman is to be charged with murdering a man who was shot dead after a car was stopped by officers in north London nine years ago. Azelle Rodney, 24, was travelling in a car that was stopped by police, who were looking for a group they believed were on their way to an armed robbery. An inquiry last year chaired by Sir Christopher Holland ruled there was "no lawful justification" for the shooting. The CPS has now made a decision to charge the man, identified only as E7. The former police marksman will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court for a preliminary hearing on 10 September. 'Waited a long time' Mr Rodney was shot six times - in the arm, back and head - in Edgware in April 2005. He was travelling with two other men when officers stopped the car and opened fire. His mother Susan Alexander said: "I am very pleased at the CPS's decision to prosecute the officer who killed my son. "I have waited a long time to see this day and hope this prosecution will lead to justice for Azelle. "Whilst I am disappointed at the decision not to prosecute the commissioner in relation to the failures which were found by Sir Christopher Holland regarding the planning and control of the operation, his report makes clear that there were significant failures on the part of the Metropolitan Police and we deserve an immediate and unreserved apology for those failures."


Monday, 28 July 2014

two sisters running a bakery in a desert

Posted On 07:13 0 comments

The land in Los Monegros in Aragon in northeastern Spain, is almost as arid as a desert. In the 1960s, it was one of the backdrops chosen for spaghetti western films.

Yet for two twenty-something Spanish sisters, it has become the perfect place for their farming and bread-baking business.

Ana Marcen, the elder of the two, says she had no previous experience in agriculture.

"I studied Greek and Latin and used to work in an orchestra as a singer."

Her younger sister Laura used to work as a waitress and studied engineering.

Their business idea grew out of something their uncle told them - that in times gone by, the bread in this part of Spain tasted different.

It was a flavour he missed.

From seed to loaf

'For the seed we grow, the climate is perfect', two sisters explain why they started a bakery and are growing wheat in a Spanish desert.

The sisters say their uncle was "a very curious person, he used to ask himself why bread didn´t taste any longer as it used to."

They discovered that a type of wheat seed, known as Aragon 03, had been the secret behind the region's distinctly-flavoured bread.

They found an elderly couple who still had a small quantity of the Aragon 03 seed. The Marcens bought two bags of the seeds - and from that their business has grown.

The concept of their business is to control the entire bread-making process.

They grow the wheat, mill the flour and bake the bread, muffins and other bakery snacks.

"Unlike other traditional bakeries that just sell organic products, we control the whole process", says Laura.

A combine harvester in a wheat field Los Monegros may be very dry - but the Marcen sisters' wheat is well-suited to these conditions

'You must be mad'

They set up their business in 2007, just before Spain's economic and financial crisis hit.

They were able to get a bank loan of €250,000, ($335,000; £200,000) which they think would be harder to come by in today's post-recession climate.

In the first year, their business lost lots of money, but by the third year they broke even.

Now, seven years after they first started farming and baking, they own two bakeries and sell their products in eight others.

Whatever profit they make, they reinvest in their business as they want to expand and sell online.

"Many people told us we were crazy for trying to run a business like ours in a (dry) place like this. But we found out that the seed we grow is perfect for this climate", says Laura.

"People think that there is no life in Los Monegros, but in reality the region is rich in plants and wildlife.

"As my uncle used to say, you have to bend your knees and look closely. For example, I see opportunities where others don't."

A man buying baked goods in the company shopThe niche product has a loyal clientele which has been the key to the business turning a profit

Family idea, family business

From the very start, this was a family-run business.

Their father Daniel harvests the crop, their mother Mercedes, works in one of their shops, and their younger brother, Jesus, mills the flour and bakes the bread.


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Spain: Royals' plane food budget to double

Posted On 08:45 0 comments

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has doubled its catering budget for a fleet of seven planes carrying Spanish royals, ministers and other senior officials, it seems. The government's congressional record has said the annual budget is going up to 133,000 euros (£105,000) from 65,000 euros the year before, news website 20minutos reports, adding that it's not unusual for officials to end up exceeding the budget. The website suggests the final bill for 2014 could come in at around 414,000 euros. Trays of peeled seasonal fruit, sirloin steak, Segovia suckling pig and Bilbao sea bass are among the 29 dishes on the menu - although it's reported that alcohol hasn't been served on board since 2012. Prices will be capped for some individual items - for example, the government won't pay more than 35 euros for a kilo of pecorino cheese - and some of the most expensive items have been taken off the menu altogether. The new budget comes amid a defence department review of the fleet's maintenance procedures following two recent breakdowns, and may consider renewing some of the aircraft in the fleet.


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Colombian cocaine smuggler gets 15 years

Posted On 19:20 0 comments

A federal judge in Tampa sentenced a cocaine smuggler on Friday to more than 15 years in prison. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. sentenced Luis Alberto Urrego-Contreras to 15 years and six months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. In January 2005, Urrego-Contreras, who was known by the nickname “Bacon,” bought a Beechcraft King Air airplane from a St. Petersburg business. He bought the plane on behalf of Colombian cocaine trafficker Fabio Enrique Ochoa-Vasco, according to the federal court. In June 2005, the plan was for the plane to fly from Venezuela to Colombia to retrieve 2,000 kilograms of cocaine. But when the pilot saw the Colombian Air Force was monitoring the Colombian airstrip, the pilot flew back to Venezuela where the pilot and co-pilot were arrested, according to the federal court. In October 2010, Urrego-Contreras was arrested at the American Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, according to the federal court. He agreed to speak to agents where he identified Ochoa-Vasco in several photographs and others involved in the smuggling conspiracy, according to the federal court. Urrego-Contreras told investigators that he was paid $50,000 to $100,000 for each cocaine load. He admitted to investigators that he was responsible for 1,000 kilograms of cocaine that was flown from Colombia to Mexico and later distributed in the United States by Ochoa-Vasco, according to the federal court.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Dream Warrior Recovery: Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence

Posted On 09:40 0 comments

Dream Warrior Recovery: Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence

Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence and not in its rational capacity for conceptual and analytic procedures." Reinhold Neibuhr - Theologian/Author of the "Serenity Prayer"


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Tramps bikie club loses appeal to get back its guns because of link to Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

Posted On 16:14 0 comments

MEMBERS of a small-town motorcycle club linked to the Hells Angels have failed in their appeal to retrieve their confiscated guns. A decision was handed down today by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upholding a decision to cancel four Tramps bikies’ gun licences because of their membership and social associations with other gangs. The verdict comes almost a year after nine current and former members of the Tramps MC fronted the Firearms Appeal Committee, one of which is a mobile butcher, arguing that Victoria Police had no right cancel their licences. Club head Ronald Harding, who took leave to withdraw, butcher Michael Oxenham, Malcolm Dinsdale and David Windsor are now considering appealing the decision to the appeal court of the Victorian Supreme Court. In August 2012, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay made a controversial decision to seize more than 100 registered guns from members of “outlaw’’ bikie gangs across the state. The VCAT appeal, taken on by four Tramps members, was seen as a test case for other “outlaw’ bikie members who also had their gun licences cancelled. The guns were seized under the test to whether the licence holder was a “fit and proper’’ person.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Posted On 20:31 0 comments

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


Friday, 18 July 2014

SPANISH police arrest UK gangland murder suspect

Posted On 10:15 0 comments

Police in Madrid have arrested William Thomas Robert Paterson, wanted over the murder of a gangland enforcer in a car park in Scotland.

Paterson, nicknamed Buff and Billy, was wanted over the 2010 death of  Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll in a supermarket car park in Glasgow. The 34-year-old fled to Spain after that crime where he remained in hiding until his arrest, Spain's El Diario newspaper reported on Thursday. Paterson appeared on a ten most wanted crime list released by  the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency and Crimestoppers as part of a campaign known as Operation Captura. This campaign targets criminals that UK authorities believe are on the run in Spain.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Alleged gang members in Santa Monica shooting charged with murder, accessory

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Two alleged gang members were charged with murder and attempted murder and a third was charged with being an accessory in a shooting near Santa Monica College on Tuesday that left one man dead and another hospitalized, according to the District Attorney's Office. Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19, and Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23, were charged with one count each of murder and attempted murder with gang allegations and could face up to life in prison if convicted. Noah Jason Farris, 32, was charged with being an accessory and faces up to seven years in prison, according to a statement released by the D.A.'s office. Osumi pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Thursday afternoon. The arraignments for Lopez and Farris were continued to a later date, said Jean Guccione, a spokesperson for the D.A. Osumi is alleged to have shot two men multiple times with a handgun around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 1500 block of Michigan Avenue. One of the victims, 29-year-old Santa Monica resident Gil Verastegui, died from his wounds. The other victim remains in the hospital. Bail was set at $3 million each for Osumi and Lopez and $500,000 for Farris. The next court date for all three is June 20 in Department 144 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Airport Branch. Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes with the Hardcore Gang Division is prosecuting, according to a statement from the D.A.'s office.


The Black Souls are accused of at least six murders, kidnapping, gun-running and drug dealing.

Posted On 22:59 0 comments

The leaders of a street gang on Chicago’s West Side gang, accused of ruthlessly enforcing a “no-snitch” code and shooting two Chicago police officers in the head in 2011, were arrested Thursday in a massive roundup under a new state racketeering law. The Black Souls are accused of at least six murders, kidnapping, gun-running and drug dealing. The investigation, called Operation 40 Cal, began in October after the gang allegedly killed a West Side man who complained to the police about illegal activity on his block. Authorities said the gang is among the most difficult to infiltrate because the leaders use murders to keep witnesses from testifying against them.


Indictment links 20 members of Hoffman Triangle-area gang to 10 murders

Posted On 22:50 0 comments

Twenty members of the 3-N-G gang based in the Hoffman Triangle are responsible for at least 10 murders since 2008 — including the killing of 2-year-old Keira Holmes in the B.W. Cooper housing complex in December 2011, according to an indictment charging them all in a racketeering plot to distribute illegal drugs, authorities said. The gang, which takes its name from the corner of Third and Galvez streets where it focused its activities, also includes an alleged member named McCoy Walker, who boasted about committing the December 2010 double murder in New Orleans East that killed popular female rapper “Magnolia Shorty,” the indictment states.


Friday, 11 July 2014

Five Bodies Discovered in Burned Car Near Arizona-Mexico Border

Posted On 22:11 0 comments

It was a gruesome scene out of Arizona where five bodies were found burned in an SUV. Fox News’ Casey Stegall reported that in investigators are saying the bodies were scorched so badly that they could not identify the gender or ethnicity. This part of Arizona sits between Phoenix and the border of Mexico, making it a smuggling area for cartels, and now investigators are looking into whether this incident was cartel-related.


Illegals to Fly Without Verifiable ID, Says Border Patrol Union

Posted On 22:08 0 comments

Illegal aliens are being allowed to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). “The aliens who are getting released on their own recognizance are being allowed to board and travel commercial airliners by simply showing their Notice to Appear forms,” NBPC’s Local 2455 Spokesman, Hector Garza, told Breitbart Texas.


Mara Salvatrucha—or MS-13. Gang members left graffiti on the walls of the Nogales (Arizona) Border Patrol processing center

Posted On 22:05 0 comments

Mara Salvatrucha—or MS-13. Gang members left graffiti on the walls of the Nogales (Arizona) Border Patrol processing center, which suggested they had ties to the organization, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich reported earlier this week. She discussed the alarming report this morning on America's Newsroom, explaining that some of the "unaccompanied minors" are actually teenage MS-13 or drug cartel members. According to current law, the Border Patrol cannot immediately send the teens back because they're under 18. "They're now using the Nogales processing center as a recruitment hub for new members to come in. They're trying to recruit other teenage boys that are sharing cells with them and they're using the phones that the Red Cross has set up. They're supposed to be using those to call back home or to call family members in the United States. They're also using those as a way to communicate with gang members already in U.S. cities," she said. Pavlich said the Border Patrol's hands are tied because they cannot separate the gang members from other children. She said according to her sources, these MS-13 members are scheduled for placement somewhere in the United States, adding that I.C.E policy has been to release illegal immigrants with a notice to appear at a hearing at a later date. Watch the full segment above and read Katie's newest report on this at TownHall.com. Later on Happening Now, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said MS-13 gang members are also coming into Texas. "This is very, very dangerous," said Abbott, arguing that President Obama "is causing imminent harm and danger to the people of this country."


MS-13 Gang Members Recruiting Inside Immigration Facility

Posted On 22:04 0 comments

MS-13 gang members are said to be crossing into the U.S. amongst the massive influx of children from Central America. The notoriously violent Mara Salvatrucha gang has origins in Central America and their members are active in cities across the United States.


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