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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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