Bikie gang member shot dead in Adelaide


The shooting of a bikie gang member and his club president father has been declared a major crime as the South Australian police minister says some outlaw gangs have no regard for the law or the community. Giovanni Focarelli, 22, is dead and his father, Comanchero club president Vince Focarelli, is in Royal Adelaide Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds after the shooting on Sunday night. Police Minister Jennifer Rankine said the state has tough laws to deal with the "scourge" of outlaw motorcycle gangs but some just shun the law."I am sure the police are as frustrated as what I am about what is occurring," she told ABC radio.

Canada has joined Colombia as a leading exporter of synthetic or designer drugs, flooding the global market on an almost unprecedented scale


Canada has joined Colombia as a leading exporter of synthetic or designer drugs, flooding the global market on an almost unprecedented scale, police say. The RCMP have seized tonnes of illicit synthetic drugs that include Ecstasy and methamphetamine being shipped abroad after being “cooked” in make-shift labs in apartments, homes and businesses in the GTA. Police are now seizing more chemicals and synthetic drugs, which they say is favoured by young people, at Canadian border checks rather than the traditional cocaine, heroin or hashish that officers call drugs of “a last generation.” Most of the Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), meth or ketamine, a hallucinogenic used in “drug cocktails,” are smuggled from Canada by trucks, air cargo, human couriers or courier services to a network of traffickers. The U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are the world-wide targets of these highly organised criminal syndicates, the Mounties said. Two Japanese students were arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2009 after 47,000 Ecstasy pills with the “Chanel” logo were seized from their luggage. And, in November that year 400,000 tablets and 45 kgs of pot were seized in Michigan as it was being transferred from a small Canadian aircraft to a vehicle. The RCMP is working to stamp out the problem and have created a Chemical Diversion Unit (CDU) to target “rogue chemical brokers” who import and sell chemicals to organized crime cells to “bake” synthetic drugs for export. The force also created a Synthetic Drug Operations (SDO) whose members target clandestine drug labs in the GTA that are operated by crime cells and traffickers. “We execute search warrants once we locate a clandestine lab,” said SDO Sgt. Doug Culver. “These labs are dangerous with toxic chemicals and our members are specially trained to handle them.” His officers use hazardous material suits to enter a suspicious lab to ensure it is safe from corrosive chemicals before uniformed officers can enter. Police said an Ecstasy tablet, that usually features a harmless-looking logo, is sold for up to $15 each at Toronto nightclubs and the potency can last for about 10 hours. The tablets used to sell on the street for about $40 each two years ago. Supt. Rick Penney, who is in charge of an RCMP-GTA Drug Squad, said tonnes of chemicals and synthetic drugs are being seized by his officers. “We are talking tonnes and not kilograms,” Penney said. “This is becoming a matter of routine for us and it concerns me.” Penney said Canadian-made Ecstasy and meth are popular in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the U.S. and some European countries. “Canada is a player on the global market,” he said. “We see a lot of synthetic chemicals passing through the Canadian border or going out of province.” He said some of the chemicals are purchased by criminals on the Internet from suppliers in China or India. “The majority of the drugs we seize in Ontario are for export,” Penney said. “This is a global problem and Canada is a big player.” The drug officers said Canada exports as much Ecstasy and chemical drugs as Colombia ships out cocaine. Police said synthetic drugs are the choice of young people because it is cheap, with a pill being made for 50-cents and sold for up to $15; lasts a long time; can be easily hidden and a tablet appears relatively harmless with a “cute” imprinted logo. Sgt. Brent Hill, of the Chemical Diversion Unit, said rogue brokers use fake names, companies or addresses to import the chemicals into Canada. Some use the name of legitimate companies and give fake delivery addresses, he said. He said the imported chemicals are resold by rogue brokers at exorbitant profits to organized crime groups originating from China, Vietnam and India, including criminal bike gangs in Canada. The chemicals are “cooked” into synthetic drugs. The CDU monitors more than 100 chemicals entering the country. Some are for legitimate industrial uses ranging from industrial cleaners to pharmaceutical products. Others are strictly for “baking” drugs. Hill shows a make-shift laboratory that was seized in a 2007 Scarborough bust in which three people were arrested. Officers seized two million units of Ecstasy and bags of chemicals at a residence on Pipers Green Ave., in the Brimley Rd. and Finch Ave. E. area. Jian Yao Quan, 24, and Yan Shi, 46, both of Scarborough, and Wan Shun Ling, 55, of Brooklyn, New York, were convicted of drug-related offences and will be sentenced on Feb. 14. A warrant has been issued for Wei Quan Ma, 43, of Toronto, who’s believed to have fled to China. During that raid, police found a 22-litre round-bottom heating mantle filled with chemicals being baked as vapors flowed through a hose taped at the top of the container to a large can filled with cat litter, that helps to absorb toxic gases to avoid leaving smells behind, police said. Hill said the mixture leaves a cloud of corrosive chemical hanging over the area that is harmful to people and is the reason why officers wear haz-mat suits to enter drug houses. “These labs pose a serious threat to the safety of the public and emergency first responders such as police, fire and ambulance workers,” Hill said. “Most chemicals in a clandestine drug lab are highly toxic, corrosive, explosive or flammable “ He said some unsafe labs can cause a fire or explosion that can lead to environmental pollution. Police said its common to find an Ecstasy pill containing a combination of controlled substances including methamphetamine or other controlled or non-regulated psychoactive substances. Some doses can be lethal and kill users. Officers point to the deaths of five B.C. young people since last August from Ecstasy laced PMMA, the same lethal chemical linked to deaths in the Calgary area. There have been about 18 Ecstasy-related deaths in B.C. in two years. “Some of these drugs are dangerous cocktails,” Hill said. “Crime groups are putting more addictive chemicals in some of the mixtures to get kids coming back for more. “These brokers are aggressively targeting the legitimate chemical industry. They continue to expand in a highly-lucrative market selling legal chemicals, regulated precursors and non-regulated psychoactive substances.” Officers said some unscrupulous brokers establish fake front companies, or claim to be legitimate companies to import chemicals into Canada. They fill out paperwork required by the Canada Border Services Agency but usually provide false information, police said. “The acquisition of chemicals is the choke point,” Hill said. “We are fully engaged with the legitimate Canadian chemical industry and monitor suspicious chemical transactions.” He said its a crime under Bill C-475 to possess, produce, sell or import “anything” if the person involved knows it will be used to produce methamphetamine or Ecstasy. “Crime groups with links to south-east Asia continue to dominate chemical-brokering operations,” the Mounties said. “There are criminal enterprises including individual operators and semi-legitimate companies that are brokering or procuring chemicals for synthetic drug production.” Police said some chemical shipments imported into Canada for industrial use are stolen by crime gangs to produce drugs. “Global demand for Ecstasy remains high,” Hill said. “Ecstasy continues to be the most sought-after and widely available controlled synthetic drug in the Canadian illicit market.”

Recession causes 2,000 heart attack deaths


Since 2002 the number of people dying from heart attacks in England has dropped by half, the study conducted by Oxford University found. But within that, regional data revealed there was a 'blip' in London that corresponded to the financial crash in 2008 and continued through 2009. Heart attack deaths have dropped due to better prevention of heart attacks in the first place with fewer people smoking and improvements in diet through lower consumption of saturated fat. The treatment of people who do suffer a heart attack has also improved leading to fewer deaths with faster ambulance response times, new procedures to clear blocked arteries and wider use of drugs such as statins and aspirin. The research published in the British Medical Journal showed around 80,000 lives have been saved between 2002 and 2008 as deaths from heart attacks declined.

Gangster gets four years for drug stash


A CAREER criminal branded as “extraordinarily dangerous” has been jailed for four years after being caught with heroin worth £50,000 during a police raid. Detectives believe that Ronald Aldred was peddling the Class A drug in Edinburgh and West Lothian after recovering the stash kept at his Kirkliston home. The 44-year-old was jailed for 12 years in 2002 as the ringleader of a gang that took part in a campaign of kidnapping, assault and extortion, which a judge described as being like “something out of a 1930s Hollywood gangster movie”. Aldred had been hired by dealers to recover a kilo of stolen cocaine, and at one point the gang tried to put a loaded gun into a victim’s mouth during a vicious interrogation. In 1992, he was jailed for nine years for two attempted murders after launching an attack with a sword and knife at The Royal Nip pub in Albert Street, Leith. Detective Sergeant Jim Robertson, from the force’s Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), worked on the drug investigation against Aldred, which saw him jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday. DS Robertson said that Aldred was caught with half a kilo of heroin at his home in Marshall Road, Kirkliston. Aldred, who has a total of five previous convictions, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin on October 6 last year, and prosecutors have already begun steps to seize his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Police raided his home after a tip-off and found five packages of heroin along with phones, scales, sandwich bags and more than £700 in cash. Prosecutors said that if the heroin had been broken down and sold on as “tenner bags” then it had the potential value of £50,000. His defence counsel, Frank Gallagher, told the court that during his last period in prison Aldred had developed a drug problem and built up debts. Mr Gallagher said that his client agreed to the drugs being in his home in return for the debt being reduced. DS Robertson told the Evening News: “This conviction shows our commitment to tackling serious and organised crime. The drugs were being stored at that address and we’re confident Aldred was involved in dealing. “We welcome this four-year sentence, both as a deterrent to Aldred and to anyone else involved in drug dealing.” In early 2002, Aldred’s gang was recruited to hunt down stolen cocaine, abducting one man from outside a Scottish court who was handcuffed and forced to hand over £7000. Sentencing them for that offence, Lord Dawson told Aldred and his two accomplices: “I regard all three of you as extraordinarily dangerous men against whom the public must be protected.” But Aldred’s 12-year sentence was later cut to eight years by appeal judges. In May 1992, Aldred was found guilty after a five-day trial for attempting to murder two men and seriously assaulting two others. Aldred attempted to murder Thomas Brown by stabbing him with a knife and striking him with a sword, and assaulted Thomas Monaghan with the sword in The Royal Nip in September 1991. He also attempted to murder David McKinlay with a knife in Ardshiel Avenue, Drumbrae, on October 19, 1991 and struck Kevin Smith on the head with a knife in Easter Road on August 3, 1991.

Two-thirds of smokers try to quit in new year


Two-thirds of smokers in the UK, approximately six million people, will try and quit the habit in January, but half of them will fail within a week, new research suggests. According to the study, commissioned by Pfizer Limited in support of its Don't Go Cold Turkey disease awareness campaign, one in ten of these attempts will not last beyond 24 hours. Typically, smokers admit to having unsuccessfully attempted to quit three times before, with 51 per cent confident they can kick the habit in the next six months. Some 45 per cent say they attempt to quit by 'going cold turkey' or giving up the immediately and relying on willpower, however only three per cent of these people are found to be smoke free after a year. Nearly a quarter of former smokers recommend that people trying to quit consult a healthcare professional. Dr Sarah Jarvis, BBC medical correspondent and practising GP, said: "Even a brief conversation with their healthcare professional or local stop smoking service can increase [a smoker's] chances of success by up to four times, compared to going 'cold turkey'. "People should consider how they can positively influence their chances of quitting." According to Cancer Research UK, 86 per cent of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco smoking.

Mexico: Reporter Gunned Down In Los Zetas Stronghold


Raúl Régulo Garza Quirino, a reporter for the weekly La Última Palabra in Cadereyta, in the northeastern state of Nuevo León, became the first Mexican journalist to be killed in 2012 when he was gunned down after a car chase on 6 January. Garza was also a Cadereyta municipal employee. “We hope the number of Mexican journalists killed in the space of a decade does not reach the grim total of 100 in 2012, an election year,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Mexico could prevent this from happening by taking measures to combat impunity for those responsible for violent crime against journalists. “That was the message that we and the Centre for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET) tried to transmit when we gave the families of slain and disappeared journalists a platform in the capital on 10 December. “The current show of good intentions by the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) and its head, Gustavo Salas Chávez, must be rapidly translated into reinforcement of its personnel and clarification of its jurisdiction. If the senate approves the bill that the lower house adopted on 11 November making attacks on freedom of information a federal crime, the FEADLE must have enough resources to handle all these cases.” Garza was driving his car near his home when he found himself being pursued by gunmen in another car. He was gunned down when he tried to seek refuge in a garage owned by relatives. Sixteen impacts from 16 mm bullets were found at the scene. Investigators have so far not suggested any motive for the murder. Located 37 km from Monterrey, the state capital, Cadereyta is home to one of northern Mexico’s biggest oil refineries and is rife with contraband in stolen petroleum products as well as drug trafficking. It is a stronghold of Los Zetas, a paramilitary group that worked for the Gulf Cartel before becoming an independent criminal organization. A total of 38 employees of the state oil company PEMEX have been reported missing in the region in recent months. It was in this area that radio journalist Marco Aurelio Martínez Tirejina was kidnapped and killed in July 2010 in a still unsolved murder. According to the Reporters Without Borders tally, 80 journalists have been killed in the past decade and 14 others have disappeared. Most of these killings have gone unpunished.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes | Converted by BloggerTheme