Western Banks ‘Reaping Billions From Colombian Cocaine Trade’
The vast profits made from drug production and trafficking are overwhelmingly reaped in rich “consuming” countries – principally across Europe and in the US – rather than war-torn “producing” nations such as Colombia and Mexico, new research has revealed. And its authors claim that financial regulators in the west are reluctant to go after western banks in pursuit of the massive amount of drug money being laundered through their systems.
The most far-reaching and detailed analysis to date of the drug economy in any country – in this case, Colombia – shows that 2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country, while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates, and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries.
“The story of who makes the money from Colombian cocaine is a metaphor for the disproportionate burden placed in every way on ‘producing’ nations like Colombia as a result of the prohibition of drugs,” said one of the authors of the study, Alejandro Gaviria. ”Colombian society has suffered to almost no economic advantage from the drugs trade, while huge profits are made by criminal distribution networks in consuming countries, and recycled by banks which operate with nothing like the restrictions that Colombia’s own banking system is subject to.”…
Florida’s ‘Zombie’ Attack Now Being Blamed on Bath Salts
An update to this story, the media loves finding a drug-related culprit, doesn’t it? Via the Daily Beast:
At Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where the victim of Saturday’s causeway attack is being treated, staff also report that they are coming face to face with cases of drug-related psychosis on an increasing scale—be they from bath salts, other designer drugs such as GHB and LSD, or cocktails thereof.
“They don’t all have these outcomes, but all have one thing in common, which is excited delirium and super strength,” said Dr. Paul Adams, an emergency room physician at the hospital, who said that in one instance a 150-pound patient took on the strength of a 250-pound hulk.
“You combine bath salts, GHB, LSD or whatever and these people become uncontrollable, you can’t reason with them,” he said. “To place someone safely in restraints, it’s taken seven security guards and one doctor.”…
Vatican Documents Leak: The Butler Did It
OK, it’s not quite The Da Vinci Code or evenThe Godfather: Part III, but a scandal rocking the Vatican is aways better than no scandal rocking the Vatican.
Pope Benedict’s butler Paolo Gabriele has been arrested for possession of confidential Vatican documents. It is believed Gabriele had been leaking information to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who published the documents in his Vatican tell-all His Holiness. Nuzzi refused to name his source, referring to him or her only as Maria.
As the Pope’s butler, Gabriele’s duties included handing out rosaries to dignitaries and riding in the front of the Popemobile. If it helps, you can think of him as Alfred and Robin combined.
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Priest Claims Schoolgirl Was Kidnapped for Vatican Sex Parties
The priest making the claim and is a very busy exorcist. Reports the Belfast Telegraph:
A Catholic priest has claimed a missing schoolgirl was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties and has implicated diplomatic staff and members of the Holy See.
Italian priest Gabriel Amorth, 85, said girls were recruited for parties at the Vatican and said the death of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, last seen alive in 1983, “was a crime with a sexual motive”.
The priest spoke out last week as investigators broke into the grave of a known gang boss in Rome following an anonymous tip that the key to Emanuala’s disappearance would be “found there”. But so far bones which do not belong to mobster Enrico De Pedis, have not be positively identified as the girl’s…
Catholic Priests Oppose ‘Report Pedophilia’ Bill in Ireland
Claire O’Sullivan and Ann Cahill write in the Irish Examiner:
Justice Minister Alan Shatter reiterated that everyone, including priests, were obliged to report child sex abuse and other offences, including white collar crime, to the gardaí, even if they hear about it in the confessional.
The minister described the issue as a media obsession and said priests had been obliged to provide gardaí with information about a whole series of crimes since the 1998 Offences Against the State Amendment Act.
Nobody had raised any question about this or the 2011 Criminal Justice Act that placed the same obligation on the whole community, including priests, to assist gardaí with information.
The confessional was a diversion from the real issue, which had nothing to do with the confessional but with the fact that sexual abuse of children by clergy had been known about by religious orders and leaders as a result of parents, victims and others telling them, outside of the confessional.
Mexican Drug Cartel Kingpin Revealed As FBI Informant
Richard A. Serrano writes in the LA Times:
Police and federal agents pulled the car over in a suburb north of Denver. An FBI agent showed his badge. The driver appeared not startled at all. “My friend,” he said, “I have been waiting for you.”
And with that, Jesus Audel Miramontes-Varela stepped out of his white 2002 BMW X5 and into the arms of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Over the next several days at his ranch in Colorado and an FBI safe house in Albuquerque, the Mexican cartel chieftain — who had reputedly fed one of his victims to lions in Mexico — was transformed into one of the FBI’s top informants on the Southwest border.
Around a dining room table in August 2010, an FBI camera whirring above, the 34-year-old Miramontes-Varela confessed his leadership in the Juarez cartel, according to 75 pages of confidential FBI interview reports obtained by The Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.
Read More: LA Times.
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The U.S. Government Is Committed to Keeping the Drug Market As Dangerous As Possible
Jacob Sullum writes on Reason:
Yesterday the Justice Department unsealed an indictment that charges eight men from three countries with running “a sophisticated online drug marketplace that sold everything from marijuana to mescaline to some 3,000 people around the world,” AP reports:
“The Farmer’s Market”…allowed suppliers of drugs—including LSD, Ecstasy and ketamine—to anonymously sell their wares online. They hooked up with buyers in 34 countries and accepted various forms of payment, including cash, Western Union and PayPal transactions, the indictment claims….
The market “provided a controlled substances storefront, order forms, online forums, customer service, and payment methods for the different sources of supply” and charged the suppliers a commission based upon the value of the order, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.
“For customers, the operators screened all sources of supply and guaranteed delivery of the illegal drugs,” the statement said …. The marketplace allegedly used the Tor network, which spreads website and email communications through a volunteer network of servers around the world in order to mask Internet address information…”
Read More: Reason.
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THE DUNCAN TRUSSELL FAMILY HOUR #14: Joey Diaz
Joey Diaz talks about Santeria, growing up in a crime family, and kidnapping in this epic episode.
Goldman Sachs Owns Top Sex Trafficking Site
So good it must be true! Nicholas Kristof unearths yet more dirt on the banksters at Goldman, in the New York Times:
The biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com.
This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.
That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.
Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America’s leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management. “We had no influence over operations,” Andrea Raphael, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, told me.
Let’s back up for a moment. There’s no doubt that many escort ads on Backpage are placed by consenting adults. But it’s equally clear that Backpage plays a major role in the trafficking of minors or women who are coerced. In one recent case in New York City, prosecutors say that a 15-year-old girl was drugged, tied up, raped and sold to johns through Backpage and other sites.
Backpage has 70 percent of the market for prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a trade organization.
[continues in the New York Times]
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FBI: “We’re Not Winning” Against Hackers
Devlin Barrett reports in the Wall Street Journal:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation’s efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: “We’re not winning,” he said.
Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is “unsustainable.” Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said.
His comments weren’t directed at specific legislation but came as Congress considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical U.S. infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors. Though few cybersecurity experts disagree on the need for security improvements, business advocates have argued that the new regulations called for in one of the bills aren’t likely to better protect computer networks.
Read More: Wall Street Journal
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