The Cartels’ Fondness for the Internet

first_imgBy Dialogo June 01, 2012 Drug-trafficking cartels are increasingly using internet technology to improve their communication, evade law-enforcement operations, and recruit young people, but their tracks on the net could be used to combat them, officials responsible for the fight against drugs said at a meeting in Cancún, Mexico. Groups such as the Los Zetas cartel, made up of military personnel who deserted to work with drug traffickers, and the Pacific organization, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, considered the most powerful Mexican drug boss, habitually turn to social networks, and not only in order to frighten their enemies with videos of executions, a common practice in recent years. Young people between 14 and 20 years old arrested in the United States have admitted that they were contacted on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter by Los Zetas liaisons, who then involved them in activities such as transporting contraband across the border or even working as gunmen. A report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indicated in late 2011 that the cartels also “spy on their members on social networks, in order to obtain information,” about family members, for example, that they can use in case of desertion. Groups such as Los Zetas also retain the services of hackers, who can access the addresses, telephone numbers, and even bank statements or credit-card statements of possible victims of extortion or kidnapping, the same document maintains. The report was among the texts analyzed by experts from 20 countries who gathered in the Mexican beach resort of Cancún to begin designing a hemispheric strategy targeting organized crime that was mandated by the recent Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, and is supposed to be ready by the end of the year. One of the aims of that strategy is to find mechanisms for filtering crime-related information that can be obtained on the internet, and making it useful for designing operations. “Greater collaboration in the area of real-time information exchange is necessary in order to carry out more effective operations,” General Oscar Naranjo of the Colombian Police stressed in Cancún. After more than 34 years of activity, including resounding blows struck against his country’s cartels, Naranjo – who will retire this month in order to take a post as an advisor to the Mexican government – said that just as criminals take advantage of technology, the authorities should do the same. In 2011, the Mexican Navy dismantled a communications network maintained by Los Zetas in the Mexican port of Veracruz that enabled them to connect their cells on land with vessels transporting contraband cocaine. An example of the way in which the authorities could make use of information obtained in cyberspace is geo-tagging, which makes it possible to use photos or data obtained from mobile phones or computers to locate criminals. The U.S. consulting firm Southern Pulse developed an interactive map, with changing information, showing gangs linked to drug trafficking in the Mexican city of Monterrey, their areas of activity, and possible mobilizations. Introducing a report about Mexico this week, Southern Pulse’s director warned that just as there is a “connection between organized crime and local hacker cells,” governments should have “an organized and secure approach” to accessing information available in cyberspace.last_img read more

Ecuadorean security forces make series of large drug seizures

Citizen cooperation Ecuadorean law enforcement authorities recently seized more than 3.5 tons of drugs in more than 100 security operations. Security forces seized the drugs during a span of seven days in mid-November 2013. Security forces also captured 83 suspected drug trafficking operatives. Among them were 75 Ecuadoreans, six Colombians, and two Mexican nationals. Security forces also detained 14 minors who allegedly collaborated with the drug traffickers. By late November, security forces had seized 53 tons of drugs. The yearly record for drug seizures in Ecuador is 68 tons, which were seized in 2009. The volume of drugs seized by Ecuadorean security forces has increased dramatically in recent years.’ In 2010, security forces seized 18 tons of drugs. In 2011, authorities seized 26 tons of drugs. Ecuador cooperates with Peru and Colombia in fight against organized crime Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa recently signed agreements with the presidents of Peru and Colombia that call on the three countries to cooperate in the fight against organized crime. Correa and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos discussed Colombia’s ongoing peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), during a binational meeting held on Nov. 25, 2013. The two leaders met in the border region which divides the two countries, in the Colombian city of Ipiales. Correa, Santos, the foreign ministers of both countries and several Ecuadorean and Colombian Cabinet ministers met for about four hours to discuss progress on agreements that were reached during the First Binational Cabinet meeting between the two countries. That meeting was held in December 2012 in the Ecuadorean city of Tulcán. Following the Nov. 25 meeting, Correa and Santos signed eight agreements regarding issues such as security, transportation, education, tourism, and the oil industry. Nine days before that meeting, Correa and the president of Peru, Ollanta Humala, agreed to have their respective security forces strengthen their cooperation in the battle against human trafficking and the illegal sales of stolen fuel. Humala and Correa announced the initiatives after they met on Nov. 14, 2013, in the city of Piura, Peru, near the Ecuadorean border. The meeting between of the two presidents concluded the VII Binational Ministerial Cabinet Meeting. The two presidents announced they had signed the two security cooperation agreements. Ecuadorean citizens are helping security forces by providing information about the suspected activities of drug traffickers, authorities said. Such cooperation is crucial in the battle against drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, according to security analysts. For example, information received from citizens led to the security operation “No Return,” in late November 2013, authorities said. Security forces received information from a citizen or citizens that drugs were hidden in a fiber boat docked at Las Piedras Viejas in Tachina, Esmereldas. Security forces inspected the boat and found 208 packages of cocaine hidden on the vessel, authorities said,. Targeted police operations Large drug seizures ‘El Chapo’ in Ecuador A transit point for drug trafficking By Dialogo November 29, 2013 The Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two violent Mexican transnational criminal organizations, operate in Ecuador, transporting drugs, according to authorities and security analysts. In February 2013, 19 inmates escaped from a high-security Ecuadorian prison in Guayaquil, located about 420 kilometers south of Quito. Among the escapees was Cesar Demar Vernaza Quinonez, who is known as “The Entrepreneur.” He is the leader of a gang, known as “The Courageous,” which collaborates with the Sinaloa Cartel, authorities said. The Courageous transports and protects drug shipments for the cartel, which is led by fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Colombian security forces recaptured The Entrepreneur in that country in April 2013. Authorities extradited The Entrepreneur to Ecuador, where he is facing drug trafficking charges. Ecuadorean police have made a large series of drug seizures by specifically targeting and focusing on organized crime groups, said Bertha Garcia, a security analyst at the Catholic University of Ecuador. “Ecuador is not a drug-producing country, but it is a country of drug collection and passage,” the security analyst said. “Drug shipments come in from Peru and Colombia. Although we cannot say these are huge quantities of drugs which are being seized, because Ecuador is a small country, but the volume is obviously increasing.” The November operations closely followed a major drug seizure in late October 2013. In that operation, Ecuadorean security forces found and seized more than a half-ton of drugs – cocaine alkaloid — in the seaport of Guayaquil. Security forces found the cocaine alkaloid hidden inside a container filled with pineapples. Drug traffickers intended to transport the cocaine alkaloid by boat to Belgium, according to police Gen. William Balarezo, commander of the Guayas province police district. The port drug seizure was reported by Interior Minister Jose Serrano, via his Twitter account. The series of large drug seizures indicate that Ecuador is becoming an important transit point for drug traffickers who smuggle drugs to Europe and Asia, a security analyst said. “Drug smugglers are increasingly using Ecuador as a shipping point directly to the intended markets,” explained Hector Chavez, a security analyst at the University of Guayaquil. Drug traffickers are decreasing the volume of drugs they transport to Central American markets through Ecuador, Chavez said. “Lower volumes of drugs are being shipped to Central American markets or Mexico from Ecuador,” Chavez said. “Criminals have realized that it is more cost effective and less risky to ship directly to European and Asian markets directly from Ecuador,” Chavez said. Ecuadorean security forces have used intelligence, technology, and cooperation with the Armed Forces to make a series of important drug seizures in recent months, according to Deputy Interior Minister Javier Cordoba. Among the seizures: • In October 2013, the Ecuadorian Navy and police forces collaborated to seize 799 kilos of cocaine in the country’s territorial waters, drugs which were destined for Central America and ultimately north to the United States, authorities reported. Advanced technology helped the authorities find the boat that was smuggling the cocaine, according to Naval officials. • Also in October 2013, Ecuador’s anti-narcotic agents from the National Police seized at least three tons of cocaine in an operation held in the southwestern coastal province of Santa Elena, Ecuador’s Interior Minister Jose Serrano announced. Security forces captured 11 suspects, Serrano announced via Twitter. The suspects were connected to a powerful Colombian drug trafficking organization, “Los Urabeños,” Serrano said via Twitter. • In May 2013, Ecuadorian police arrested five Ecuadoreans and four Mexicans who were suspected of being part of a drug trafficking network. Police also seized 453 kilograms of cocaine and $276,567 in cash. The arrests and seizures were part of part of “Operación Aluvión.” • In April 2013, Ecuadorean police alerted the Coast Guard that a yacht, the “Green Onion,” was transporting a large quantity of cocaine. The Coast Guard pursued the boat, which escaped into international waters. The Ecuadorian Navy alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, which captured the boat in waters near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. When they realized they were about to be captured, the crew burned about four tons of cocaine. read more

Long Beach Man Admits to Killing Teen

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Long Beach teenager has admitted to fatally beating and strangling an 18-year-old Lynbrook woman who was found dead in Rockville Centre nearly two years ago.Maxwell Sherman pleaded guilty Friday at Nassau County court to second-degree murder. A charge of sex abuse was dropped in exchange for his plea.Authorities have said that the 19-year-old killed Lauren Daverin, who was found by witnesses on the Mill Pond footbridge between Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road in August 2013.Sherman later told Rockville Centre village police that he had been assaulted on the footbridge that night and confirmed that he was the last person on the bridge with the victim after a group of other people left, prosecutors said.A witness also told investigators that he saw Sherman on top of Daverin on the bridge, authorities said. The witness later identified Sherman in a photo array.Judge Meryl Berkowitz is expected to sentence Sherman to 18 years to life in prison on June 11.last_img read more

ZigZag, the first integral hotel in Croatia, changes its name to Irundo

first_imgFour years ago, in 2014, the first integral hotel ZigZag was opened, and today, after successful growth and positioning, ZigZag changes its name to Irundo.ZigZag, a domestic company, a pioneer in the segment of professional management of apartments for short-term rent, will now operate under the name Irundo. It is a top tourist service that offers its guests the best of private and hotel accommodation. Apart from the guests, the advantages of this business were also recognized by the apartment owners, so under the Irundo brand, in six cities and three countries, over 200 apartments found their place.By changing the name ZigZag to Irundo, it wants to position itself as a modern company for all adventurers who expect top-class accommodation, but with a sense of home. The branding agency Fabular is responsible for the development of the new brand strategy, new name, slogan and brand concept, while the Manasteriotti DS studio has created a new visual identity.“Based on the new brand strategy, we realized that a name change was necessary to communicate our new story more strongly. Our brand is named after the swallow (lat.hirundo) migratory bird that always returns home to its nest, and can also be read I-run-do because we always want to encourage guests to go out and get to know the city through the eyes of its inhabitants. Our guests are looking for a warm feeling of home, to which they return with pleasure after an exciting day spent in the adventure of exploring a new city. We have united exactly these wishes of the guests in our new slogan “Be adventurous. Feel at home. ” explained Igor Kordić, COO Irundo.Urban adventure Irundo, at the moment, has about 70 employees, but it will not stop there. Since 2011, when the company started operating, until now, over 10 million kuna has been invested in the company. New accommodation capacities and the creation of new jobs are also planned. The success of this business model is confirmed by the fact that they are filled almost all year round, with an average of over 75 percent, and are visited annually by people from all over the world.Services of this type of accommodation are used by different profiles of people. Irundo guests are families, groups of friends, business people, musicians, directors, young and old. They all have one thing in common, they want to have the feeling of home on the trip, and still be located in the city center and know that they will get a standardized and quality service.Owners of the integral hotel Irundo (ZigZag Apartments) Igor Kordic and Tomislav Zovko.Photo: Petar Glebov / PIXSELL”Through our access to the apartments, we have created a “golden mean” between typical private accommodation and a hotel. This is what more and more guests are looking for. This is exactly what Irundo presents and offers to all its guests. This year, in addition to rebranding, we also introduced other news. We have improved and standardized internal processes. We provide our guests with top customer service support that offers all useful information and support 0-24. We are also expanding our accommodation capacities. Irundo dictates the industry standards in Croatia, which put us alongside similar foreign companies in Western markets and world capitals”Said Tomislav Zovko, CEO of Irundo, adding that the interest in this type of accommodation is growing every year, which confirms the continuous growth.In just seven years of operation, the young company has confirmed continuous growth and prospects for all employees and partners, as well as confirmation of the success of the business model. The plan is to continuously invest in the quality and development of the company in order to further strengthen its organizational structure and be ready for new expansions and acquisitions in the future, concludes Zovko.last_img read more

Russell wins Pandya duel as Knight Riders end losing streak

first_imgANDRE Russell was in the runs again as Kolkata Knight Riders overcame Hardik Pandya’s onslaught for Mumbai Indians to end a six-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League.West Indies all-rounder Russell blasted 80 from just 40 deliveries to help the Knight Riders reach 232-2 – the highest score posted by any team in this season’s competition so far.Shubman Gill made 76 as he combined with opening partner Chris Lynn (54) to put on 96 for the first wicket, laying the ideal platform for Russell, who came out to bat at number three.Kolkata smashed 75 runs from the final five overs of their innings and appeared set for a comfortable victory when they reduced their opponents to 58-4 in reply.Pandya made them work for the win by plundering 91 in a hurry – hitting nine sixes in his 36-ball knock – before he was caught by Russell, who capped a fine display by also taking 2-25 with the ball.Sunil Narine and Harry Gurney also claimed two wickets apiece as Mumbai finished up on a respectable 198-7, leaving the final margin of victory at 34 runs.ANDRE’S GIANT HITTINGRussell had called for Kolkata’s management team to be flexible when it came to his batting position and he was duly given the chance to impress with a promotion up the order.After managing a single from his first four deliveries, the Jamaican blasted back-to-back sixes at the end of Rahul Chahar’s spell as he quickly moved through the gears.He also took a liking to Lasith Malinga in the closing stages, smashing the Sri Lankan paceman for 20 runs in the final over of the innings to post his best score in a highly productive campaign.Russell has now reached the landmark of 50 IPL sixes in 2019, while his tally of 486 runs means he sits only behind David Warner (611) in the top-scorers list.Mumbai lost Quinton de Kock for a four-ball duck as they struggled in pursuit of such a huge target. Gurney trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for 12 and Russell won the battle with West Indies team-mate Evin Lewis, who edged behind to depart for 15.Pandya arrived at the crease following the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav (26) and, together with Kieron Pollard (20), added 63 for the fifth wicket.last_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015

first_imgWellington Police notes for Tuesday, October 6, 2015•12:36 a.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 100 block N. Washington, Wellington.•10:20 a.m. Officers investigated criminal damage to a residence door in the 600 block S. Jefferson, Wellington.•Jeffrey T. Willis, 44, Wellington was issued a notice to appear charged with dog at large and no Wellington tags on dog which occurred on Oct. 15 at 3:30 p.m.•12 p.m. Julia M. Whitney, 36, Wellington was issued a notice to appear charged with dog at large.•1 p.m. Officers conducted an assist outside agency, Wellington.•4:30 p.m. Officers investigated criminal damage to property in the 200 block E. Lincoln, Wellington.•8:55 p.m. Non-Injury accident in the 200 block E. Hillside, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by Angela C. Sundquist, 40, Wellington and a deer.last_img read more