Organized crime

US cyber-warriors battling Islamic State on Twitter

The United States has launched a social media offensive against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, setting out to win the war of ideas by ridiculing the militants with a mixture of blunt language and sarcasm.

Diplomats and experts are the first to admit that the digital blitz being waged on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube will never be a panacea to combat the jihadists.

US Journalist Held Hostage in Syria Freed from Captivity

An American journalist held hostage in Syria by a militant group linked to al-Qaida was released on Sunday.

The release of Peter Theo Curtis, 45, had been facilitated by the Gulf emirate of Qatar. It came just days after the barbaric execution of American reporter James Foley by Islamic militants.

Balkan Drug Lord Dragoslav Kosmajac Arrested in Montenegro

Balkan drug lord Dragoslav Kosmajac has been arrested in Montenegro's Kotor.

On Monday night, he was questioned by local investigative authorities, according to reports of the BGNES news agency.

Kosmajac has been described as "Serbia's biggest drug dealer" by Serbian Prime Minister Alexandr Vucic.

1,400 held in Interpol sweep on illegal World Cup betting networks

More than 1,400 people were arrested and nearly $12 million (8.8 million euros) seized in an Interpol-led clampdown on illegal betting networks in Asia during the World Cup, the organisation said Friday.
Police officers from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam conducted more than 1,000 raids on illegal gambling dens in the six-week operation.

Basescu: Roma clans enjoy political protection, usually in package with cover-up from state institutions

President Traian Basescu said on Thursday that Roma clans enjoy political protection which usually comes in package with cover-up from the state institutions tasked with the combat of organized crime, and this is the reason why Romania's Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) has issued as early as in 2009 a special decision targeted exactly at the fight of organized crime.

Italy warns 'terrorists' could be crossing in migrant boats

Italy's armed forces chief warned Thursday that terrorists could be using migrant boats to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, amid increased concern among intelligence services of possible attacks by extremists.
"There's a risk not only of massive illegal immigration, but also of terrorist infiltrations," Luigi Binelli Mantelli told La Stampa.        

Balkan countries co-operating to stop weapons trafficking

Balkan countries co-operating to stop weapons trafficking

New initiatives are in place to slow the flow of illegal weapons.

Balkan countries are co-operating to slow weapons trafficking as the region becomes a final destination for illegal weapons in addition to being a transit route to European and other markets, experts said.

Pope lambasts mobsters, says mafiosi "excommunicated"

Francis on June 21 issued the strongest attack on organised crime groups by a pontiff in two decades, accusing them of practicing the "the adoration of evil" and saying mafiosi are excommunicated. 

It was the first time a pope had used the word excommunication - a total cutoff from the Church - in direct reference to members of organised crime. 

31 bodies found in Mexico mass grave

The bodies of 31 people, some mutilated, have been exhumed from a mass grave in Veracruz, a stronghold of the Zetas, one of Mexico's most bloodthirsty cartels, a military official said.
The bodies were of 24 men and seven women, the official said, raising a toll of 28 given earlier by prosecutors.