Tag Archives | Organized Crime

Japanese Gangsters Hiring Homeless To Clean Up Fukushima Disaster Area

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Pic: Sean Wilson (PD)

Organized crime controlling construction and waste disposal? That sounds familiar. Crime bosses in Japan are recruiting the nation’s homeless and paying them next to nothing to clean up the deadly remains of the Fukushima disaster.

Japan’s three biggest crime syndicates have established illegal recruitment under construction powerhouse Obayashi, a top contractor. Reuters speaks to one man paid by a gangster to collect potential homeless workers: Seiji Sasa would find men at a local train station and get them work through a number of smaller contractors that eventually reported to Obayashi (which has not been fingered in the scheme). The workers would be paid less than minimum wage after middlemen skimmed some and deductions were taken for food and housing; in other cases, those deductions were taken from their scant pay, leaving the workers with no money, or even in debt.

Keep reading at Newser.

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MafiaLeaks: Inside the Site That Wants to Take Down the Mob

st-francis-of-assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

An organization is taking a bite out of crime with tips from anonymous whistlerblowers.

via Mashable

For almost two centuries, Italy has fought a war against the Mafia, a broad term defining various highly organized and violent crime rings. The Mafia’s strongest weapon is not its knack for secrecy or corruption of local governments, but rather the omertà, an unwritten code of silence rooted in fear — a cultural attitude that makes people turn a blind eye to Mafia operations and refuse to report what they’ve seen to the authorities.

Now, a group of anonymous Italian citizens wants to defeat the omertà and the Mafia with a WikiLeaks mentality: A website for mob whistleblowers and victims called MafiaLeaks.

The site is also inspired by the ancient Boche de Leon, 16th century mouth-shaped mailboxes in which the citizens of the Venetian Republic could drop documents or notes to magistrates containing anonymous complaints, according to one of its founders (see image below).

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Hitman Testifies About Murders Sanctioned by James Whitey Bulger

Ah, James Whitey Bulger Another excellent example of federal mismanagement.

via Daily News James Whitey Bluger associate

A former associate of the 83-year-old reputed mobster testifies in Boston about murders they committed together. John ‘The Executioner’ Martorano denied being a hitman or a serial killer despite admitting to killing 20 people out of duty to friends and family.

A former gangster in James (Whitey) Bulger’s criminal empire admits to killing 20 people but said he’s a “nice guy” who was only trying to help his family and friends.

John “The Executioner” Martorano denied being a hitman or a serial killer Tuesday as he took the stand for a second day in the sensational trial of Boston’s most famous mobster.

“I didn’t enjoy killing people. I enjoyed helping a friend,” Martorano, 72, told jurors.

He wasn’t a hitman because he was never paid for murders, and he didn’t get a kick out of pumping bullets into his victims, said the former member of Bulger’s violent Winter Hill Gang.

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Japanese Prosthetic Expert Makes Fake Fingers for Ex-Yakuza Members

via Oddity Central Hardcore_Business_Manga

Shintaro Hayashi, a prosthetics maker from Japan, is helping out former members of the Yakuza, or Japanese mob, by creating fake fingers they lost during their life of crime, so they can get normal jobs easier.

The Yakuza organized crime syndicates are renowned for their strict codes of conduct and organized nature. When a member causes serious offenses, he is required to perform a ritual known as “yubitsume”, which implies cutting off his own fingers as a form of atonement. Usually, the left pinkie is the first one to go, but repeated mistakes can cause a sloppy Yakuza to lose several digits.

It becomes a stigma that signifies current or former membership in the Japanese mafia, and those who manage to leave their troubled past behind and become reformed citizens have a hard time finding jobs because of it. Most Yakuza try to conceal their missing fingers in public by keeping a fist, but there comes a time when they can’t hide their defects anymore, and that’s where prosthetics maker Shintaro Hayashi comes in.

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The Dark World Of Honey Laundering

cheng3 As domestic bee colonies collapse in droves, the United States is being flooded with cheap, perhaps dangerous, Chinese honey in “the largest case of food fraud in history.” The Globe and Mail reports:

As crime sagas go, a scheme rigged by a sophisticated cartel of global traders has all the right blockbuster elements: clandestine movements of illegal substances through a network of co-operatives in Asia, a German conglomerate, jet-setting executives, doctored laboratory reports, high-profile takedowns and fearful turncoats.

What makes this worldwide drama unusual, other than being regarded as part of the largest food fraud in U.S. history, is the fact that honey, nature’s benign golden sweetener, is the lucrative contraband.

What consumers don’t know is that honey doesn’t usually come straight – or pure – from the hive. Giant steel drums of honey bound for grocery store shelves and the food processors that crank out your cereal are in constant flow through the global market.

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Petty Criminals Unite! Subway Fare-Jumpers In Paris Form Insurance Fund

03172010jumperAs someone oppressed by the ever-expanding ticket prices of New York’s corruptly-run MTA subway system, I find this example of criminal ingenuity inspiring: turnstile hoppers in Paris have formed an insurance fund so that whenever one of them is caught by the police, their fine/expenses are fully covered.

“It’s a way to resist together,” declared Gildas, 30, a leader of the mutuelle movement. “We can make solidarity.”

“There are things in France which are supposed to be free — schools, health. So why not transportation?” he said. “It’s not a question of money…. It’s a political question.”

The fare dodgers who jump the turnstiles or sneak in through exit barriers on the Paris Metro are practically as much a fixture of the city as the subway itself.

Those who get caught without a proper ticket, though, face fines of up to $60. So what’s a poor freeloader to do?

For about $8.50 a month, those who join one of these raffish-sounding mutuelles des fraudeurs can rest easy knowing that, if they get busted for refusing to be so bourgeois as to pay to use public transit, the fund will cough up the money for the fine.

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Investigating Economic Organized Crime

The economic crisis needs to be investigated using RICO laws used against organized crime, says Danny Schechter, author and director of Plunder: The Crime of Our Time. Wall Street made billions off mortgage fraud, and all the busts of mortgage lenders in the world won't get the real culprits. Schechter joins GRITtv's Laura Flanders in studio to talk about the unreported story of the economic crisis, which continues to haunt millions of Americans, and which Paul Krugman recently referred to as the third depression.
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Jesse Ventura Discusses Alternative Voting, Prosecuting the Catholic Church Under RICO Laws, Marijuana Legalization and More With Bill Maher

Jesse Ventura appeared on the April 16, 2010 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss a number of issues, including third-party politics and alternative voting. Ventura also called for the Catholic Church to be prosecuted under the "Federal RICO laws of organized crime" for its involvement in covering up child molestations. Ventura also said he wants to see pot legalized in America, which of course Bill Maher very much agrees with.
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Police Under Attack in Hemet, CA

Wow. This is pretty crazy. Thomas Watkins writes on the AP via Salon:

California police department on alert for deadly traps.

Police in this picturesque city in rural Riverside County have been on edge in recent weeks. Someone is trying to kill them.

First, a natural gas pipe was shoved through a hole drilled into the roof of the gang enforcement unit’s headquarters. The building filled with flammable vapor but an officer smelled the danger before anyone was hurt.

“It would have taken out half a city block,” Capt. Tony Marghis said.

Then, a ballistic contraption was attached to a sliding security fence around the building. An officer opening the black steel gate triggered the mechanism, which sent a bullet within eight inches of his face.

In another attempted booby trap attack, some kind of explosive device was attached to a police officer’s unmarked car while he went into a convenience store.

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