black market

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Inside Russia's Black Market for Dissertations

Thousands of the country's elite are buying dissertations, many of which are plagiarized

(Newser) - Academic achievements are held in high regard in Russia. And thousands of Russians, including plenty of politicians, judges, and other public officials, submit doctoral dissertations each year. But that doesn't mean it's a country full of intellectuals. Instead, academic status—or, at least, the means to academic status—... More »

US to Destroy 25 Years of Seized Ivory

Obama administration's move meant as warning

(Newser) - US officials have seized six tons of ivory over the past quarter-century, and this month, they plan to destroy it. The destruction in Denver—by rock-crusher—will be the first of its kind in this country, with the White House hoping to underscore that it won't tolerate poaching, Time ... More »

Internet 'Bitcoin' Worth More Than 20 State Currencies

Is it a flight to safety, or a surge in drug market?

(Newser) - There isn't any national treasury backing the bitcoin, nor does anyone have great stores of physical bitcoins lying around. Yet more than $1 billion worth of this invented currency is in circulation—more than the entire currency stock of 20 countries, Fox News reports. A single bitcoin is currently... More »

Wall Street Scammer Ducks Prison by Working for CIA

Felix Sater tracked down Stinger missiles on the black market

(Newser) - A Russian businessman charged with cheating investors on Wall Street struck a deal with the CIA: Reduce my punishment to nearly nothing, and I'll help you buy missiles on Russia's black market, the Miami Herald reports. Felix Sater apparently pulled off the plan, tracking down the Stinger missiles... More »

Border Agents Seize 20K Fake Designer Shoes

Christian Louboutin clones might have fetched $18M on black market

(Newser) - Beware of fake fancy footwear. US customs agents seized about 20,000 pairs of counterfeit Christian Louboutin shoes at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. The shoes came in on a cargo ship from China, and they could have fetched upward of $18 million on the black market, reports ABC News... More »

Black-Market Kidney Broker Pleads Guilty in NYC

He got organs in Israel, arranged transplants for Americans

(Newser) - A New York man pleaded guilty today to what experts said was the first proven case of black-market organ trafficking in the US. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum admitted in federal court in Trenton that he had brokered three illegal kidney transplants from people in Israel for US customers in exchange for... More »

Looted Missiles, Weapons Go Missing in Libya

Officials fear they're headed to al-Qaeda via the black market

(Newser) - Moammar Gadhafi's days as a free man might be numbered , but Libya and perhaps all of North Africa might have a long-term side effect to deal with: Top-notch weapons and missiles are being stolen left and right from Gadhafi's warehouses across the country, reports CNN . Human Rights Watch... More »

Stolen Moon Dust Found Up for Auction

Tape with a few flecks of dust was valued at $1K or more

(Newser) - Investigators from NASA and the US attorney's office in St. Louis have found what could be the government’s tiniest piece of stolen property: a bit of moon dust. The item was up for sale at a local auction house, with a value estimated at $1,000 to $1,... More »

Knock-Off Bags May Boost Sales of Real Thing

Counterfeit items seem to have an unexpected effect

(Newser) - A New York City councilwoman is trying to make it illegal to own a knock-off designer bag in her district of Chinatown, on the grounds that it hurts business for the real designer. Not so fast, writes Ray Fisman at Slate . Counterfeits may actually help those businesses by essentially acting... More »

Teen Sells Kidney for iPad 2

Chinese boy, 17, received about $3K for organ

(Newser) - What would you do for an iPad 2? Probably not what one Chinese teen did: The 17-year-old boy sold one of his kidneys for about $3,000 so he could afford the device. The teen confessed to his mother after arriving home with "a laptop and a new Apple... More »

N. Korea Allows Private Food Markets

Pro-capitalist policy shift comes amid growing famine

(Newser) - North Korea has effectively admitted that it can't feed its citizens by allowing people to buy food and other necessities at private markets, the Washington Post reports. Such markets have existed under the radar for years, but the government order sanctioning what amounts to capitalism "abandons all pretense of... More »

Cops Seize Shipment of Human Heads at Airport

Suspect a 'black market for body parts'

(Newser) - Police have seized a package of 40 to 60 human heads at the Little Rock airport. The heads were headed to a medical research company in Fort Worth, but they weren’t “labeled or packaged properly,” according to a spokesman for Southwest Airlines. An employee found them and... More »

N. Korean Edict Meets Rare Resistance

Unrest over private markets could signal trouble for Kim

(Newser) - When Kim Jong Il imposed new rules this month to crack down on private markets, he encountered a rare thing from his obedient citizenry—resistance. One eastern city had a riot, and public anger forced the government to beat a rare retreat on some of the new currency restrictions, reports... More »

Contractor Bought Guns on Black Market: Ex-Employees

Triple Canopy accused of funding insurgents

(Newser) - Triple Canopy, the company that succeeded Blackwater as the top US security contractor in Iraq, bought its weapons on Iraq’s black market, former employees allege in court documents obtained by ProPublica. “We’re spending a lot of money on these rifles, millions of dollars—where do you think... More »

Suspect in NJ Probe Sold Black-Market Kidneys

Corruption bust yields strange side business

(Newser) - The FBI says it's made the first organ trafficking arrest in US history, a strange byproduct of the sweeping corruption probe that nabbed dozens of New Jersey officials and rabbis, the Star-Ledger reports. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum is accused of dealing in kidneys: He'd buy them from donors in Israel for... More »

Cuba's Black Market Hits the Internet

(Newser) - The Internet has lured Cuba's black marketeers online, GlobalPost reports. In a nation that bans most private commerce, a Craigslist-style website has emerged offering everything from American razor blades to True Blood DVDs. Buyers with fatter wallets can pick up computer equipment, a $6,000 illegal Internet hookup, or a... More »

Hackers Bidding 5 Figures for Old Phone Raises Eyebrows

(Newser) - Phonemaker Nokia is flummoxed as to why hackers are offering more than $32,000 in underground forums for old handsets, NetworkWorld reports—though bank fraud is a distinct possibility. “We have not identified any phone software problem that would allow” misuse, the company said. But a 2003 model manufactured... More »

Blackwater Faces Hefty Fine for Iraq Gun Violations

Contractor shipped firearms without permit; some may now be on black market

(Newser) - The government will hit security firm Blackwater USA with a multimillion-dollar fine for shipping hundreds of unauthorized guns to Iraq, McClatchy reports. A lengthy State Department investigation has concluded that the security contractor shipped some 900 weapons to the country—some of which likely wound up on the black market—... More »

9M% Inflation Crushes Zimbabwe

As cash becomes worthless, citizens face starvation

(Newser) - The political violence that ravaged Zimbabwe has subsided since Robert Mugabe's sham reelection, but another devastation continues unabated: economic meltdown. Zimbabwe's inflation rate has now hit 9 million percent, and a $50-billion Zimbabwean note is worth just 34 cents and falling in American currency. The Guardian investigates the surreal economic... More »

'Sketchy' Plane Parts For Sale Online

Unauthorized vendors in China, US offer uncertified Boeing, Airbus hardware

(Newser) - Spare Boeing and Airbus parts of dubious origin have been found for sale on Internet sites such as Craiglist, BusinessWeek reports. The parts, including vital valves and gears, are being sold by at least 24 vendors—mainly in China and the US—without FAA approval or documentation that they've been... More »

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