organized crime

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Pope Blasts Mafia: Repent or Go to Hell

Francis says mobsters' 'blood-stained' money is worthless

(Newser) - Pope Francis attended a vigil for mafia victims in Rome yesterday, reports the BBC , but he made bigger headlines by unloading on the mobsters themselves in his remarks:
  • "This life that you live now won't give you pleasure," he said. "It won't give you joy
... More »

Drugs No Longer Mexico Cartel's Top Earner

Knights Templar now a mining, logging, extortion cartel

(Newser) - Mexico's Knights Templar cartel has diversified so much that instead of being a drug cartel, the organization that started out smuggling crystal meth is now more of an extortion, logging, and mining cartel with a profitable sideline in drugs, the AP finds. In the cartel's home state of... More »

Japan's Crime Gangs Went Where, Exactly?

Police say yakuza membership is declining due to stricter laws

(Newser) - Japan's underworld crime syndicates, or yakuza, have apparently dwindled over the years, raising the question of where they've gone and why they dropped out of sight, the Daily Beast reports. Police say stricter laws have pressured yakuza members out of the business, by empowering financial institutions to punish... More »

Bought Cigarettes in NY? You May Have Funded Terror

Authorities arrest 15 men in alleged smuggling ring that sold in state

(Newser) - Police have uncovered a cigarette-smuggling operation whose proceeds may have gone to terrorist groups, they say. Sixteen Palestinians were indicted yesterday (and all but one arrested) in the East Coast effort, which saw some 1 million cartons of cigarettes trucked into the state from Virginia, where they were sold to... More »

Report Blows Lid Off Crime, Drugs in Aussie Sports

'Blackest day in Australian sport,' says one official

(Newser) - Australian sports are besieged by performance-enhancing drugs and organized crime, according to a year-long government investigation, reports the Wall Street Journal . The report didn't name names, but it indicated illegal hormones and other performance enhancers are widespread in Australian sports, facilitated by coaches and trainers. "The findings are... More »

Soccer Infiltrated by Organized Crime

Investigation casts doubt on 680 matches

(Newser) - Is soccer completely rigged? You'd be forgiven for thinking that, in light of a Europol investigation released today that identifies 680 matches authorities suspect were fixed for gambling purposes. The alleged culprit: an Asia-based organized crime syndicate. Authorities suspect at least 425 people, including players and both match and... More »

Feds: Whitey Bulger's Immunity Claims 'Absurd'

Mobster says feds gave him carte blanche in the '70s

(Newser) - Prosecutors are rolling their eyes over Whitey Bulger's assertions that authorities gave him permanent immunity from all prosecution for his work as an informant in the 1970s. In court documents filed on Friday, prosecutors called those claims "absurd" and "frivolous," and asked a judge to insist... More »

Whitey Bulger Hospitalized With Chest Pains

Relatives of some victims think gangster is trying to stall trial

(Newser) - James "Whitey" Bulger, the Boston gangster who was finally captured last year after 16-plus years on the run , was rushed to the hospital early yesterday with chest pains, officials tell the Boston Globe . Little is known about Bulger's condition, but this is at least the second time he'... More »

Feds Raid Outlaws Biker Gang, Bust 41

Every member of gang's Indianapolis chapter arrested

(Newser) - Dozens of bikers and their associates were busted yesterday as hundreds of federal, state, and local police raided Outlaws clubhouses in Indiana. The 41 people arrested on charges including drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, witness tampering, and illegal gambling include every member of the biker gang's Indianapolis chapter, the... More »

Logging a $15B Racket for Organized Crime

World Bank says illegal forest operations are big business

(Newser) - Ah, those classic gangster rackets: drugs, prostitution, gambling, and, of course, wood. Illegal logging has become a major endeavor for organized crime, raking in as much as $15 billion a year, according to a new report from the World Bank. Scofflaws with chainsaws are running wild in places such as... More »

NYC Mob Boss Found Dead in Canada

Cops believe 'Sal the Ironworker' was trying to take over Montreal Mafia

(Newser) - The criminal career of former New York City mob boss Salvatore Montagna came to an end in a frigid river in suburban Montreal yesterday. The body of the 40-year-old former chief of the Bonanno crime family, known as "Sal the Ironworker," was found after a witness said they... More »

Missing Olympus Billions Tied to Yakuza Crime Gangs

$4.9B unaccounted for at Japanese firm

(Newser) - To make a serious financial scandal much, much worse, simply quadruple the sums involved and add gangsters. Investigators probing the shady accounting at Japanese camera maker Olympus believe that in addition to the $1.4 billion the firm paid in merger fees to mask losses, some $4.9 billion is... More »

Mobster Whitey Bulger Busted After 16 Years

Boston mob boss, FBI informant nabbed near LA

(Newser) - Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger has been arrested after 16 years as a fugitive, during which time the FBI was sometimes accused of not trying hard enough to find its former informant, the AP reports. The former leader of the Winter Hill Gang went on the run in... More »

Feds Bust Philly Mob Boss, 12 Others

Joseph 'Uncle Joe' Ligambi and a dozen more face charges

(Newser) - A real-life Sopranos (or Godfather, depending on your generation) in Philly: Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, the reputed boss of the Philadelphia mob, has been arrested along with a dozen others believed to be connected to the mob. Federal authorities busted the group, and prosecutors charged them with conspiracy, extortion,... More »

Mobster Found Hiding in Idaho Town

'I’ve always thought there was something different about Jay'

(Newser) - Stunned residents of the small Idaho town of Marsing have just learned that the man they knew as Jay Shaw was actually Enrico Ponzo, a fugitive mobster from Boston. Ponzo, who had been on the lam for 17 years, was arrested this week for a long list of charges including... More »

To Flee Mob, Italian Museum Seeks Asylum in Germany

Mafia threats spark plea for museum and staff

(Newser) - The director of a Naples museum is urging Germany to grant asylum to the museum and its staff seeking to flee the mob. Antonio Manfredi says the contemporary art museum has been plagued by vandalism and threats from the local Mafia. The museum has put on exhibitions dealing with social... More »

Kosovo PM Linked to Organ Trafficking

Rights watchdog accuses KLA of killing civilians for kidney trade

(Newser) - Kosovo Liberation Army leaders—including Prime Minister Hashim Thaci—ran a Mafia-style crime ring that trafficked in drugs and harvested organs, according to a Council of Europe probe. The human rights watchdog's 2-year inquiry found that men under Thaci's command shot civilians after the 1999 Kosovo war so their kidneys... More »

Gangsters Busted in Biggest-Ever Medicare Fraud

Armenian gang used phony doctors, clinic to scam $163 million

(Newser) - Investigators say they have smashed an Armenian crime ring responsible for "the largest Medicare fraud scheme ever perpetrated by a single criminal enterprise." A multi-state probe dubbed "Diagnosis Dollars" has resulted in the indictment of 73 members and associates of the ring, including 52 arrested in raids... More »

John Gotti Jr. Sells Movie Rights to His Life

Stallone's interested in starring

(Newser) - Hollywood has produced no shortage of movies and TV shows about the mob, but this one's coming straight from the most high-profile source imaginable: John "Junior" Gotti has sold the rights to his life story. The 46-year-old son of the late, legendary Gambino crime family leader, "Dapper Don"... More »

12 Mobsters Busted in Gambino Raid

Selling teen sex a 'new low' for crime family: fed

(Newser) - New York City's Gambino crime family reached a "new low" with the trafficking of a minor to have sex with high-stakes poker players, a US attorney said yesterday as he announced charges against 14 alleged mobsters. Twelve of them are already in custody. Other charges include loansharking, drug trafficking,... More »

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