The Beat, CT Scan and Checkpoint

Ban Ki-moon

The Beat

Organised Crime in Australia 2015

The Australian Crime Commission have published their biennial Organised Crime in Australia report. In this year’s report, the ACC mentions the connection between terrorism and organised crime and volume crime environments as being particularly significant.

The ACC also outlines the key characteristics of organised crime as being the ability to conceal criminal activity by integrating into legitimate markets, technology and online capabilities and the globalisation of organised crime, indicating a broadening depth and scale of this particular criminal issue.

Guatemalans condemn government corruption

Guatemalan Vice President Roxanna Baldetti has resigned amidst allegations of being connected to a customs fraud ring concerning bribes paid by importers in exchange for reduced shipments duties. Despite this, Guatemalans are still discontented. Over 10,000 protestors this week called for the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina and for him to lose immunity from prosecution.

While some see the political crisis in Guatemala as cause for potential chaos, others views this is an opportunity to bolster democracy. This incident represents a growing public discontent around the world for elected officials to be associated with corruption and organised crime.

Drugs in Canberra

Finally, an article Vice, an on-line news source, reveals the nature of dealing illicit drugs in Canberra (our hometown). One dealer claims the majority of his clients purchasing cocaine and MDMA are Canberra tradespeople and public servants in their twenties.


CT Scan

Returning jihadists

What should we do with returning jihadists? This week PM Tony Abbott swiftly dismissed the possibility of leniency for three Islamic State fighters wanting to come home, announcing that ‘a crime is a crime is a crime.’ On the other side of the fence, ASPI’s Clare Murphy and Anthony Bergin propose that returnees could be voices to deradicalise budding foreign fighters. ANU’s Dr Clarke Jones is thinking along similar lines. Jones argues that this approach would go beyond our focus on the security aspects of the issue and address some of its social elements.

These findings echo similar research in the US. Prominent advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Centre released a report on American terrorism, concluding that from April 2009 to February 2015, more Americans have been killed by ‘non-Islamic domestic terrorists’ than ‘jihadists’. Meanwhile, Alex Henderson at Raw Story identifies six active Christian terrorist groups.

Terrorism on TV

Liam Neeson will use his ‘very particular set of skills’ to fight terrorism in his next movie, but let’s take a look at how accurately TV has portrayed terrorism (56 mins).



Ice and Australian borders

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) in its most recent Illicit Drug Data Report (pdf) stressed the number of detection of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) excluding MDMA increased 18.4% compared to the 2012–2013 reporting period.

The ACC identified fifty-four countries from where drugs were being smuggled across Australian borders, five more than 2012–2013. China and Hong Kong remained the main embarkation points amounting for more than a thousand of the drug-detected cases.

Last week, Customs and Border Protection made the largest ice seizure so far this year involving a sea freight shipment from Hong Kong concealing 150kg of methamphetamine with an estimated value of $100m.

DPRK cancels UN Secretary General visit

Pyongyang’s reason for the last-minute change as Ban Ki-moon was expected to visit North Korea this week remain unclear.

Great expectation surrounded Ban Ki-moon’s crossing into North Korea as it’s been more than two decades since the last time a UN Secretary General made an official visit to the DPRK.

UN Chief regretted Pyongyang’s change of heart, but he remains keen to not spare any efforts to build trust between the two Koreas.