Groomed for drug trafficking
An ABC report describes how an Australian man with disabilities was groomed by internet scammers to unwittingly traffic $300,000 worth of methamphetamine to China, where he was arrested and later died in a military hospital.
The case demonstrates how it’s not just the willing who get caught up in organised crime, but that organised criminals deliberately target the gullible, lonely and vulnerable. While the ACCC’s SCAMwatch is a good start, there is still significant room for greater public awareness about the dangers of grooming and scamming.
Guns of Melbourne
In the wake of the Charleston church shootings, President Obama praised the effectiveness of Australia’s gun laws which have prevented incidents of mass shootings since being introduced after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. So it’s alarming to hear that illegal firearms are being found in Melbourne’s north and west. Police are discovering guns in cars every two days along with evince of a ‘burgeoning’ gun culture in the area, presenting risks to those caught up in or investigating organised crime.
Dallas Buyers Club case update
The copyright owner of Dallas Buyers Club have served a letter to those alleged to have illegally downloaded the film, which gives 28 days’ notice to admit to piracy. Luckily for us, the Federal Court has rejected suppression of the letter, which you can read here. The news comes as the Parliament this week passed anti-piracy and website-blocking laws.
Citizenship laws tabled in Parliament
The Australian Government this week unveiled their much-discussed and controversial citizenship bill. The proposed laws automatically cancel the Australian citizenships of dual nationals should they fight with terrorist groups overseas, or are convicted of terrorism offences. See the full text here and a summary here. Lawyers’ reactions have been mixed.
Counterterrorism commentator Greg Barton predicts that the laws will only affect a small number of individuals. He reports that while Britain—a nation with 600–800 citizens thought to have left to fight in Iraq and Syria—introduced similar laws in 2006, only 22 individuals have had their citizenship revoked.
US surveys global terrorism
The US released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism last week. The bad news is that in 2014, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide jumped by a third. But to keep some perspective, 7% of the all violent deaths last year were motivated by terrorism. Take a look at Micah Zenko’s article over at Foreign Policy for the key outcomes.
Organised immigration crime in the UK
This week at the French port of Calais, hundreds of migrants tried to exploit a wildcat strike action by attempting to board UK-bound vehicles forced to slow or stop due to traffic. In response, the UK’s Immigration Minister announced the creation of a law enforcement team drawn from the Border Force, the National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement and the Crown Prosecution Service to contain the emerging migrant crisis at the French border. Over 3,000 migrants wait on the outskirts of Calais for any chance to reach British soil, where a black market smuggling operation has emerged.
Human trafficking tragedy at Thai–Malay border
21 of the 106 victims found in an abandoned migrant trafficking camp at the Thai–Malay border were given proper burial last Monday. The discovery has shone a light on the cover provided by dense forests at the Thai–Malay border to smuggle people escaping persecution from Myanmar and Bangladesh. Malaysia’s Home Minister Zahid stressed the importance of the security agreement between Malaysia and Thailand currently being revised to boost border security.