News briefings – Week of 21 August

  • The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has found the culprit for the growth in organized crime in Australia – cryptocurrencies and online banking services. According to a recent report conducted by ACIC, major criminal organizations that are involved in money laundering are costing the country over $28.34 billion annually.
  • Ten years after the beginning of the war against drug trafficking in Mexico, results are tragic and alarming, according to “Red Retoño”, an organization to prevent organized crime. The campaign has resulted in 160,000 deaths, 200,000 displaced people, 30,000 missing persons and countless attacks on human rights advocates and journalists.
  • For each of the past five years, Acapulco has been the deadliest city in Mexico, in a marathon of murder that has hollowed out the hillside neighborhoods and sprawling colonias that tourists rarely visit. The dominant drug cartel in Acapulco and the state of Guerrero broke up a decade ago. The criminals now in charge resemble neighborhood gangs. An estimated 20 or more of these groups operate in Acapulco, intermixed with representatives from larger drug cartels.
  • Illegal miners in South Africa are swallowing unrefined gold and platinum in condoms as a new tactic to avoid arrest for smuggling that is costing the industry $1.5 billion a year, the police told parliament on Friday. Illegal mining has plagued South Africa’s mining sector for decades, and extends from small time pilfering to global organized crime networks.
  • After a maritime pursuit carried out by units of the Colombian National Army, 1711 kilos of hydrochloride of cocaine were seized in the Colombian South Pacific. During the military action, six Colombians and a foreigner travelling in two motor boats were captured.
  • A Heathrow baggage handler smuggled of cocaine worth 10 million Pounds into the UK from Brazil in suitcases in plan described as ‘beautiful in its simplicity’ until a security officer became suspicious.
  • According to an annual report by the Basel Institute on Governance ranking countries around the world in terms of their money laundering risk levels, Paraguay, Haiti and Bolivia had the highest scores respectively in Latin America and the Caribbean, meaning that they have the highest risk for money laundering. Colombia, which ranked 125 out of 146 countries examined worldwide, is the region’s lowest-risk country according to the index, followed by Chile and the small Caribbean island of Dominica.
  • The number of police officers killed so far this year in Brazil’s crime-riddled state of Rio de Janeiro reached 100 on Saturday. This last death brings the homicide rate among both working and off-duty state police officers to one every 57 hours, the highest rate since 2016, when an officer was killed every 53 hours.