Articles Tagués ‘EUROPE’

FRANCE (Douane française): quant aux méthodes utilisées par la DNRED pour lutter contre le narcotrafic

Publié: 2 juillet 2017 par Marc Fievet dans 36, BAN, Blanchiment, CELTIC, Cyberdouane, DG de la Douane française, DNRED, Douane française, Gendarmerie, INTERPOL, Justice, Narcotrafic INFOS, OCRTIS, Police, Secret Defense, SERVICES ESPAGNOLS, SERVICES FRANCAIS, SVA, TRACFIN
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Le dîner-conférence qui s’était tenu le 18 septembre 2015 au Relais du Bois St-Georges à Saintes (17100) avait permis à Monsieur Jean Henri Hoguet, ancien directeur de la DNRED (Direction National du Renseignement et Enquêtes Douanières) de revenir sur les actions d’infiltration menées par son service pour lutter contre le narcotrafic et répondre, ainsi, aux souhaits de Michel Charasse, le ministre du Budget  (29 juin 1988 – 2 avril 1992), qui souhaitait alors des résultats dans cette importante mission de la Douane française.

Marc Fievet, l’ancien agent de la DNRED infiltré dans les réseaux du narcotrafic, s’est exprimé longuement devant une assistance attentive et particulièrement intéressée par les moyens mis en œuvre par la Douane française pour lutter contre le narcotrafic.

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Sur le Thème

DROGUES – NARCOTRAFIC – INFILTRATIONS

CONFÉRENCE (Gratuite) sur demande à

marcfievet@live.fr

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Marc Fiévet a infiltré les réseaux de narcotrafiquants pendant sept ans pour le compte des douanes françaises et internationales. Il a risqué sa peau en montant la plus grosse entreprise de transport maritime dédiée à la drogue. Il a côtoyé pendant toutes ces années les organisations mafieuses et terroristes du monde entier (cartels colombiens, mafias corse et italienne, IRA, GAL…), il a permis le démantèlement de réseaux internationaux et a maintes fois été à la limite du raisonnable.

Jusqu’à l’indigestion ! En effet, Marc Fiévet, aviseur NS55, a été « récompensé » de ses services par onze ans de prison ! Condamné à perpétuité au Canada, il a pris 20 ans en France, dont dix incompressibles. Après toutes ces années passées derrière les barreaux, Marc Fiévet nous livre cette histoire hors du commun et règle ses comptes avec ceux qui l’ont lamentablement lâché et pour qui il travaillait dans l’ombre. 

DNRED (Douane Française): Corinne Cleostrate prend la tête de la direction du service de renseignement des douanes 

Publié: 26 juin 2017 par Marc Fievet dans 36, AFRIQUE, AMERIQUE CENTRALE - CARAÏBE, AMERIQUE du SUD, ASIE, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service., AUSTRALIE, BAN, Blanchiment, CELTIC, Customs and Border Protection, Cyberdouane, DEA (USA), DG de la Douane française, DNRED, Douane française, EUROPE, France, FSKN (Russie), Gendarmerie, GRC - RCMP (Canada), Guardia Civil, Guardia di Finanza, Guardia di Finanza (Italie), HM Customs Excise (UK), INTERPOL, Justice, NARCOTRAFIC, Narcotrafic INFOS, Narcotrafic maritime, NS 55, OCRTIS, Police, Policia, POLYNESIE, Secret Defense, SERVICES ANTI-DROGUES, SERVICES ESPAGNOLS, SERVICES FRANCAIS, SVA, TRACFIN, UAR
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La direction nationale du renseignement et des enquêtes douanières (DNRED), récemment déstabilisée par un affaire portant sur des pratiques illégales d’enquêtes, aura désormais à sa tête une directrice, Corinne Cleostrate, dont la nomination a été officialisée dimanche au journal officiel.

Corinne Cleostrate, lorsqu’elle avait pris la direction de la DRD (Renseignement) du temps de Jérôme Fournel. 

Ancienne sous-directrice des droits indirects à la direction générale des douanes et droits indirects à Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), Corinne Cleostrate remplace l’ancien directeur de la DNRED, Jean-Paul Garcia.

Nommée à ce poste le 19 juin par un arrêté du ministre de l’action et des comptes publics, elle prendra officiellement ses fonctions à partir du 1er juillet.

LIRE la suite 

http://www.lalibre.be/dernieres-depeches/afp/une-directrice-prend-la-tete-de-la-direction-du-renseignement-des-douanes-594ff583cd70530690d023a2

Par arrêté du ministre de l’action et des comptes publics en date du 19 juin 2017, Mme Corinne CLEOSTRATE, directrice des services douaniers de 1re classe, sous-directrice des droits indirects (sous-direction F) à la direction générale des douanes et droits indirects à Montreuil, est détachée, à compter du 1er juillet 2017, dans l’emploi d’administratrice générale des douanes et droits indirects à la direction nationale du renseignement et des enquêtes douanières (DNRED) à Ivry-sur-Seine, pour exercer les fonctions de directrice de la DNRED, en remplacement de M. Jean-Paul GARCIA.

lire aussi:

DOUANE FRANÇAISE: qui est Corinne Cleostrate, la nouvelle directrice de la DNRED? 

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PAYS BAS (Narcotrafic): les Bataves ont réussi à  devenir la plaque tournante européenne du trafic de drogues

Publié: 29 avril 2017 par Marc Fievet dans Aeronarcotrafic, Albanie, Alcool, Allemagne, Amphétamines, Balkans, BAN, Belgique, Blanchiment, Cannabis - Hachis - Haschich, CELTIC, Champignons hallucinogènes, Cocaïne, Cyberdouane, DEA (USA), DG de la Douane française, DNRED, Douane française, Drogues, Ecstasy / MDMA, Espagne, EUROPE, France, FSKN (Russie), GIBRALTAR, GRC - RCMP (Canada), Guardia di Finanza (Italie), Héroïne, HM Customs Excise (UK), Irlande, Italie, Khat, NARCOTRAFIC, Narcotrafic INFOS, Narcotrafic maritime, NS 55, Opium, Pays de transit, Pays producteurs, Pays-Bas, Précurseurs, Sardaigne, SERVICES ANTI-DROGUES, SERVICES ESPAGNOLS, SERVICES FRANCAIS, Suisse, SVA, Tabac - Cigarettes, TRACFIN
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Europol, l’organisme européen en matière de police, pointe le rôle majeur des trafiquants néerlandais dans la production, l’importation et l’écoulement de drogues dans l’UE.

 Cannabis, cocaïne, ecstasy ou autres drogues synthétiques, les Pays-Bas confirment leur place de plaque tournante du trafic de drogues en Europe sur toute la ligne. 

Selon l’état des lieux dressé par Europol, l’organisme européen regroupant les polices des États membres, dans son dernier rapport intitulé « la menace du crime organisé et de la grande criminalité liée au trafic de drogues », le royaume batave détient plusieurs records dans le domaine.

LIRE plus:

https://www.lesechos.fr/monde/europe/0211982325193-les-pays-bas-plaque-tournante-du-trafic-de-drogues-2080390.php

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Marc Fievet reçu par Yves Calvi pour la sortie du film Gibraltar

Ras le bol des constats chaque année plus accablants pour les régaliennes censées protéger la population des méfaits de la drogue sur les consommateurs mais aussi sur la population par la délinquance criminelle engendrée. 

Bientôt 30 ans que Marc Fievet, l’agent NS 55 de la DNRED, dénonce ces trafics et blanchiment sans qu’ aucune réaction efficace ne soit décidée.

Certes de réunions en colloques et autres concertations diverses, nos hauts fonctionnaires sont présents.

Certes on organise régulièrement des ententes cordiales pour montrer le savoir faire des différentes institutions participantes à  ce type d’actions…toujours conclues pat des gargarismes de satisfaction destinées à satisfaire le public, car même si les conditions climatiques étaient défavorables au point de bloquer les flottes maritimes et aériennes au sol, des comptes rendus dithyrambiques  des opérations sont pondus par des menteurs institutionnels.

Les couts de toutes ces mascarades, pour des résultats improbables, grèvent considérablement les budgets alloués aux forces de l’ordre en charge de cette problématique.

Il serait temps de revoir les nominations des hauts fonctionnaires qui dirigent nos services où seule la compétence devrait être prise en compte à l’exception de tous les paramètres qui actuellement définissent les parcours et postes à  occuper pour qu’une « carrière » soit « juteuse » et réussie.

Lire aussi: DOUANE INFO: la Hollande, l’autre pays… de la drogue…et c’est pas nouveau,  je le dénonçais déjà , avec preuves à l’appui,  dans les années 1990

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Pour avoir un aperçu de ces nouvelles tendances sur les marchés de la drogue en Europe, nous avons recueilli le point de vue de Andrew Cunnigham. Il dirige le service Marchés, crime et réduction de l’offre au sein de l’Observatoire européen des drogues et des toxicomanies (OEDT ou EMCDDA). Il estime que les mesures d’interdiction sont bénéfiques malgré les réserves que l’on peut émettre et souligne la mobilisation de l’Union européenne dans cette lutte contre les drogues.

Sophie Claudet, euronews :
“Le Royaume-Uni prévoit d’instaurer une interdiction sur ces nouveaux produits de synthèse en mai. Mais nous avons vu qu’en République d’Irlande, cette mesure n’a pas dissuadé les consommateurs, donc quel est l’intérêt d’une interdiction au final ?”

cunninghamAndrew Cunningham, de l’Observatoire européen des drogues et des toxicomanies :
“Je crois que la plupart du temps quand des pays mettent en place une législation de ce type comme l’Irlande et la Pologne avant elle, le principal objectif, c’est de retirer de la vente les nouvelles substances psychoactives. Dans ce cas précis, nous parlons d’interdire la vente libre des produits de synthèse légaux, de les retirer des magasins et des plateformes de vente en ligne. Donc les gens ne peuvent plus simplement se rendre dans un magasin pour acheter des substances psychoactives.”

“L’interdiction a un impact important”

Sophie Claudet :
“Vous dites qu’une interdiction a au minimum forcé ces magasins ou “head shops” à fermer ?”

Andrew Cunningham :
“Cela ne les a pas nécessairement fait fermer, mais cela les a certainement obligé à retirer ces produits de leurs rayons. Ce qui peut avoir un impact important quand on veut réduire les dommages qu’ils causent. Vous avez dit que cela n’avait pas dissuadé les consommateurs dans le modèle irlandais, mais on ne dispose pas d‘évaluation formelle de la législation de ce pays établissant quelles en sont les conséquences.”

Sophie Claudet :
“Dans notre reportage en Allemagne, on voit la police s’attaquer aux laboratoires qui produisent le crystal meth. Comment les organismes chargés d’appliquer la loi peuvent-ils mener la lutte sur internet ? On sait qu’on peut se procurer facilement les produits de synthèse légaux sur le web. Comment arrêter ça ? Est-ce une bataille perdue d’avance ?”

Système européen d’alerte précoce

Andrew Cunningham :
“Cela dépend de la situation légale et du cadre législatif dont la police dispose pour le type d’action qu’elle veut mener. Par exemple, si une substance en particulier n’est pas contrôlée dans un pays, alors ce sera très difficile pour un autre pays où cette substance est prohibée de demander au premier de faire fermer ses sites internet qui la vendent. Si sur place, le contrôle n’est pas fait, la législation de l’autre pays est impuissante.
Maintenant, au niveau européen, on a ce qu’on appelle le système d’alerte précoce sur les nouvelles substances psychoactives et l’un des aspects de ce système, c’est l‘échange d’informations entre les Etats membres de l’Union. Et quand on identifie des substances qui sont particulièrement néfastes, on peut prendre des mesures pour évaluer les risques et cela peut mener à des contrôles plus vastes à l‘échelle européenne sur cette substance-là. Dans ces circonstances, cela peut permettre la mise en place d’un échelon où les organismes chargés d’appliquer la loi peuvent échanger des données et lancer des initiatives communes…”

Sophie Claudet :
“Même sur internet ?”

Andrew Cunningham :
“Oui, contre les sites de vente en ligne, donc même sur internet et on a beaucoup d’exemples d’efforts internationaux où cela a fonctionné.”

http://fr.euronews.com/2016/04/29/vente-en-ligne-de-drogues-legales-les-actions-europeennes-ont-des-resultats/

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NARCOTRAFIC (The Golden Age of Drug Trafficking): How Meth, Cocaine, and Heroin Move Around the World

Publié: 26 avril 2016 par Marc Fievet dans 36, Aeronarcotrafic, Amphétamines, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service., BAN, Cannabis - Hachis - Haschich, Cocaïne, Customs and Border Protection, DEA (USA), DG de la Douane française, DNRED, Douane française, Drogues, FSKN (Russie), Gendarmerie, GRC - RCMP (Canada), Guardia Civil, Guardia di Finanza, Guardia di Finanza (Italie), Héroïne, HM Customs Excise (UK), NARCOTRAFIC, Narcotrafic INFOS, Narcotrafic maritime, OCRTIS, Pays de transit, Pays producteurs, Police, Policia, Précurseurs, SERVICES ANTI-DROGUES, SERVICES ESPAGNOLS, SERVICES FRANCAIS, SVA, TRACFIN
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onudc1By Keegan Hamilton

Diplomats and top officials from governments around the world gathered last week at United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss what to do about the global drug problem. Over the course of four days and multiple discussions, the assembled dignitaries vowed to take a more comprehensive approach to the issue than in years past — but they also decided to keep waging the war on drugs.

The « outcome document » adopted during the UN General Assembly’s special session (UNGASS) calls for countries to « prevent and counter » drug-related crime by disrupting the « illicit cultivation, production, manufacturing, and trafficking » of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other substances banned by international law. The document also reaffirmed the UN’s « unwavering commitment » to « supply reduction and related measures. »

Yet according to the UN’s own data, the supply-oriented approach to fighting drug trafficking has been a failure of epic proportions. Last May, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued its 2015 World Drug Report, which shows that — despite billions of dollars spent trying to eradicate illicit crops, seize drug loads, and arrest traffickers — more people than ever before are getting high.

READ: https://news.vice.com/article/drug-trafficking-meth-cocaine-heroin-global-drug-smuggling

READ: https://news.vice.com/article/drug-trafficking-meth-cocaine-heroin-global-drug-smuggling

READ: https://news.vice.com/article/drug-trafficking-meth-cocaine-heroin-global-drug-smuggling

READ: https://news.vice.com/article/drug-trafficking-meth-cocaine-heroin-global-drug-smuggling

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Drogue, guerre et terrorisme

Roland Lombardi, consultant indépendant, associé au groupe d’analyse de JFC Conseil

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La Méditerranée et le Moyen-Orient ont toujours été le théâtre des trafics de drogues et des économies souterraines. N’oublions pas que dans le passé, mais encore aujourd’hui, la Turquie, le Liban et l’Afghanistan ont toujours fait partie des plaques tournantes importantes du trafic des stupéfiants.

En temps de crise et de guerre, ces trafics se développent d’autant plus. Economies de guerre et économies de la drogue ont en effet une longue histoire commune dans la région comme ailleurs… Il y a donc de fortes synergies entre les économies de guerre civile et les économies de la drogue. Par exemple, le trafic de haschich (entre autres) a explosé au Liban durant la guerre civile dans les années 1970-1980. En effet, les milices de tout bord, quelles que soient leur appartenance religieuse, politique, sociale et idéologique se sont rapidement accoquinées avec des caïds locaux pour se lancer dans le trafic de drogue. Cette activité criminelle s’est même développée et organisée sur une vaste échelle, sur le plan local mais aussi sur le plan international. Toutes les forces en présence sur le territoire libanais, toutes sans exception, y trouvèrent leur compte. Représentant des sommes mirobolantes, la drogue était un moyen de financement des plus lucratifs. A un moment donné, chacune des milices pouvait facilement se passer des aides et des subventions en armes et en argent des pays « parrains ». Ce trafic avait son propre budget qui pouvait alors se chiffrer en centaines de millions voire en milliards de dollars pour certains groupes.

-L’exemple de l’Afghanistan : Les talibans et Al-Qaïda avec les trafics de stupéfiants-Daesh et le captagon

-Légaliser les drogues douces est une mauvaise solution

-Trafic de drogue et terrorisme

 

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ELEVENTH MEETING OF HONLEA, EUROPE

PHOTO: http://diplomatie.belgium.be/fr/Newsroom/actualites/communiques_de_presse/affaires_etrangeres/2015/06/ni_220615_honlea.jsp

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BRUXELLES, 22 juin (Xinhua) — Les chefs des agences de lutte contre la drogue de la région européenne (HONLEA Europe) se sont réunis lundi à Bruxelles, capitale de la Belgique.

La réunion a été ouverte lundi matin par le ministre belge de la Justice Koen Geens, qui a souligné les efforts des parquets dans la lutte contre la production et le commerce de stupéfiants.

La réunion, qui rassemble une centaine de participants venus de la grande région européenne, prendra fin le jeudi 25 juin.

L’organisation de la réunion montre la « bonne » coopération entre les différents services administratifs chargés de la politique internationale en matière de drogue, a indiqué dans un communiqué le ministère belge des Affaires étrangères.

Le HONLEA (Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies) est un organe de l’Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime. Cette organisation promeut la coopération internationale sur le plan des politique de lutte contre les stupéfiants et le crime organisé.

L’Organisation des Nations Unies reconnaît l’expertise belge dans la lutte contre la drogue, selon le communiqué.

source: http://french.xinhuanet.com/2015-06/23/c_134346875.htm

>>> COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE (F/N/E) : La rencontre internationale des organismes nationaux de lutte contre la drogue commence à Bruxelles –
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ELEVENTH MEETING OF HONLEA, EUROPE

22 to 25 June 2015, Brussels, Belgium

The Eleventh meeting of the Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA), Europe will take place in Brussels, from 22-25 June 2015.

The meeting is expected to discuss the current situation with respect to regional and subregional cooperation, trends in drug trafficking as well as practical measures taken in the implementation of recommendations that were adopted by the Tenth HONLEA Europe meeting in 2013.

In addition, the meeting will include four working groups of an operational nature on a variety of the most pertinent issues to the region, including on Airport Communication Project, container control, NPS and money-laundering. To underscore the practical and operational nature of the Eleventh meeting of the HONLEA Europe, the Belgian authorities are also organizing a field visit to the Port of Antwerp, during which participants will be invited to address major challenges and effective responses to drug trafficking using sea containers and to share their experiences with national customs and federal police officers and representatives of the private sector.

            

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TERRORISM

Designing a long-term strategy and implementing effective policies to successfully deal with radical Islam on Western soil can no longer be delayed. In the immediate future, strong rule of law nations must deal with enemies within our midst which are facilitating:

1) Terrorism financing.
2) Weapons supply.
3) Terrorists crossing borders.

In each of these areas, the Balkan region and the perilous Balkan Route continue to play a major role.

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Radical Islamists brutally killed 17 individuals in the twin Paris attacks. The UK’s Telegraph reported on January 11 that the Paris state prosecutors’ office believed that firearms used by Charlie Hebdo attackers likely came from the Balkans: « Police estimates suggest that there are over 4,000 military-grade weapons from the former Yugoslavia in France. » French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud recapitulated with Bret Baier at Fox News’ Washington, DC, studios on January 14, « Now, weapons in Europe are coming from the Balkans – lots of Kalashnikovs. »

Terrorism Financing

An earlier piece on FATCA shed light on money laundering via Austria and Liechtenstein’s banking and corporate entities, and organized crime networks in the Balkans. The Balkan Route’s heroin, arms, human and organ trafficking merges with cocaine trafficking coming from Latin America. Reports indicate that Balkan heroin trafficking brings in more than $20 billion proceeds annually, providing financing for Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

The Balkan Route originates in Afghanistan, where 75% of the world opium is produced (and trafficked via Iran, Turkey, and the countries of the Balkans to Western Europe).

In 2006, US Embassy cable stated, « Heroin from the Middle East transits Albania and Kosovo, crossing Montenegro before being transported further into Western Europe. »

In June 2014, the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) issued the statement of concern regarding deficiencies in the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in Bosnia and Herzegovina – placing it on the watch list together with North Korea and Iran.

Weapons Supply

On January 11, 2015, an AP report stated, « …[I]t is relatively easy for terrorists with underworld connections to obtain heavy weapons on the black market, particularly in the Balkan countries of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia. »

EUROPOL’s Organised Crime Threat Assessment from 2011, reported on military grade arms which are trafficked from the Western Balkans and pose the EU’s internal security threat, « The figure of 4 million unregistered illegal war firearms in the Balkans is well-known and remains deeply worrying. »

Croatia was selling arms to Syria via Jordan in 2013. The unanswered questions remained: Where did all these arms come from, to whom were they sold, and, who got the proceeds from the sales?

A relevant US Embassy cable from 2007 reported:  » … several groups in Montenegro that deal mainly in drugs and arms smuggling are connected with criminals from neighboring countries, Western Europe and South America. »

Border Crossing

Although we assume that the Balkan Route operations are driven primarily by financial gain and radical Islam by ideology, in the areas of arms and drugs trafficking, the distinction between organized crime, mafia states, terrorism financing and radical Islam becomes blurred.

2015-01-17-BalkanHeroinRoute.jpg

With the Balkan Route operators able to cross the borders and maneuver unobstructed, the same porousness of the Balkan borders allow radical Islamists to use land routes to travel from the Middle East to Europe. They may even get an official passport en route.

In the arrest of several Balkan criminals in Spain in February 2012, each of them possessed official Croatian passport. Further investigations led directly to Croatia’s Ministry of Interior and a record of illegal sale of passports since 2006. This corruption has emboldened Balkan criminals to run an international criminal enterprise and the Balkan Cocaine Ring with direct access to the EU. No senior level official was held responsible in Croatia. Tomislav Karamarko who was at the helm of Croatia’s Ministry of Interior from 2008 to 2011, and formerly senior official in intelligence structures, is now the head of Croatia’s HDZ political party.

Today, organized crime coexists with political corruption in the Balkans, and what allows both to flourish is the absence of the rule of law, parlous state of the judiciaries and the significant money laundering facilitated by Western financial institutions, primarily Austria’s and Liechtenstein’s. Corrupt political establishments in the Balkans control the judiciary, intelligence, police, economy and the media, and have ties to organized crime.

The scale of political corruption in the countries lying on the Balkan Route can be seen from the extent of illicit financial outflows via crime, corruption and tax evasion that hemorrhaged the treasuries of these countries. Based on the report by Washington, DC, based Global Financial Integrity (GFI), $111.6 billion left the Balkans via illicit financial outflows during the period 2001-2010. Illicit financial outflows do not include cash transactions.

Why did NATO allow unreformed countries of Albania and Croatia into a club of « rule of law » nations in 2009 and Romania and Bulgaria in 2004? Despite Adriatic Institute’s warnings about Croatia, the EU closed its eyes to organized crime and colossal corruption in Croatia. Croatia prematurely became a NATO member and consequently an EU member without having the foundations of the rule of law and an independent judiciary.

In his book, « To End a War », the late Richard Holbrook, an author and US diplomat, who was involved in brokering the Balkan peace deal in 1995, clearly understood the realities on the ground when he stated:

« Yugoslavia’s tragedy was not foreordained. It was the product of bad, even criminal, political leaders who encouraged ethnic confrontation for personal, political, and financial gain. Rather than tackle the concrete problems of governance in post-Tito era, they led their people into war. »

Today, the same breed of « bad, even criminal political leaders » of the Balkans and money launderers in the West could care less about radical Islamism, Western values, the rule of law, liberty and freedom of speech as long as they can protect their amassed illicit enrichment and gain personal, political and financial gain.

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 La plage d'Ostende, sur la côte belge

March 3, 2015 | 8:40 pm

Authorities in Belgium pulled in a massive catch on Saturday after they recovered a ton of cocaine that was spotted floating 15 miles off the Belgian port of Ostend in the North Sea.

A pilot boat that transports personnel to and from ships noticed duffel bags laden with 16 sealed packages containing the drug while conducting maneuvers in the area. Maritime police used a tugboat with a crane to collect the contraband bring it ashore. The investigation has since been handed over to the prosecutor in Bruges.

The loot weighed in at more than 2,100 pounds and has an estimated street value of 50 million euros ($56 million). To evade customs, smugglers have been increasingly tossing illegal goods over the sides of shipping vessels to be retrieved by accomplices trailing behind. This is the third such discovery in recent weeks — 2,650 pounds of cocaine were found in the sea in December, along with another 1,770 pounds in January.

« As the chance of getting caught in the ports increases, criminals are trying out other, sometimes novel, methods in order to avoid the classic controls, » Belgian magistrate Ken Witmas remarked to local newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. « More and more traffickers are trying it and this is a growing phenomenon with us. »

The « queen of Belgian seaside resorts, » as Ostend is affectionately known in Belgium, has become a transit point for French dealers who go there to buy drugs smuggled in from the Netherlands.

Former undercover French customs officer Marc Fiévet infiltrated several major international drug rings during his time in the field, during which he developed close knowledge of their distribution methods.

READ + https://news.vice.com/article/a-ton-of-cocaine-seen-floating-at-sea-collected-off-coast-of-belgium

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Drugs baron who lived a life of luxury is jailed for 25 years after he fled to Morocco in his Bentley

John Clark

A drugs baron who led a luxury lifestyle before fleeing across Europe in his Bentley Continental as his criminal empire collapsed has been jailed for 25 years.

John Clark was the ‘head of a drug dealing enterprise’ supplying drugs around Bury and ran the operation from his luxury properties in Spain and other parts of Europe.

Clark ‘enjoyed a very high level of luxury’ with ‘beautiful homes, designer clothes and expensive cars’, Bolton Crown Court heard.

The scale of the drugs empire stretched from Scotland to Merseyside, London and Lincolnshire and involved the importation of vast amounts of cocaine, heroin and amphetamines from the continent.

The 36-year-old travelled to Morocco through France and Tenerife after operations by the Greater Manchester Police Serious Organised Crime Group and National Crime Agency closed in on the Clark-led gang.

He was arrested four months after a warrant was issued and then spent 10 months in a Moroccan prison before being extradited back to the UK.

Father-of-two Clark, of Edgeside Lane, Waterfoot, Rossendale, pleaded guilty to money laundering and eight counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

He was jailed for a total of 25 years and banned from travelling abroad for 10 years upon release.

Sentencing, Judge Timothy Clayson said: “You were the head of this drug-dealing enterprise. You played a leading role and were responsible for the activities within it.

“You enjoyed a very high level of luxury in your life with beautiful houses, rental properties, dressing in designer clothes and owning expensive cars.

“The organisation was highly professional with regular dumping of mobile phones shortly after any successful police seizures. But that didn’t slow down or stop your illegal activities.

“The group had important connections oversees to organisations of a similar kind and you travelled abroad and were in frequent contact with those involved.

“There are no evidence of weapons having any part in your offending. You spent 10 months in prison in Morocco in very bad conditions but that consequence is entirely your own fault.”

John Clark drug empire gallery

Clarke’s first encounter with police was in May 2012 when his ‘rather magnificent’ £1.2 million Waterfoot farm home was raided as part of an National Crime Agency probe into members of a Birmingham-based money laundering gang who had been transferring money overseas for Clark and other UK drug traffickers.

Emma Whaites, prosecuting, previously told the court how they discovered a notebook which was a ‘coded document’ monitoring numerous financial transactions and payment of debts from monies generated by the sale of drugs.

It also contained a record of money movements totalling more than £1.3m with nearly £700,000 being accrued in just five days.

Judge Clayson said the ledger recorded details of handling and transferring very large amounts of money and the ‘overwhelming majority of transactions refer to monies moving through your hands from class-A drug dealing’.

Miss Whaites said Clark was the ‘overall head of the entire operation’ and controlled others under his command ‘at a distance’ who in turn controlled other ‘trusted middle-men and facilitators’.

Drugs were imported from the continent and in just one shipment in December 2012 around 25kg of cocaine was transported from Holland to North Wales worth a street value of £7m.

The court heard how Clark also oversaw a deal involving £500,000 of amphetamines in the Bury area.

A search warrant was also executed at a house in Ramsbottom in January 2013 where just under £2m of heroin and £914,000 worth of amphetamines were recovered.

In the same month officers also intercepted a car travelling to Liverpool with 10kg of heroin worth around £1m.

Detectives also later found a financial ‘ledger’ recording cash deposits and illegal transactions between March 2012 and January 2013 totalling around £11.25m.

Clark was due to appear for trial at Birmingham Crown Court in April this year however when he failed to attend an earlier hearing a warrant was issued for his arrest in February.

Miss Whaites told the court how Clark had left the country in January and was later arrested in Morocco after an international search warrant was issued ‘having made no attempt to surrender to the authorities.’

She said it was a ‘long drawn out procedure to trace and locate him’ and involved nearly 500 man hours.

The court heard how in December 2009 Clark bought a £65,000 Range Rover Sport paying £22,000 in cash and in March 2012 bought an Audi RS3 worth £44,000.

The next month he bought a £120,000 Audi R8 Spyder and then part exchanged a Mercedes vehicle paying £115,000 in cash and bank transfers.

John Clark’s £65k Range Rover Sport

Hugh Barton, defending, previously told the court how Clark lived in ‘appalling conditions’ in a Moroccan jail and shared a cell with up to 60 other inmates.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Detective Inspector Lee Griffin, of GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group, said: “Clark sat at the head of a sophisticated, well-connected network of drugs dealers, the tentacles of which reached across the UK and into mainland Europe.

“Most of the gang enjoyed the trappings of wealth that most hard-working people can only imagine, but they would have known from the start that even the biggest empires can crumble.

“The scale of their operation makes for truly alarming reading – £11m worth of deals in just nine months, a number of properties across Europe and the types of cars associated with international playboys.

“However, all of this was built on selling harmful, illegal drugs on the streets of the UK. The corroding effects of class-A drugs on families, communities and the wider society are well documented, and each and every one of these people knew it.

“I hope today’s result, which is the culmination of excellent joint working between ourselves and the NCA, sends out a significant message to anyone involved in supplying drugs. No matter how sophisticated you think you are, justice will always catch up with you in the end.”

Superintendent Karan Lee, based at Bury, said: “On behalf of the communities and partnerships in Bury, I applaud today’s judgements.

“We will continue to work together to eradicate Organised Crime groups and rid our town of those that wish to benefit from preying on decent and law abiding citizens.”

Jim Cook, lead investigator for the National Crime Agency, said: “Drug traffickers need to launder their profits but doing it can be their Achilles heel. By getting between them and their money they are unable to fund their lifestyles or invest in further drug deals.

“After we seized his drug money Clark realised the law enforcement net was tightening. He went on the run but we were able to track him down and return him to the UK to face justice.

“Clark’s lavish lifestyle is over. Not only has he been deprived off his freedom, he now faces losing his criminal assets. We have restrained nine properties so far including his luxury multi-million pound family home. Our financial investigation is ongoing.”

Eight other people involved in the gang have already been jailed for a total of 88 years and two months.

Malcolm Tidyman, aged 35, of Tunstall Close, Bury, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and other drug related offences and was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment

David Green, aged 44, of Derby Court, Bury, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and various other drugs related offences and was sentenced to 13 years four months.

Brian Fletcher, aged 33, of Denton Street, Bury, was convicted of conspiracy to supply drugs following a trial and sentenced to 16 years.

Andrew Hodson, aged 42, of Marsh House Lane, Darwen pleaded guilty to a number of offences in relation to the supply of drugs and was sentenced to 13 years, six months.

Philippe Theodoor De-Gest, aged 31 of Molenstraat, Hoeselt, Belgium pleaded guilty to the importation of 25 kilos of cocaine and was sentenced to nine years

Phillip Randles, aged 50, of Brandearth Hey, Liverpool pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply and was sentenced to seven years.

Melanie Humphries, aged 42, of Orchid Drive, Bury, was convicted of a number of drug offences following a trial and sentenced to nine years.

James Hawthorn, aged 37, of West Whitby Street, Glasgow. pleaded guilty to possession of 50 kilos of amphetamine and was sentenced to four years and four months.

SOURCE: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/drugs-baron-who-lived-life-8028589

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