HAGUE: Police arrested dozens of suspected mobsters in Europe & South America today in a huge international swoop targeting Italy’s notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan.
Nearly 90 people including high-ranking members of the powerful organised crime syndicate accused of drug trafficking and money laundering were arrested in coordinated raids in six countries, EU justice agency Eurojust said.
The “unprecedented” crackdown on the group based in Calabria, southern Italy, came just a day after Italian police arrested the new boss of the separate Sicilian mafia.
Hundreds of police took part in Wednesday’s operation, seizing four tonnes of cocaine, 120 kilos of ecstasy and two million euros (dollars) in cash across Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Suriname.
“Today, we send a clear message to organized crime groups across Europe,” Filippo Spiezia, vice president of the EU’s judicial agency Eurojust, told reporters in The Hague.
“They are not the only ones able to operate across borders; so are Europe’s judiciary and law enforcement communities.”
He said the “unprecedented and extraordinary result”, the fruit of a two-year operation, targeted “dangerous members of the ‘Ndrangheta family deeply involved in drug trafficking and money laundering”.
The ‘Ndrangheta – which derives its meaning from the Greek word for heroism — is made up of numerous village and family-based clans in Calabria, the rural, mountainous and under-developed “toe” of Italy’s boot.
Despite intense police attention and frequent arrests, the organization has continued to extend its reach.
It has surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra in influence thanks to control of the cocaine trade and is the sole mafia organization to operate on all continents, according to anti-mafia prosecutors.
Officials hailed Wednesday’s operation — dubbed “Operation Pollina” — as a serious blow to the group.
In total 41 people were arrested in Italy, 21 in Germany, 14 in Belgium, five in the Netherlands and two in Luxembourg, with operations still underway, Eurojust said.
Italian police said the sweep targeted the ‘Ndrangheta and its “projections across South America”.
Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho said the operations would affect the ‘Ndrangheta’s drug trafficking operations around the world, including Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil.
Two bankers nabbed for Rs.100m fraud
AMMAR AHMED KHAN
BAHAWALPUR: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has taken into custody two bank officials allegedly involved in Rs. 100m fraud.
According to details the duo [Azhar Nadeem Ansari (operation manager) and Ikramul Haq (ex-operation manager) of the Habib Bank’s Quaid-e-Azam Medical College (QAMC) branch] were nabbed from court premises after their plea for confirmation of bail before the arrest was rejected by the Bahawalpur bench of the Lahore High Court.
Ansari and Ikram were allegedly involved in a case of Rs. 100m embezzlement in the amount of salaries of the employees, including doctors of the Civil Hospital. The ACE had registered an FIR against 11 suspects, including the two bank officials a couple of years ago.
Both officials had got interim bail before arrest while their plea for its confirmation was dismissed by the court after the ACE officials opposed the grant of relief. The ACE officials said they had to recover the allegedly embezzled amount from the bank officials and deposit it with the exchequer.
Terrorism: Military courts finalize cases of 546 accused
RAWALPINDI: Since the establishment of military courts cases of 717 accused terrorists were sent to them by the federal government and out of these 546 cases have been finalized.
According to the details issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday out of the 546 finalized cases, 310 terrorists were awarded death penalty while 234 were awarded rigorous imprisonment of varied duration, ranging from life imprisonment to a minimum duration of five years.
Two accused were also acquitted. Out of 310 sentenced to death, 56 terrorists have been executed after completion of legal process beyond military courts decisions, which included their appeal in superior civil courts and rejection of their mercy petition both by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the President of Pakistan.
Execution of death sentence of the remaining 254 terrorists is pending, completion of the legal process in the higher courts.
Those who have been awarded death penalty included masterminds, executors and abettors/facilitators of, inter alia, following major terrorist incidents:
1. Army Public School (APS) Peshawar attack of 16 December 2014
(five terrorists executed).
2. Marriot Islamabad terrorist attack, September 2008.
3. Parade Lane terrorist attack, December 2009.
4. Attack on Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) office Multan,
5. The terrorist attack on four Special Services Group (SSG) soldiers,
including two officers, April 2009 (one terrorist executed).
6. Attack on ISI office Sukker, November 2010.
7. Bannu Jail Break, April 2012 (one terrorist executed).
8. Mastung Sectarian terrorist attack, April 2012.
9. Killing of Foreigners in Nanga Parbat, June 2013.
10. Terrorist attack on civilian and security officials at
Chalas, August 2013.
11. Terrorist attack on SSP Chaudhary Aslam, January 2014.
12. Karachi Airport attack, June 2014.
13. Terrorists’ attack on Ms Sabin Mehmood, April 2015.
14. Terrorists’ attack Safora Ghot Karachi, May 2015.
15. Bacha Khan University attack, January 2016.
16. Terrorist attack on Amjad Sabri, June 2016.
Fake ‘amil’ makes brothers bury their sister alive!
Ammar Ahmed Khan
TAXILA: On the instructions of a fake faith-healer two brothers killed their mentally sick sister in order to get the house rid of evil.
Shabana, 38, and a resident of Banni Mohallah near Christian Hospital had not been seen since 4th of Dec. Her elder brother, Mohammad Imran, who lives separately, lodged a complaint with the police about his sister’s unexplained disappearance. On Friday, the victim’s mother called her brother, Abdul Lateef, saying she had been locked in a room by her two sons, Mohammad Farhan and Mohammad Kamran, and that she had managed to break out of the room.
Abdul Lateef came to his sister’s aid and also informed his nephew, Mohammad Imran. The victim’s mother told her brother and son that her daughter had been buried alive in the well in the house. Imran then informed the local police about the crime. Rescue 1122 was called to retrieve the body but the operation was abandoned when the oxygen supply was exhausted and it got dark.
Rescue 1122 officer Adeel Ahmed said the operation will resume on Saturday after more oxygen cylinders are brought in. Investigation Officer Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammad Shahzad told media persons that both the suspects were taken into custody. He said the two brothers had confessed to killing their sister on the directives of the local spiritual healer, who had told them that evil forces have descended on her which also affected their family. The spiritual healer had advised they kill her in order to rid the family of evil forces.
A case will be registered against the suspects after the body is recovered. Another case in which a lack of knowledge destroys a life, even consultation with an amateur in the medical field could have prevented such a tragedy.