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COURTS HELPING BANKS SCREW OVER HOMEOWNERS

Big article in Rolling Stone alleging wholesale fraud in Florida in foreclosure actions against homeowners. Big banks named. Shocking. UK next? ….watch this space

READING THE RIOTS

Guardian and LSE team up to publish research on the UK riots.

JAPAN PROBES POSSIBLE OLYMPUS ORGANIZED CRIME LINKS

A unit from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s organized crime division has joined an investigation into an accounting scam at Japan’s disgraced Olympus Corp, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, in a sign that the scandal could widen.

THE RULE OF LAW IN KOSOVO: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? – ANALYSIS

EULEX, the European Union’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, is unique in both scale and ambition; greater in size than all other EU operations put together.
Mandated to not only assist Kosovo’s own legal institutions in the fair and proper application of the law, EULEX has the power – on paper – to also independently investigate and prosecute serious cases of organised crime, corruption and war crimes.

BALKANS: ORGAN TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION BEGINS AMID MIXED EXPECTATIONS

The investigation into Council of Europe allegations that the Albanian KLA extracted and traded human organs began amid hopes for justice to be served, but many Serbs are doubtful.

The EU Task Force — led by US prosecutor Clint Williamson — launched its investigation last week into allegations made by CoE rapporteur Dick Marty’s report that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) extracted and traded human organs of Serbian and Albanian civilians

WEEKLY PIRACY REPORT

All courtesy of Monty, including the following codicil to the website linked above

The instructive case of the MV Blida
The case of the recently released MV Blida has caused a fair bit of fallout among pirates, and according to our publisher Robert Young Pelton, it once again shows the business model of the pirates is under real strain.

The ransom has created a major rift among the group of pirates lead by Garaad, according to pirates and local residents. Pirate Mohamed Ahmed said that the low ransom of $2.6 million received means the pirate group cannot repay all their investors and suppliers who supported the operation for nearly a year.

“When this group got the ransom, leaders began to cheat other pirates. Garaad and his negotiator and translator, Loyaan, took the most money. Garaad, the investor, got $600,000 ransom and Loyaan got $120,000. That is their normal percentage, but there are 57 others that need to be paid for their work on the Blida,” Ahmed told Somalia Report. “Garaad is now in Galkayo but he uses different phones. His friends can’t find him and this is causing a major clash among the group.”

There was all kinds of mayhem during the negotiations over the MV Blida, with the pirates changing negotiators and reneging on an initial deal before finally agreeing to take the money.

In the article linked above, Robert argues that the risk-to-reward ratio for pirates is increasingly close to collapse due to longer times between hijack and release and thus higher costs for the pirates, the costs of running vessels out to sea only to find it is getting harder to capture merchant vessels, and pressure from the Puntland authorities on the pirates on land. The consequences of these factors are likely to be worse treatment for captives as the pirates attempt to speed up negotiations, and a further focus on grabbing land-based hostages, such as the Danish and US aid workers.

RISE IN USE OF COCAINE HAS PEAKED, SAYS EU DRUG AGENCY REPORT

ECDDA Report published later this week. UK still biggest cocaine user, but levels not increasing. May need reading in association with the criticisms for the Statistics Agency of recent imaginative presentation of figures by the Home Office!

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