Tag Archives: organized crime legal news

Italian Mafia fugitive on run for 20 years caught after being spotted on Google Maps

Police have caught an Italian mafia henchman after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.

According to the Telegraph, Gioacchino Gammino was convicted of murder and then escaped from prison 20 years ago before ending up in Spain.

He thought he’d escaped the clutches of detectives after nearly two decades on the run – but eagle-eyed cops were able to track him down.

Gammino, 60, was living the quiet life in Spain, where he had set up a fruit and vegetable shop under a false name, the Telegraph reports.

However, detectives were hot on the trail and managed to confirm his whereabouts using images on Google Maps.

A snap of the criminal available on the tool’s Street View feature shows him outside a grocery shop in the town of Galapagar north of Madrid.

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Americans Chasing Down Trump’s Wild Election Conspiracy Snuck into a Mafia Prison in Italy

The Italian bureau of prisons has launched an investigation into how two Americans were able to gain access to a high-security Italian prison to terrify a convicted hacker.

ROME—One of QAnon’s wildest conspiracy theories claimed that the U.S. presidential election had been stolen from Donald Trump with the help of two small-time Italian hackers who had somehow hijacked a satellite in order to change the results being counted on American voting machines.

It is now clear that this bizarro theory was not confined to the darker corners of the QAnon conspiracy network. The power of the U.S. State Department may have been pushed into action trying to prove that this was how President Biden stole the election.

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The ultra-violent cult that became a global mafia

A two-year BBC investigation into Black Axe – a Nigerian student fraternity which evolved into a dreaded mafia-group – has unearthed new evidence of infiltration of politics, and a scamming and killing operation spanning the globe.

Warning: Contains detailed graphic accounts of violence

During quiet moments, after he has finished lecturing for the day, Dr John Stone has flashbacks. It’s not the blood or the sound of the gunshots that haunt him. It’s the begging. The way people beg for mercy when they die. Begging him. Begging God.

“It’s so painful,” he says, shaking his head with a shudder. “The families of the dead, they will curse you. A curse will be upon your life.”

Dr Stone teaches political science at the University of Benin, in southern Nigeria. But for decades he was a senior member of Black Axe – a Nigerian mafia-style gang tied to human trafficking, internet fraud and murder. Locally, Black Axe are referred to as a “cult,” a nod to their secret initiation rituals and the intense loyalty of their members. They are also infamous for extreme violence. Images of those who cross their path – dead bodies mutilated or showing signs of torture – regularly surface on Nigerian social media.

Dr Stone admits he took part in atrocities during his years as an “Axeman”. At one point during our interview, recalling the most efficient means of killing, he leaned forward, squeezed his fingers into the shape of a gun and pushed them to the forehead of our producer. In Benin City, he was known as “a butcher”.

John Stone
Image caption,Dr Stone, a former Axeman, is now a vocal critic of the gang

The horror of these years has scarred him. Today, Dr Stone is remorseful for his past and a vocal critic of the gang he once served. He is one of a dozen Black Axe sources who have decided to break their oaths of silence and reveal their secrets to the BBC, speaking to international media for the first time.

For two years BBC Africa Eye has been investigating Black Axe, building a network of whistle-blowers, and uncovering several thousand secret documents – leaked from the gang’s private communications. The findings suggest that over the past decade, Black Axe has become one of the most far-reaching and dangerous organised crime groups in the world.

In Africa, Europe, Asia and North America, Axemen are in our midst. You may even have an email from them in your inbox.

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Our investigation began with a death threat – a spidery, hand-written letter, delivered to a BBC journalist in 2018. It was dropped by a motorbike rider on to the windscreen of the reporter’s car. Weeks earlier, the journalist had been digging into the illegal opioid trade in Nigeria and had met a number of Black Axe members face to face. Later, a second letter was handed to the man’s family. Someone had been tracking him and had found his home.

Did the threat come from Black Axe? How powerful is this crime network, and who is behind it?

Our search for answers led us to a man who claimed he had hacked tens of thousands of secret Black Axe documents – a huge cache of private communications, from hundreds of suspected members. The messages, which span 2009 to 2019, include communications about murder and drug smuggling. Emails detail elaborate and lucrative internet fraud. Messages plan global expansion. It was a mosaic of Black Axe criminal activity spanning four continents.

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Investigators hunting for mafia-linked union boss Jimmy Hoffa – whose 1975 disappearance featured in The Irishman – dig up a New Jersey landfill

  • Hoffa was 62 when he vanished after a restaurant meeting on the outskirts of Detroit in July 1975, and his body has never been found
  • His death is widely believed to have been ordered by Anthony Provenzano, a capo with the Genovese crime family and head of a New Jersey teamsters union
  • The search for Hoffa has seen multiple sites dug up over the decades, mainly in the Detroit area
  • Several rumors over the years have also pointed to New Jersey locations but nothing has ever been confirmed
  • In 2019 a dying former worker on a landfill in Jersey City said that his father, in 2008, told him he was given Hoffa’s body and told to bury it
  • On October 25 and 26 this year FBI teams from Detroit and Newark dug part of the former landfill site in the hunt for steel barrels 
  • The FBI has not discussed their findings but finding Hoffa’s remains would end a mystery 46-years in the making 

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Nigerian Mafia Use Venezuelan Drug Mules to Reach Europe

A Nigerian trafficking network is now using “mules” to move drugs from South America to Europe, exemplifying how this growing drug consumer market is drawing mafias from around the world to the Americas.

A recent report by the Investigative Rebel Alliance (Alianza Rebelde Investigativa – ARI) zeroed in on the arrest of two Venezuelan citizens who had carried hundreds of capsules of cocaine into France in early 2020. This would have been just one of many cases of Venezuelans being used as drug mules by Colombian or Brazilian criminal groups, except for one striking difference. This time, the drug traffickers were Nigerian.

The ARI report broke down how Nigerian mafias have become a small, yet growing player in South America’s drug trafficking scene. This network uses Venezuelans as drug mules to carry cocaine to France, leaving from Brazil, Suriname and French Guiana.

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