Plans for new and improved cybercrime reporting system already in motion
City of London police have committed to replacing the dysfunctional Action Fraud reporting service with a more holistic and advanced system. A specialised cybercrime unit, run by the National Crime Agency (NCA), will also be set up to analyse and investigate the most serious and complex cybercrime cases.
The announcement is a response to the findings of a Home Office report into the policing of fraud in the UK, published in January 2020. The report concurred with the damning revelations of a 2019 undercover investigation by The Times into the conduct of call centre staff manning the out-sourced online and telephone fraud hotline.
The newspaper found that only one in every 200 officers were assigned to investigating fraud and just one in 50 call-ins led to successful police action. The undercover reporter also found that the staff were trained to mislead fraud victims into believing their cases would be investigated when most weren’t, and held contemptuous views of many victims, referring to some of them as “morons” and “psychos”.
There are also plans to expand and improve the National Economic Crime Victim Care Unit.
Read more on this story at The Times.
Economic hardship makes Mexico’s fishing communities vulnerable to coercion by drug cartels
Mexico’s Naval Secretariat, SEMAR, reports that dangerous and powerful drug cartels in the country, such as the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, are contracting smaller gangs in the country’s southern, coastal states to retrieve cocaine smuggled by sea from Colombia and Ecuador.
The complex operations are carried out in three stages. Firstly, big gangs (cartels) contract the retrieval of their drugs to smaller gangs operating on the coast. Secondly, these gangs set up fake fishing cooperatives in rural fishing communities, and thirdly, local fishermen are sub-contracted to retrieve the drugs at sea, usually in shark-fishing vessels and ‘go-fast’ boats. Alternatively, locals are bribed to act as lookouts to warn the smugglers of navy patrols.
The marginalised fishing communities of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero are economically pressed, and therefore vulnerable to the temptations of big payoffs for their illegal work. While not the only region of the world where the maritime industry is used for criminal activity, the region’s many fishing communities and thousands of registered fishing vessels make it a prime target for drug cartels.
Read more on this story in Insight Crime.
PayPal teams up with anti-hate crime NGO to analyse online financing of American extremist groups
The global online payments company, trading as PayPal Holdings Inc, is collaborating with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to study, analyse and disrupt the financial support of extremist organisations and hate groups in the USA using online platforms.
The joint initiative was announced on Monday and will be led by the ADL’s Centre on Extremism. The aim is to build on the systems PayPal has developed in recent years which are designed to combat illegal activity and illicit cash flows using its platform. The information collected will be openly shared with all role-players in the financial sector as well as law enforcement agencies and policy makers in government.
The partnership builds on PayPal’s partnership with Polaris last year, which focussed on combating Human Trafficking.
PayPal’s Chief Risk Officer said “We’re hoping to have impact on fighting hatred and extremism, which sadly seems to be surging in society across the globe.” ADL Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Greenblatt, added that “With this new initiative, we're setting a new standard for companies to bring their expertise to critical social issues.”
Read more on this story in Reuters.
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