Panama Covid-19 update – 260 new cases reported today and 3 new fatalities.
2 MAY 2021
SPAIN BUSTS GANG SMUGGLING 7 TONNES OF HASHISH
On 2 May, Deutsche Welle reported that that 3 people have been arrested in one of Spain’s largest drug busts this year. Investigators said the gang’s tug could traverse the Mediterranean in bad weather to transport the hashish. The gang had apparently set up a front business in the southern Spanish town of Huelva and used it to run their operations.
THE GANGS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA
On 30 April, Al Jazeera published an article and 26-minute video exploring the violent underbelly of Port Moresby, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The gangs who rule the streets are known to be ruthless. They often recruit young people from the countryside, who move to the city in a desperate bid to escape poverty. The gangs target the country’s wealthy elite, many of whom have become rich thanks to country’s rich natural resources.
SWITZERLAND: EX-ROADS MINISTRY WORKER “PAID TO RIG EMISSIONS DATA”
On 26 April, Swissinfo reported that a former employee at the Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) and 2 board members of a vehicle exporter have been charged with fraudulently manipulating data to avoid CO2 emissions sanctions. The Swiss federal prosecutor’s office said that the fraud had illegally saved the vehicle exporter from paying $9.8 million in financial penalties relating to emissions.
METHAMPHETAMINE TAKING OVER MEXICO’S DOMESTIC DRUG MARKET
On 29 April, Insight Crime reported that methamphetamine use in Mexico has grown exponentially in recent years and now rivals marijuana as the drug most cited by patients in treatment for substance abuse. It says that until the early 2000s, most of the methamphetamine consumed in the US was produced in domestic laboratories, either tucked away in quiet suburbs outside of major cities or in rural communities. Now, Mexican organised crime groups are the “primary producers and suppliers of low cost, high purity methamphetamine” sent to US consumers, leading to “significant supply” of the synthetic drug in the US market, according to the DEA. As production ramped up, public health officials in Mexico started to notice the emerging threat methamphetamine posed amid a rise in addiction around 2009 or 2010.
RUSSIA SAYS HALF A MILLION PASSPORTS ISSUED IN EASTERN UKRAINE IN LAST 2 YEARS
On 2 May, Rferl reported that Russia’s Interior Ministry says that more than 527,000 people in parts of eastern Ukraine where Moscow-backed separatist formations are waging a war against Kyiv have been granted Russian citizenship over the past 2 years; but that around 40% of applications had been rejected
Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed! I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y