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What was one-eyed Osman doing at Hitman’s funeral image www.crimefiles.net

SLAIN hitman Hamad Assaad had many notorious acquaintances, including one-eyed Osman Haouchar who was detained last year after returning from the Syrian border where he told authorities he had been carrying out “humanitarian work”.

Haouchar, 27, was a pallbearer at Assaad’s funeral last Friday, and joined the mob of weeping mourners at Lakemba mosque.

Haouchar (middle) was a pallbearer at hitman Hamad Assaad’s funeral image www.crimefiles.net

The 29-year-old Hamad Assaad was gunned down by two black-clad shooters outside his Georges Hall home last Tuesday in front of his mother and 12-year-old nephew.

Haouchar, who lost his eye following an accident with a pistol, was released without charge in November after being questioned for more than four hours by Australian Federal Police.

Osman Haouchar image www.crimefiles.net

Osman Haouchar

When police raided his home shortly after his return, Houchar mocked: “I would like to thank the NSW Police Force for once again wasting Australian taxpayers’.

He had left Australia in the aftermath of another shooting — of a member of Sydney’s well-known Ibrahim family.

Hamad Assaad was executed at his Georges Hall home image www.crimefiles.net

Hamad Assaad

Haouchar’s presence at Assaad’s funeral adds to the web of figures that the contract killer associated with.

Assaad, 29, lived a dangerous life, full of violence and was in constant pursuit of money.

While there was a large crowd in attendance for his funeral, in reality few are mourning the loss of the cold-blooded assassin, who insiders say was “arrogant” and who believed he was “untouchable

Assad was a hitman linked to attempts on the lives of a number of crime families image www.crimefiles.net

Assad was a hitman linked to attempts on the lives of a number of crime families.

His is the third life lost since April as the Western Sydney crime world has erupted in a hail of bullets.

Contract killer Assaad is believed to be behind attempts on the lives of some of Sydney’s most notorious underworld figures and their relatives.

Police also believe he was responsible for the murder of kingpin Walid “Wally” Ahmad.

Assaad was shot multiple times and died on the driveway of his Georges Hall home.image www.crimefiles.net

Assaad was shot multiple times and died on the driveway of his Georges Hall home.

Assaad ripped off drug gangs as he tried to show he was different to other criminals — more dangerous, more money-hungry, more bloodthirsty.

But whereas old school kingpin Ahmad knew he was going to die and accepted it, Assaad didn’t think anyone had the “balls” to knock him.

And that was his undoing.

The 29-year-old assaad died in front of his 12-year-old nephew.image www.crimefiles.net

The 29-year-old Assad died in front of his 12-year-old nephew.

Police fear reprisal attacks in the wake of Assaad’s murder image www.crimefiles.net

Police fear reprisal attacks in the wake of Assaad’s murder

Man shot dead in Sydney driveway was targeted

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Henry Sapiecha

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A group photo of Porgera community women and men who say they were raped or<br /><br />
violently abused at the gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corporation.

A group photo of Porgera community women and men who say they were raped or violently abused at the gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corporation. 

Eleven women and girls who were raped, gang-raped or violently molested in the Papua New Guinea Highlands have reached an out-of-court settlement with the world’s biggest gold miner, having refused to accept the “insulting” compensation paid to 120 fellow victims of the company’s security guards.

“It would be like accepting lollies as compensation,” one of the 11 told Fairfax Media. Identified only as Jane Doe 10, she was 14 when she and two teenage friends were raped in 2010 at the Porgera mine, owned by the Barrick Gold Corporation.

The Porgera community says security guards and mobile police at the mine have raped more than 200 women and girls over the past two decades. It says men and boys have been beaten, shot and killed for entering the open pit or tailings dumps or going near the mine’s property.

The 11 women were preparing to sue Barrick Gold in the United States, convinced they would be unable to find justice in PNG. The human rights group EarthRights International had been scheduled to file a lawsuit late last month in Las Vegas because the Toronto-based miner has major operations in the state of Nevada.

But the women reached an undisclosed settlement which is likely to be well above the 21,320 kina ($10,430) they say Barrick offered most of them. The settlement also covered the families of three people allegedly killed in violence at the mine.

Barrick says 90 per cent of the women who came forward with allegations accepted packages ranging from 23,040 to 32,740 kia under a “remedial framework” established in October 2012. It says the payouts were determined not by Barrick but an independent group of PNG women’s advocates, and they were at “the upper end of civil court judgments in sexual assault and rape cases” in the country.

These women had to agree never to seek further damages, a provision condemned by MiningWatch Canada, which investigated the abuses – as did Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and legal clinics at Harvard and New York University law schools. But Barrick said the UN High Commission on Human Rights reviewed the remedial framework and the legal waiver was consistent with UN guiding principles.

The mine’s ever-expanding waste dumps, EarthRights says, give impoverished Porgera women and girls little option but to enter the company’s property to scavenge for remnants of gold or to cross the site to reach agricultural land, commercial areas, schools and other villages.

The oldest of the Porgera 11, now aged in her 80s, alleges she was raped many times. Jane Doe 10, now 19, is the youngest, along with another girl who was also 14 when they and an older teenager were seized by three mobile policemen at the mine.

The officers each raped one of the girls. One officer has died but two are awaiting sentencing this month for their crimes.

“I brought disgrace to my community and my parents,” Jane Doe 10 said, speaking through an interpreter. When she returned to school she had been mocked, such is the social stigma associated with rape. She promptly left school and gave up on an education. She married young but, when her husband learned about the rape, he assaulted her and abandoned her with their young child.

The remedial framework compensation package was very low by local customary standards, say Jane Doe 10 and another of the 11 women, Jane Doe 2. To accept it would “add disgrace to the disgrace”, Jane Doe 10 said.

Jane Doe 2 was collecting firewood near the mine’s tailings dump when two security guards raped her. She said they threw her against sharp stones and she still carries the injuries. Her husband’s response to the rape was to beat her and abandon her.

Then security guards at the mine raped her daughter, also near the dump.

“We are both victims,” Jane Doe 2 said, “and now I am finding it difficult to look after my kids as well as my daughter’s.

“I treated Barrick as one of my sons. I have given my land to Barrick. But in return Barrick has not shown any respect … so now I am going to file a lawsuit,” she said on the eve of the aborted action in Las Vegas.

Mother and daughter say they still have no choice but to return to the scene of their rapes to find scraps of gold.

In 2008, EarthRights says, Barrick’s chief executive wrote in a letter to Porgeran leaders that claims of gang rape were “most distasteful, to say the least as you know these allegations to be untrue”.

Asked if it was slow to accept the abuses, Barrick’s vice-president, communications, Andy Lloyd, told Fairfax Media: “When allegations first surfaced, the company attempted to investigate the claims but was unsuccessful in identifying victims or perpetrators.

“When Human Rights Watch came to us with credible information, we acted immediately, terminating the employees implicated in the assaults and handing over all information to the PNG police. We regret that we were unable to uncover these assaults sooner.”

Barrick bought the mine in 2006 and many assaults predate its arrival. However, a local human rights activist, Karath Mal Waka, from the Akali Tange Association, who acted as translator for Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 10, says sexual assaults persist. He says an eight-year-old was raped recently at the mine.

Mr Lloyd replied: “There have been no cases of Barrick employees involved in sexual assaults since 2010. We are aware of an incident similar to the one you are describing, however it did not occur on the mine site and it did not involve a Porgera Joint Venture employee.”

Asked about the shooting of men and boys – which a local association has put at 14 deaths in the past 10 years – Mr Lloyd said: “The mine’s security guards do not carry lethal ammunition.”

Mr Waka says more than 100 rape victims – girls and women, many married – were not covered by the remedial framework and he wants Barrick to reopen that program for them. Mr Lloyd was unaware of any extra claims and said the framework was advertised widely over many months.

The amount to be paid to the 11 women is not known. It is unlikely to approach the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars that juries in the US can award to rape victims.

When Fairfax Media covered the story in February 2011, one woman described how she and three others were raped by 10 security personnel, one of whom forced her to swallow a used condom that he had used while raping the other victims.

A 26-year-old woman was allegedly raped while collecting native vegetables near the mine in January 2011 – after Barrick had taken action. Because she resisted, her genitals were repeatedly burnt with a hot rod, the Porgera Alliance alleged.

Jethro Tulin, executive officer of the Akali Tange Association, said before the settlement: “Barrick has been raping our wives and daughters and killing our fathers, brothers and sons for years.”

Catherine Coumans, of MiningWatch Canada, said: “Barrick tried to push the problem under the rug for many years despite regular reports of human rights abuses committed by its security forces, documented by numerous researchers and human rights organisations.”

In a joint statement after the settlement, Barrick and EarthRights International said: “All claimants are pleased with this resolution.”

Mr Lloyd said Barrick took action at all of its mines around the world after after the Porgera allegations came to light, and it had “zero tolerance” for human rights abuses.

“Since then, thousands of employees have undergone human rights training, we implemented a new global human rights policy, we have carried out human rights training for local police forces [including in PNG], we have formed a partnership with White Ribbon to carry out awareness and prevention programs aimed at stopping violence against women in communities where we operate.

“In PNG, we worked with leading human rights experts to develop the remedy program, perhaps the first of its kind ever implemented by a mining company. We are also funding community-based initiatives … to combat violence against women.”

Barrick is negotiating to sell the Porgera mine. Any liabilities from future victim claims would remain with the mine, Mr Lloyd confirmed.

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Protests after Christian nun allegedly pack raped in India

8 pack rapists detained in Bengal christian nun gang rape case,

Role of insiders probed say sources. Video report says it all here.

Indians hold vigils and protests after the alleged rape of a 75-year-old nun during an armed assault on a convent school.

Hundreds of priests, school girls and other protesters staged a peaceful rally on Monday in the Indian city of Kolkata to support an elderly nun who was gang-raped at her convent school.

Nuns dressed in white habits joined other women of all backgrounds and ages, including girls still in their uniforms, to express their sorrow over the attack and anger over incessant levels of sexual assault in India.

Holding placards and banners that read “This world belongs to women” and “We want rape-free India”, the crowd gathered quietly in a park in the centre of the eastern city as speakers took to a makeshift stage nearby to condemn the “unacceptable” attack.

Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been heavily criticised for not speaking out earlier against religious violence and has also faced flak for remaining silent on a spate of attacks on churches.

Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been heavily criticised for not speaking out earlier against religious violence and has also faced flak for remaining silent on a spate of attacks on churches. Photo: AFP

“We are not violent, we are not witches. And we will launch a big protest if attacks on Christian minorities continue,” Kolkata businesswoman Hari Joseph Marien said.
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Bank manager Partha Tripathi said she was prompted to join the protest because the crime was one “against humanity,” adding: “It seems that even animals (behave) better.”

Later in the evening, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faced hundreds of angry protesters in Ranaghat, 70 kilometres from Kolkata, where she had gone to meet the nun who is recovering in hospital.

This closed circuit television image captured on Saturday at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat and released by West Bengal Police shows two of the ten suspects in the gang-rape of a 71-year-old nun at the convent.

This closed circuit television image captured on Saturday at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat and released by West Bengal Police shows two of the ten suspects in the gang-rape of a 71-year-old nun at the convent. Photo: AFP

The woman, aged in her 70s, needed surgery from injuries suffered during the attack.

The protesters, who were chanting slogans demanding justice and arrest of the alleged rapists, blocked Banerjee’s car from leaving the hospital.

The chaos continued for over half an hour before the minister assured the protesters of immediate police action.

Indian Christians and social activists take part in a peace-rally and protest against the gang-rape of a nun in Allahabad on Monday.

Indian Christians and social activists take part in a peace-rally and protest against the gang-rape of a nun in Allahabad on Monday. Photo: Sanjay Kanojia

‘Shocked and appalled’ 

The nun, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked after the robbers ransacked the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat and stole cash and other items.

A holy scripture was also torn and a statue of Jesus was broken.

A woman holds a poster of Mother Teresa during a vigil. Christians in India said on Monday that the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi had not done enough to protect their religion after a spate of attacks.

A woman holds a poster of Mother Teresa during a vigil. Christians in India said on Monday that the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi had not done enough to protect their religion after a spate of attacks. Photo: Reuters

Police said Monday 10 men have been detained for questioning but no arrests have been made, even though the faces of four of the robbers were captured on CCTV footage.

The assault on the nun is the latest in a string of high-profile rapes in India and comes after a spate of attacks on churches that prompted Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promise a crackdown on religious violence.

Priests and other Christian leaders have blamed those attacks on religious hardliners, who are said to have become emboldened since Modi swept to power at general elections last May.

The car carrying Indian Chief Minister of the state of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee (centre) is surrounded by angry demonstrators during a protest following the rape of a nun near the Convent of Jesus and Mary at Ranaghat, north of Kolkata, on Monday.

The car carrying Indian Chief Minister of the state of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee (centre) is surrounded by angry demonstrators during a protest following the rape of a nun near the Convent of Jesus and Mary at Ranaghat, north of Kolkata, on Monday. Photo: AFP

Modi had been heavily criticised for not speaking out earlier against religious violence and has also faced flak for remaining silent about a spate of mass “re-conversions” of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.

Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D’Souza stressed the morning rally was not against any political party, as fear and dismay mount in India’s Christian community, which has been deeply upset over the recent attacks on churches.

D’Souza estimated that a couple of thousand people took part in the rally at which prayers were held and candles lit alongside a statue of Mother Teresa, a missionary who worked tirelessly in the slums of Kolkata.

A man holds a placard as Indian Christians and others condemn the gang-rape of a nun at a Christian missionary school in eastern India.

A man holds a placard as Indian Christians and others condemn the gang-rape of a nun at a Christian missionary school in eastern India. Photo: AP

“We have assurances from the government that the miscreants will be arrested, but not much headway has been made in this regard,” he said of the rape.

The incident adds to a grim record of sexual assaults in India and comes during a raging debate over the banning of a documentary about a December 2012 gang-rape in New Delhi that sparked national and international outrage.

“I am shocked and appalled that something like this could happen,” 20-year-old American Brianna Miller, who is studying in Kolkata, said at the rally.

Indian residents and members of the Christian community take part in a vigil and protest against the gang-rape of a 71-year-old nun at a convent-school in Kolkata on Monday.

Indian residents and members of the Christian community take part in a vigil and protest against the gang-rape of a 71-year-old nun at a convent-school in Kolkata on Monday. Photo: AFP

Modi in February pledged a crackdown on religious violence and freedom of worship for all faiths in the wake of the vandalism and arson attacks on churches.

Around 80 per cent of India’s 1.2 billion population is Hindu, but it is also home to large numbers of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

His government again came under criticism on Monday, with opposition lawmakers raising the nun’s rape in the national parliament.

“Our PM has been saying again and again that he will ensure there is no attack on minorities. What is the sanctity of such assurances then?” asked D. Raja, a member of the Communist Party of India.

AFP

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Henry Sapiecha

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logobadgetrans image www.crimefiles.net

According to The Economist, crime has been falling in most of Europe. But there is a counter-trend hidden in the numbers. Christian Pfeiffer, director of the Criminology Research Institute of Lower Saxony in Hannover, suggests that the eastward expansion of the European Union (eight countries joined in 2004, followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007), with full rights of free movement, has created more crime syndicates and gangs with training and scouting networks in Western Europe.

Gangs are typically associated with America. They are the combined symptom of the Second Amendment, a trigger-happy gun culture, poverty, racism, an ailing education system, disenfranchisement, and a host of other aggravating social conditions. However, flawed social conditions exist all over the world. Once people are granted free movement between nations, as is the case with members of the EU, the flawed social conditions not only become more visible, but thieves use the freedom of travel to engage in criminal activities, whether it is groups pickpocketing tourists on the streets of Paris or Roma gangs employing child burglars to plunder German homes. At the same time, there are European gangs that have nothing to do with the eastward expansion of the EU, but have been exerting power and expanding their sphere of influence since the 18th century. Here are 7 of Europe’s most dangerous gangs.

The 36 Boys, Germany

The 36 Boys, Germany image www.crimefiles.net

It is estimated that there are over three million Turks in Germany. Multiculturalism and the integration of immigrants has been a vigorously contested issue in the country, with racist violence increasing dramatically during the economic crisis in the 1980s. Many of those attacks were against the Turkish community, which led teenagers of Turkish immigrants to form gangs in order to protect themselves.

Active from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, the 36 Boys were a group of primarily Turkish immigrants from the Berlin-Kreuzberg borough of Germany. At the height of its power, the gang is said to have had between 300-400 members. The 36 Boys took its moniker from the former Berlin postal code Sudost 36. The gang fought turf wars with Nazis, Skinheads, and the Warriors, a rival gang from the Schlesisches Tor borough. The 36 Boys disbanded in the mid-90s; while some of the members remained in the criminal milieu, others took an active role in helping prevent juvenile delinquency in Germany.

The British Yardies

The British Yardies image www.crimefiles.net

A “Yardie” is a slang term originally given to occupants of government yard housing projects in Trenchtown, a neighborhood in West Kingston, Jamaica. When many in the Caribbean community came to England to work in the 1950s, the phrase was used to describe immigrants with lower financial status. However, the term was eventually applied to the gang violence that took place in London’s black community. Yardie culture consists primarily of gun crimes and drug trafficking, particularly marijuana and crack cocaine. The gang has no real structure or central leadership. In 1993, Yardies were blamed for the death of police Constable Patrick Dunne, and in the early 2000s the gang fought a bloody turf war in Bristol with the native Aggi Crew.

Solntsevskaya Bratva (Brotherhood), Russia

Solntsevskaya Bratva (Brotherhood), Russia image www.crimefiles.net

Founded by Sergei Mikhailov, the Solntsevskaya Bratva began operating out of the Solntsevo District of Moscow in the 1980s. The Solntsevo District is located near the M-KAT highway, a major thoroughfare leading to both the Ukraine and the Domodedovo International Airport. By controlling these two strategic transportation hubs, the gang established a name for itself in the car import business. Over the years, Solntsevskaya Bratva has been linked to criminal mastermind Semion Mogilevich as well as esteemed thief Dzhemal Khachidze, which enhanced its reputation amongst established criminals throughout Europe.

Sergei Mikhailov, who fancied himself as more of a businessman than a Don Corleone Mafioso, changed tactics in the ‘90s and moved the gang into the banking sector. This move not only allowed the Bratva to launder their money, but get closer to powerful Russian oligarchs. Today, Solntsevskaya Bratva is involved in nearly every aspect of the Russian underworld, including racketeering, money laundering, prostitution, credit card fraud, arms dealing, human trafficking, and hacking. The organization is also believed to play an integral role in the international cocaine trade, with links to Columbian drug cartels.

The French Connection: Marseille, France

The French Connection Marseille, France image www.crimefiles.net

Marseille has long been dubbed “the Chicago of the South.” It has a murderous history of organized crime and violent gangs, the most legendary being the “French Connection,” a group that ran laboratories processing heroin coming in from Turkey after World War II. By the late 1960s, 80 percent of heroin in the U.S. was coming from Marseille, and in 1971 Hollywood immortalized the city of Marseille in the film The French Connection, which featured Gene Hackman.

While Marseille is no longer the heroin processing capital of the world, the city is at the center of the cannabis trade and a key point in the cocaine smuggling route from South America. According to The Guardian, in 2013 the French government led crisis talks over a spate of gangland murders in Marseille that left 15 dead, including a football boss’s son. Marseille may no longer have the notorious French Connection or Capone-like mobsters with names like The Belgian, The Blond or The Tomcat, but ongoing gang problems have made it impossible for the Mediterranean city to shed its violent image.

The Camorra, Italy

The Camorra, Italy image www.crimefiles.net

The Camorra is a crime syndicate that originated in the Campania region of Italy in the 18th century. Unlike the Sicilian mafia, the Camorra doesn’t have centralized leadership; the organization is said to have somewhere around 111 different clans, and each clan, like a gang, works independently of each other. According to investigative journalist Roberto Saviano, the Camorra is the most influential and violent faction of the Italian mafia. The organization’s influence extends to Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany, and Emilia-Romagna, and over the years the group has also gained a foothold in the United Kingdom and the U.S.

Roma Gangs

Roma Gangs image www.crimefiles.net

The Roma, otherwise known as Gypsies, have been part of the Eastern European landscape for centuries. However, as more eastern European countries have joined the EU, cities like Paris, London, and Dublin are having a difficult time with the large influx of Roma, many of whom don’t have jobs and are living in large tent camps on the outskirts of towns. While there is no doubt that the Roma have suffered from discrimination and prejudice over the years, the professional gangs of Roma thieves who are working the streets and tourist attractions of popular European cities are only exacerbating these prejudices, leading to further stigmatization.

The Daily Mail has featured numerous stories on sophisticated gangs of Roma thieves targeting cashpoint customers in Paris. “There are so many Roma working on scams that it is almost impossible for us to do anything about it,” said a Paris police source. “They have look-outs everywhere, and use minors to do the stealing.” In 2011, a network of 27 Roma were accused of committing more than 100 crimes across France, Belgium and Germany, using children as young as 10 as part of a “criminal army.”

The Pink Panthers

The Pink Panthers image www.crimefiles.net

According to American television news magazine 60 Minutes, the Pink Panthers are “the largest, most successful gang of diamond thieves in the word, credited with 370 heists worth over $500 million.” The gang is composed of networks of teams, many of who are ex-Yugoslavs with military training who fought in the Bosnian wars. The loose group of thieves is known to combine expert planning and military discipline, but it is their daring heists that set them apart from other thieves and which earned them the nickname “the Pink Panthers,” a moniker taken from the popular Peter Sellers movies of the 70s and 80s.

Over the past 20 years Interpol has identified 800 core Pink Panthers, but caught only a few. Unlike the Mafia, there is no kingpin or chain of command. The Pink Panthers are responsible for heists in 35 countries, with specialists in everything from alarms to safecracking to stealing cars. While precise timing and well-planned getaways is the Pink Panthers’ trademark, their brazen exploits are the stuff of legend, inspiring legions of copycats throughout Europe.

Henry Sapiecha

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