01.11.23 – Prison for drugs gang who attempted to smuggle cocaine worth £11 million in bananas. Four members of an organised crime group have been jailed after attempting to smuggle 139 kilos of cocaine into the UK hidden in a consignment of bananas. National Crime Agency investigators arrested the four as they unloaded a shipping container, they believed contained the £11m pounds-worth of drugs in April 2022. The container had arrived from Ecuador and was searched at London Gateway port.
02.11.23 – Turkish police arrest Hakan Ayik, others in international organised crime operation. Australia’s most wanted alleged organised crime boss is in police custody after a dramatic dawn arrest operation by Turkish police netting him and 36 others linked to an “international armed organised crime” network. Hakan Ayik, who was famously duped by police operatives in 2021, was arrested in Istanbul on Thursday morning (Turkey time) along with other major Australian crime figures, including Hakan Arif.
02.11.23 – Brazil militarises key ports and borders to ‘suffocate’ organised crime. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says he is sending the armed forces to boost security at some of the country’s most important airports, ports and international borders as part of an urgent renewed effort to tackle organised crime. The decision comes days after members of a criminal gang set fire to dozens of buses in Rio de Janeiro, apparently in retaliation for the police slaying their leader’s nephew.
03.11.23 – Operation Mobile 6 puts the brakes on car thieves. Operation Mobile 6 took place in October 2023 at the EU’s external land borders, as well as border locations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The operation involved around 400 law enforcement officers from 25 countries, who carried out detailed checks across several locations. Europol and INTERPOL supported the Frontex-led operation, providing expertise and access to their databases. This collaboration allowed for the recovery of 505 stolen cars, around 2 000 stolen vehicle parts, 16 boats, 32 outboard engines and 248 forged documents. In addition, the participating authorities identified 209 migrant smugglers.
04.11.23 – London man jailed for smuggling 900,000 euros and 10 kilos of cocaine across Europe. A career criminal who trafficked drugs and dirty cash between Ireland and the Netherlands has been jailed for 21 years, following a National Crime Agency investigation. Paul O’Brien, 56, from Uxbridge, west London, was identified as part of Operation Venetic – the UK’s response to the takedown of the encrypted communications platform EncroChat. He was found to have worked with 42-year-old Thomas Maher, who in December 2020 was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for facilitating the movement of drugs and cash across Europe.