25/01 Illicit gold mining in Ecuador – challenges and considerations. Although exploration of the country’s mineral resources is not complete, the government estimates that the mining of gold and copper will generate around USD $4 billion in tax revenue and about USD $40 billion in exports over the next decade. There are, however, challenges with mining, including the penetration of criminal organizations into the business.
26/01 Ghana lost US$8 billion in 6 years through illicit mining sector financial flows – ISSER report.
27/01 Officials in Colombia seized nearly 20,000 coconuts filled with “liquid cocaine”. The narcotics were found on a large shipping container headed to Italy, according to law enforcement. In a statement, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia said the coconuts — 19,780 in total — were found in a container destined for Genoa. Imagery released by the office shows the coconuts laid out at the Port of Cartagena.
28/01 Greece’s Financial Police Directorate and Europol supported the dismantling of a transnational organised crime group trafficking and distributing anabolic steroids and counterfeit pharmaceuticals. The long-running investigation has culminated a series of searches conducted in the early hours of 18 January in Greece. Law enforcement made three arrests and seized more than 135 000 doses of anabolic substances and other illicit substances, worth an estimated total of EUR 200 000.
28/01 Bulgarian authorities take down online investment scam responsible for losses of more than EUR 10 million. The scammers operated through bogus websites and call centres in Bulgaria and targeted victims in Germany and Greece.
28/01 An illegal production line of cigarettes flooding the French market with millions of counterfeit cigarettes has been dismantled in Slovenia as a result of a complex investigation between the French and Slovenian authorities with the support of Europol.