Category Archives: European crime

GTA: Project Yellowbird busts Slavic-immigrant run high-end goods crime ring

Busted crime ring stole $5 million worth of luxury cars and other valuables

CBC News Posted: Aug 29, 2014 6:18 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 29, 2014 7:00 PM ET

Toronto police showed off some of the millions of dollars worth of luxury goods on Friday that were recovered in Thursday’s raids in the GTA and Niagara region. The raids led to the arrests of eight people in an alleged high-end goods crime ring.

The investigation, dubbed Project Yellowbird after a Porsche Carrera stolen in December, resulted in the recovery of $5 million worth of stolen luxury cars and other valuables including jewelry, designer clothing and handbags, electronics, cigars and guns.  Continue reading

Ukrainian Milana Muzikante and Lilia Ratmanski charged with threatening Sunwing flight while drunk on the plane

Police identify two women charged with threatening Sunwing flight

The two women who caused a Sunwing flight headed to Cuba to turn back to Toronto Wednesday evening are facing numerous charges.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Aug 28 2014

The two women who caused a Sunwing flight headed to Cuba to turn back to TorontoWednesday evening — escorted by two fighter jets — are facing numerous charges.

Milana Muzikante, 26, of Vaughan, and Lilia Ratmanski, 25, of Whitby, have been charged with smoking on an aircraft and endangering the safety of an aircraft. They were set to appear in court in Brampton for a bail hearing Thursday.

Peel Regional Police Const. Thomas Ruttan said the pair will face additional charges including mischief endangering life and uttering threats.

Outside the courtroom Thursday afternoon, Ratmanski’s mother said her daughter was an A student in nursing at York who “never smokes, never drinks.”

The mother, who identified herself as a Ukrainian native, was accompanied by a family friend. Neither gave their names.

“I’m so shocked,” the mother said. “I don’t understand what has happened.” Continue reading

HAMILTON: Janos Acs, victim of the Domotor-Kolompar human-trafficking ring, commits suicide

HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM

HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM

Cathie Coward,The Hamilton Spectator

Janos Acs was among more than 20 people rescued in 2009 by RCMP from the hands of human traffickers who lured them from their native Hungary on the false promise of work.

In the early evening hours of June 10, Janos Acs walked onto train tracks in central Hamilton and lay down to die.

The 60-year-old’s suicide, near Emerald Street North, ended a troubled life that authorities thought they had saved.

Acs was among more than 20 people rescued in 2009 by RCMP from the hands of human traffickers who lured them from their native Hungary on the false promise of work. Despite the successful prosecution of his abusers and that he and other victims were given safe haven in Canada, Acs lived out his free days moving in and out of shelters, struggling to find work and drinking heavily.

The now infamous Domotor-Kolompar criminal organization was dismantled in 2010 and stands as the largest human trafficking case in Canadian history. Twenty-three members of the extended family were convicted of various charges between 2012 and 2013.

“I feel very much betrayed and I’m pretty frustrated,” Janos Acs told the Spectator

Canada Border Services Agency regional director Goran Vragovic said he learned of Acs’ death on Tuesday morning, before a news conference announcing that 20 members of thecriminal organization had been deported.

“It’s a tragic conclusion to an already sad story,” he said.

MORE: “There is no room in Canada” for modern day slavery

Spectator readers first met Acs in a Hamilton shelter in December 2010. He was the first victim willing to speak publicly.

“I feel very much betrayed and I’m pretty frustrated. I’m kind of all alone and I have no friends to discuss the situation,” he said during an interview for a Spectator special investigation, The gypsy kings, that followed the human traffickers to Hungary.

Acs grew up in a small Hungarian village called Bakonybel and, despite being in his 50s, had never been outside Hungary. He was approached by a member of the organization and offered a construction job in Canada. Ignoring warnings from family, Acs said he agreed.

He immediately realized his mistake.

“When I came over here, the situation became a servant and master thing,” he said.

Acs spent seven months living in the basement of his captor’s Mohawk Road East home. Along with working without pay, he was coached to apply for social assistance and claim to be mentally handicapped.

On two occasions, he escaped from the home, once approaching a police officer on the street. The officers didn’t understand what he was saying, so he went back.

When RCMP showed up in late 2009 and offered him an escape, he agreed to leave. But life in a men’s shelter was not what he thought it was going to be. He had hoped to bring his then 30-year-old son to Canada, but that never happened.

“I appreciate that people are helping me here, but I just can’t get used to this. I don’t regret that I came to Canada, but I didn’t figure it was going to be like this.”

Hamilton police spokesperson Constable Debbie McGreal-Dinning confirmed police were called to the “sudden death” on June 10, in the area of Emerald Street North and Birge Street. The death was deemed non-criminal and McGreal-Dinning said she could not comment further.

Fellow victim Tamas Miko didn’t know Acs well — they were housed in different homes — but news of his death is shocking.

Miko’s family was rescued from Hungary after being threatened over his agreement to testify in court. They live every day in the shadow of the criminal organization.

“I can’t just move on,” he said, adding that there is “so much hatred inside of me.”

Miko has gone back to school to get his high school equivalency. For now, his family lives together, unable to find work, collecting Ontario Works. It’s not the life he imagined for himself when he chose to come to Canada.

Shelley Gilbert, co-ordinator of social work services at Legal Assistance of Windsor, works with Miko to sort through the “roller-coaster” of emotions caused by “living with the effects of human trafficking.”

She’s also invited him to share his story with social service and justice professionals.

Gilbert said there is “no five-minute solution” to the anxieties and other issues survivors are faced with. That’s why there is a need for long-term intensive case management.

Miko said he hopes to one day work to “save people” like Walk With Me founder Timea Nagy did.

Nagy met the human trafficking victims, including Acs, when they were first rescued and continued to support them throughout the court cases. At the time, the Hamilton-based human trafficking rescue organization was just getting started and Nagy largely worked out of her car and got calls on her cellphone at all hours.

Nagy, a native of Hungary and sex trafficking survivor, helped the victims find shelter and often acted as a translator.

Unlike most other victims who fled to different cities to avoid threats, Acs stayed in Hamilton.

“He was troubled,” Nagy said, adding that he was in and out of shelters.

In recent years, Walk With Me bought a safe house that can house up to five victims at once. However, as awareness about human trafficking grows so too has demand for the organization’s services.

Walk With Me gets about $200,000 in funding every year, but to keep up with demand, Nagy said they really need $400,000. They are currently not accepting new clients in the safe house. They are doing front line victim care, but no longer have the staff to respond at any hour.

There is no network of safe houses or rescue organizations across Canada. Many victims, like Acs, end up in shelters.

Burlington MP Mike Wallace, who chairs the federal government’s justice committee said the government is working to help human trafficking victims.

“Have we done enough? I would say most of us would say no, we could do more. But we are actually taking action to make that happen,” he said this week.

Wallace pointed to changes to Canada’s immigration law that allow human trafficking victims to be fast-tracked to permanent resident status.

This law change has allowed the Hungarian victims to stay in Canada.

Wallace also noted the victim bill of rights, which will be debated in the fall. He said this will make victims “part of judicial system to give them a voice.”

 

noreilly@thespec.com

905-526-3199 | @NicoleatTheSpec

Toronto resident arrested as part of StubHub fraud ring run by Russians

Toronto resident arrested as part of StubHub fraud ring

TU THANH HA The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

A suspected money-launderer in Toronto is among at least 10 people who have been arrested in an international crackdown on a cyberfraud ring alleged to have compromised 1,600 accounts of the online ticket seller StubHub.

New York County authorities announced on Wednesday they had indicted six men, including Vadim Polyakov, a 30-year-old Russian citizen who is portrayed as the man who directed the operation and who was arrested while he was travelling in Spain. Continue reading

Hungarian Roma human traffickers deported from Canada

Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:48AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 2:56PM EDT

The federal government has announced that 20 members of a large human trafficking ring based out of Hamilton, Ont. have been deported from Canada.

The 20 deported individuals were members of the Domotor-Kolompar ring and helped run the largest proven human trafficking ring in Canada, according to the statement put out by the border agency. As of Tuesday, at least 22 members of this ring have been convicted on human trafficking charges, the BSA has confirmed. All but two were deported.

The Domotor-Kolompar family brought Hungarians from their hometown to Canada with the promise of work and a better life in the Hamilton area, Canadian officials said. But the Hungarians who came over were subjected to brutal living conditions without adequate food and forced to work construction jobs for free. The human traffickers used intimidation and threats of violence to keep their victims in line, officials said.

“This flagrant abuse of persons in our immigration system demanded a strong response,” Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said in a news conference Tuesday. Continue reading

TORONTO: Bela Gulyas, 19, two 17-year-old teens and one 15-year-old, arrested in Allen-Eglinton robbery and gang rape

UPDATE: Four arrested in Allen-Eglinton robbery, sexual assault

York Guardian

One man and three youths have been arrested after a woman was sexually assaulted and robbed in the Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue area Thursday, July 17.

Police said the victim, 27, was walking on a pathway on the west side of Allen Road when a group of men surrounded her around 11:40 p.m.

She was then robbed, thrown to the ground and sexually assaulted by one man.

The suspects then fled south towards Eglinton Avenue on foot.

Four suspects were arrested Sunday, July 20.

Bela Gulyas, 19, two 17-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy, all of Toronto, are each charged with robbery and gang sexual assault.

The youths cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police are looking for one outstanding suspect. His name or description has not been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

Terrorists Xristos Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej die in attack on Algerian gas plant that kills 70 people

Terrorists Xristos Katsiroubas, left, and Ali Medlej

How do middle-class Canadian kids become international terrorists?
By Matthew Coutts | Daily Brew – 21 hours ago

Xristos Katsiroubas, left, and Ali Medlej.
There are no straightforward answers when it comes to understanding what led Xristos Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej to abandon their lives in London, Ont., to join an Al-Qaida-linked militant group that attacked and took hostages at an Algerian gas plant.

The two boys have been described recently as average, everyday-type Canadians. That seemed to be the case right up until shortly before they flew overseas and died in the Algerian attack in January.

CBC News reported on Wednesday that a third schoolmate had travelled with the pair to North Africa and was jailed shortly before his cohorts died participating in the attack in Algeria.

Aaron Yoon was another average Canuck, a boy of Korean descent who was quiet and friendly and converted to Islam in his final year of high school. Continue reading

88-year-old Helmut Oberlander stripped of citizenship over alleged connection to Nazi killing unit

 


Helmut Oberlander, right, has been at the centre of a legal wrangle for years over his alleged involvement in Nazi war crimes.

Ukrainian Canadian stripped of citizenship over connection to Nazi killing unit
Published on Thursday December 27, 2012

Mathew McCarthy/Waterloo Regional Record file photo
Helmut Oberlander, right, has been at the centre of a legal wrangle for years over his alleged involvement in Nazi war crimes.
Debra Black
Immigration Reporter

An 88-year-old Ukrainian Canadian has once more been stripped of his Canadian citizenship by the federal government and is facing possible deportation over his connection to a Nazi killing unit. Continue reading

Russian immigrant becomes citizen through fraud, feds try to strip him of his citizenship

Immigration fraud crackdown drastically increases the number of Canadians having their citizenship revoked
Stewart Bell | Dec 2, 2012 10:29 PM ET | Last Updated: Dec 3, 2012 2:40 PM ET
More from Stewart Bell

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press
In September, Jason Kenney, the minister of citizenship and immigration, announced his department had sent letters to 530 Canadians advising them their citizenship was being rescinded. Investigations into another 3,100 suspected of citizenship fraud were still underway, he said.

HOW YOU BECOME AN UNCANADIAN

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration sends a Notice of Intention to Revoke Citizenship outlining the grounds for revocation.

The person concerned has the right to refer the matter to the Federal Court.

If the court finds citizenship was obtained through false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances the Minister may prepare a report to the Governor in Council recommending that citizenship be revoked. Continue reading

Blainville: Reputed Mafioso Joe Di Maulo found dead in residence driveway

 

Di Maulo was in the Calabrian branch of the Mafia, who ran Montreal in the 1970s in opposition to the Rizzuto family.

Reputed mobster’s body found near Montreal
Joe Di Maulo, linked to Mafia for 50 years, discovered dead in residence driveway
CBC News Posted: Nov 5, 2012 6:43 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 5, 2012 9:25 AM ET

A man found dead in Blainville on Sunday night is Joe Di Maulo, a reputed high-level member of the Mafia.

The identity of the body was confirmed this morning by Quebec provincial police.

Di Maulo, 70, was found Sunday night by the Sûreté du Québec, which had responded to a call from the Blainville police service asking for assistance with a suspicious death. Continue reading