Gardai closely watch mob boss suspected of ordering murder of Vinnie Ryan


 •           BY CATHAL MCMAHON
•          
Gardai are closely watching a mob boss suspected of ordering the murder of Vincent “Vinnie” Ryan.
The gangster, nicknamed Mr Big, is also believed to be linked to the killing of Ryan’s brother, Real IRA boss Alan Ryan, in 2012.
He was blasted in the head and throat with what is believed to be a machine gun.
Now gardai fear retaliation from associates of the murdered dissidents.
Pals of the Ryans slammed the State for failing to lock up the international drug trafficker who is on bail for offences on either side of the border.
Family friend and criminologist Malachy Steenson said: “He is on bail for serious crimes in two jurisdictions.
“He should be in custody not on the streets ordering murders. This is a massive failure.
“He was arrested for the offences in the North while on bail here.
“There is no political will to put people like Mr Big in prison.
“He will be served with a CAB bill but that only means that he has to pay taxes on his drug dealing.”
Mr Big first came into conflict with Alan Ryan when the Real IRA chief tried to extort cash from him.
It’s believed he ordered Alan’s murder and last July offered €30,000 to anyone who killed Vinnie.
Shortly after Monday’s murder, officers seized Mr Big’s car from a North Dublin hotel. Forensic tests are still being carried out.
Meanwhile, Vinnie’s body has been released to the family ahead of his funeral on Tuesday in Donaghmede, North Dublin.
Mr Steenson said there will be no military parade or shots fired over his coffin.


Kinahan gang linked to UK horse race fixing criminal outfit



Ken Foy
The murderous Christy Kinahan cartel is heavily involved with two English criminals deeply associated with horse race fixing.
A special Herald investigation reveals that the notorious English duo, who live in mansions in the suburbs of London, regularly travel back and forth between Ireland and the UK where they host meetings with members of the Kinahan mob.
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It has long been suspected that the cartel have been heavily involved in race-fixing and it is understood that they has made hundreds of thousands of euro from it.
Fortune
The British pair are well-known to police and gardaĆ­, and have made themselves and the Kinahans a fortune over the years.
The two men, who have been previously identified in England for their involvement in racing scams, are given accommodation by associates of the cartel when they are in Dublin.

The Kinahan mobs' links to horse race fixing have been well established.
5Daniel Kinahan
Godfather Christy Kinahan’s son Daniel was mentioned in the high-profile jockey Kieran Fallon’s race-fixing trial in November 2007, but was never charged.
Former champion jockey Fallon, from Co Tipperary, a professional gambler and four others were cleared of race-fixing after the case against them collapsed at the Old Bailey. Daniel Kinahan was named, but not accused of any involvement in the suspected conspiracy during the trial.60p low
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Before the trial collapsed, the court was shown photos of Daniel Kinahan talking with Yorkshire businessman Miles Rodgers – the man who police said ran the conspiracy.
Undercover
Evidence was also heard from an undercover police officer who followed Rodgers, a group of other men and Daniel Kinahan, who all got into Rodgers’ Mercedes in the early hours of May 27, 2004, after meeting at a Newmarket hotel.
The court heard that Kinahan and another man had booked into the hotel using false names and paying cash.
Eight days earlier, Fallon won on a horse called Russian Rhythm, which had allegedly cost the gambling syndicate £160,000 after they backed it to lose.
It was alleged that the four wanted to “confront” Fallon because he had cost them so much after allegedly agreeing to stop the horse from winning.
Birmingham connection
Separately, it can also be disclosed that the Kinahan mob are closely associated with a Birmingham gang who are suspected of being one of the biggest drugs-trafficking organisations in the UK.
The Birmingham criminals are believed to work hand in hand with the Kinahan organisation, and they operate a number of front companies in England which are primarily linked with transport and logistics.
“These companies are involved in the import of all types of narcotics which are then distributed throughout Ireland and the UK,” a source said.
“The Birmingham mob linked to the Kinahan cartel are long-term targets of the British Organised Crime Agency.
5This chilling photo shows two gangland accomplices running from the Regency Hotel in the aftermath of the attack
“A number of operations have been mounted in the last five years which has resulted in the seizure of millions of euro worth of goods.
“But the main men have not been caught and have been spotted in Dublin with Kinahan gang members on an increasingly regular basis in the past year. They have also been spotted with them in Birmingham.”
History
In 2007, the Kinahan cartel’s members were virtually unknown outside senior law enforcement circles.
All that was to change three years later when Daniel, his brother Christopher Jnr, their father Christy and more than a dozen other suspects were arrested as part of the international police investigation known as Operation Shovel.
The cartel’s international profile has increased further after last month’s tit-for-tat murders of their associate David Byrne in Dublin’s Regency Hotel, and the revenge attack on Eddie Hutch Snr.
Daniel Kinahan was one of the mourners at David Byrne’s funeral in the south inner city two weeks ago, alongside criminal Freddie Thompson, a long-time associate of the Kinahans.
The orgy of violence that began with the slaying of Eddie’s nephew Gary Hutch in Spain last September.
Online Editors

Yakuza vs. Yakuza in a ‘Sea of Blood’


JAKE ADELSTEIN

The schism in the Yamaguchi-gumi is generating one violent incident after another, but authorities believe the worst is yet to come. Beware the Ides of March.
TOKYO — Molotov cocktails, beatings, shootings—the tempo of Yakuza on Yakuza violence is picking up in Japan, and there’s every reason to believe it’s just a little taste of what’s to come.
Almost six months after this country’s largest crime organization—the Yamaguchi-gumi, the one yakuza group that once ruled them all—was split apart by the defection of many members to a new group calling itself Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, or KY, Japan’s tabloid press has been predicting “a sea of blood.”
Many fear the two gangs will go head to head in an all-out war, and other gangs may follow suit.
Taro Kono, Japan’s chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, which oversees the police, admitted as much at a news conference on March 4: “There’s no denying that a gang war is taking place,” he said.
A day later, on March 5, a truck was rammed into a KY office and shots fired into its building in Mito City. Then a truck was smashed into a Yamaguchi-gumi office in Mie Prefecture. In Kobe, a KY executive had his car smashed. On Sunday, around 7:40 a.m., five shots were fired into a KY office in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Kono said he had ordered the police to crack down on the groups, “so they will not cause trouble to the citizens,” an interesting and ironic choice of phrase. “Citizens” (shimin/katagi) is a favorite word used by the yakuza to suggest that their criminal world exists somehow in a parallel universe.
Japan’s organized crime groups claim to be fraternal organizations promoting humanitarian values. Yes, they acknowledge that they engage in racketeering, blackmail, and extortion, but they insist, “We don’t cause trouble to ordinary citizens.”
This has led to a curious and distinctly Japanese situation, in which, since 1992, organized criminal groups are not so much outlawed as regulated. But when the yakuza turn on each other, all bets are off.
When the Yamaguchi-gumi schism became evident last August, a police source in Hyogo Prefecture told The Daily Beast, “The last major split in the Yamaguchi-gumi resulted in five years of violent disruptive gang warfare. We are on full alert in case history repeats itself. It would seem likely that it will.”
According to the National Police Agency, since the KY peeled off from the Yamaguchi-gumi, there have been more than 20 violent flare-ups between members of the two groups. The attacks have included brawls, shootings, crashing vehicles into buildings, Molotov cocktails, and possibly at least one brutal murder.
Because of the legal framework attempting to manage established yakuza organizations, the century-old Yamaguchi-gumi, founded in 1915, has a disadvantage in the fight.
As a designated organized crime group they are subjected to a number of laws and regulations that make it easy for the police to raid their offices, arrest their members and slow their operations. The number three of the Yamaguchi-gumi was recently arrested on minor charges, leaving a gap in the power structure.
The Kobe Yamaguchi, on the other hand, was created only a few months ago and has not been officially designated an organized crime group. Thus it is able to move more freely.
The Hyogo Prefecture Police on March 22 will hold a hearing with Kunio Inoue, the head of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, who formerly headed the Yamaken-gumi faction of the Yamaguchi-gumi—before leading the rebellion.
The first months after the breakup were relatively quiet until Oct. 26, when Toshiyuki Kawachi, a mid-ranking Yamaguchi-gumi who had reportedly been exiled from the group, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The Osaka Police ruled it was a suicide.
On Nov. 15, in Mie Prefecture, Tatsuyuki Hishida, leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi Aiokai (literally “Love Cherry Blossoms Association”), was murdered by an intruder in his second home. He was found with his hands and feet bound and his head bashed in by an iron pipe. The killer had come in through the second-floor window.
That was not ruled a suicide. But even then the police did not call it a gang war-related killing. An official admission of a gang war would require the police to devote extensive manpower to preventing further bloodshed and even “protect” the yakuza groups from each other.
Since January, the conflicts have escalated. In Tokyo’s notorious red-light district, Kabukicho, there have been two run-ins between KY members and the Yamaguchi-gumi members; the first on Jan. 15 and the second on Feb. 15.
The most recent squabble began when Yamaguchi-gumi members attacked a KY member on their turf. Eyewitnesses reported seeing several men kicking and beating the KY member, who was wearing camouflage and had a shaved head. Some of his bones were broken and his skull cracked a few feet away from the local government office of the Shinjuku Ward. The Shinjuku Police descended on the area, closing it off for a short time.
There were according to some accounts, a total of 60 yakuza altogether, trading blows and kicks on the streets, in a scene reminiscent of the popular yakuza video game series Ryu Ga Gotoku. No arrests were announced.
Two days later, on Feb. 17 in Osaka, a two-ton truck was smashed into the offices of Yamaguchi-gumi Akira Rengo-kai. In Fukui Prefecture, on Feb. 23, in front of the police who were standing on alert outside the offices of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi Masaki-gumi office building, a 38-year-old member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Toshiyuki Yamamoto, fired five shots into the door and was arrested on the spot. On the same day, before his arrest, his letter and declaration of his crime was delivered to several media outlets and yakuza fanzines. (Yes, the yakuza have fan magazines in Japan.)
In the letter, Yamamoto wrote a plea for peace, making him sort of the Gandhi of gangsters. “To those in the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi: we all used to be brothers eating under the same roof, why do we have to be fighting here and there—it’s beyond my understanding. Before too long, many young people will be spilling their blood. It’s not good to sacrifice young people. Now is the time. Find a way to come back. Come back. Don’t make the actions I’m about to take be in vain.”
His five gunshots served as exclamation points.
On Feb. 29, in Toyama Prefecture, a Molotov cocktail was tossed at the home of a second-tier Yamaguchi-gumi office. And the hits keep coming.
An organized crime officer told The Daily Beast privately that the police were on high alert for the 15th of this month: the Ides of March.
“The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi has a monthly meeting in Tokyo every 15th,” the officer explained. “It isn’t always the same place and we don’t know where it will be next. On March 14, there will be a verdict delivered in Nagoya District Court over whether two Yamaguchi-gumi members are guilty of assault. The charges relate to their attempt to bring rebel members back into the fold. Everyone is losing patience.”
I joked that we really should “beware the Ides Of March,” as the soothsayer warned Julius Caesar before his murder in Shakespeare’s play. But the detective didn’t see the humor in it.
“This month is going to be rough—lots of reasons for fights, other than the 14th and 15th,” he continued seriously. “The birthday of the third generation leader of the group, Kazuo Taoka, is on March 28. Both groups claim to be following in his footsteps. It’s another pretext for conflict.”
As if, at this point, any more pretexts are needed. The tide is rising in the sea of blood.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, March 8, the National Police Agency, after officially recognizing that a gang war is taking place, set up a special headquarters to monitor and stop the conflict, and special divisions in 44 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The NPA announced that since the split (Aug. 27, 2015) there have been 49 skirmishes involving both gangs: four shootings, four scuffles involving multiple parties, three Molotov cocktails, and nine attacks using motor vehicles. The police have arrested and/or detained 65 yakuza involved in the gang wars.


Swiss swoop on fifteen alleged Italian mobsters



Swiss authorities have arrested 15 people suspected of belonging to the powerful Italian 'Ndrangheta crime organisation and are holding them pending extradition, the government said on Tuesday.
"Accused by Italian authorities of belonging to a criminal organization, 15 presumed members of the mafia organization 'Ndrangheta have been arrested, upon orders from the Swiss justice ministry," the ministry said in a statement.
 The 15 were all Italian citizens whose extradition has been requested by Rome, the statement said.
Twelve of them were detained in the northern canton of Thurgau, one in the neighbouring canton of Zurich and two in the southern Valais canton.
Italian police believe the group – which they describe as the most active, richest and most powerful crime syndicate in Europe – uses legitimate activities in northern Italy to recycle the huge amounts of cash generated by their drugs business.
 Over 140 people were ordered to stand trial at the end of last year for helping the group infiltrate the affluent north, including gangster bosses and businessmen.
Among those detained in Switzerland, two have already been sentenced to six to nine years in prison by the Reggio Calabria court in southern Italy, Tuesday's statement said.
 According to the extradition requests, those arrested are suspected of being part of a branch of the powerful 'Ndrangheta organisation based in the northern Swiss town of Frauenfeld.
  
"Belonging to this criminal organisation means among other things participating in meetings and rituals, submission to hierarchical structures and absolute obedience," the statement said.
 Swiss authorities said another two people had also been called in for questioning in connection with the case, but they had not been detained and since they are naturalized Swiss citizens they cannot be extradited.

Italian mobsters make as much money trafficking narcotics in Italy as Fiat does selling cars


 Reuters
Steve Scherer, Reuters

The Fiat logo is pictured at a car dealership at Motor Village in Los Angeles, California October 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni Thomson Reuters
The Fiat logo is pictured at a car dealership at Motor Village in Los Angeles
Italian mobsters make as much money trafficking narcotics in Italy as Fiat does selling cars, but without having to pay taxes, the anti-mafia prosecutors office said on Wednesday.
Citing estimates by the United Nations Office on Narcotics and Crime, antimafia prosecutors said that the narcotics trade earns more than 32 billion euros ($34.70 billion) annually for organized crime, which controls Italy's drug trade.
"It's as if the main national carmaker together with its suppliers, service providers and dealerships paid all their salaries and suppliers, and produced everything completely off the books and without any regulation, and then sold and reinvested everything without paying any taxes," the annual report by the anti-mafia prosecutor's office said.
"The small difference is that the profit margin for the drug traffickers is at least 10 times higher than any industrial manufacturer."
It said the Calabrian mafia, known as the 'Ndraungheta, had become Europe's top supplier of South American cocaine.
Thanks to "privileged" ties with South American criminal groups that "recognize the full trustworthiness of the Calabrian clans", the 'Ndrangheta has also set itself up as the main supplier of cocaine to other mafia groups in Italy, it said.
From July 2014 to June 2015, Italy seized almost 4 tons of cocaine, a decrease of more than 8% from the previous period. In the port of Gioia Tauro in Calabria, 3 tons of cocaine have been seized by police in the past three years.
The report was comparing earnings to Fiat in Italy, not the work of the wider Fiat Chrysler group worldwide.

($1 = 0.9221 euros)

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Alison Williams)

Chilling threat issued that 'gang war won't end until Kinahan is dead'


Ken Foy
The gang war between the Christy Kinahan cartel and the Hutch mob will not end until Daniel Kinahan is shot dead.
The grim warning was made this week by a major criminal who is believed to be one of the three hitmen who were disguised as gardai in the Regency Hotel murder of rival mobster David Byrne.
Daniel Kinahan, the son of cartel boss Christy Kinahan, was the chief target of the Regency attack – but he escaped from the hotel unharmed.
The chilling threat stands in contrast to the statement the Hutch family issued after the funeral of Eddie Hutch Snr, calling “on everybody for this cycle of violence to stop – and to stop now”.
The Herald can reveal that Daniel and his brother Christopher, as well as David Byrne’s thug older brother Liam, have all left Dublin and are currently based in London – where they are believed to be plotting their next move.
“They flew out to London City Airport a number of days ago, and things are calmer now they’re not in Dublin,” a source said.
Detectives are concerned by the “hardened” attitude displayed by members of the mob connected to slain Gary Hutch, despite this week’s massive raids on the gang at 11 locations in the capital.
 “We will not rest until Daniel Kinahan is dead. He caused all of this – it won’t end until he is in his grave’,” the gunman said.
This notorious north inner city criminal is a feared hitman who is suspected of carrying out the murders of Paul Kavanagh last year, as well as Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne in 2010, on behalf of the Kinahan cartel.
However, he cut ties with the gang after the murder of his close pal, Gary Hutch, and is now their sworn enemy.
 In the aftermath of Gary’s murder, sources revealed that the hitman refused to attend a number of meetings which the cartel attempted to organise with him because he was “disgusted and heartbroken” about what happened to his pal.
Of major concern is that up to 40 of the killer’s associates are of the same frame of mind.
 “Some of these lads have fled, others have not. The people who are around do not seem to mind at all – they are not worried about the gardai. They are only interested in the cartel,” a source said.
It is understood that the Dublin criminal, who is aged in his early 30s, is now based in the Coolock area.
 6FUNERAL: Mourners carry the remains of slain taxi driver Eddie Hutch Snr after he was gunned down in an attack at his Ballybough home in Poplar Row, Dublin by a four-man hit-team following the murder of David Byrne in the Regency Hotel
While his arch rival Daniel Kinahan and former pal Liam Byrne are based in London, it is understood that their close pal ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson remains in the capital.
Byrne, from Raleigh Square in Crumlin, is one of the capital’s most feared criminals and has convictions for firearms and a savage assault.
Daniel Kinahan, who does not have previous convictions, was one of the main targets and was arrested in 2010 as part of Operation Shovel – the international police probe against his father’s criminal empire.
He spent a number of weeks in custody before being released without charge.
Yesterday, the Herald revealed that the six-man hit team that were involved in the Regency attack were collected in six separate cars close to where they burnt out their getaway van after escaping the scene.
Tensions remain high in the capital, with armed gardai still patrolling the streets.



Gangster who ordered brutal murder of Gary Hutch arrives in Spain for crime summit



BY GARRETH MACNAMEE
Criminal spotted in south of Spain this week for meeting with associates
who sparked Ireland’s murderous gangland feud has been spotted in Spain in recent days, we can reveal.
The Irish gangster, who runs Kinahan’s drug empire from the UK Midlands, was seen on the Costa Del Sol during the week.
He has split his time between Dublin, the UK and Spain since the shocking Regency Hotel shooting three weeks ago.
It was this gangster who ordered the hits on Gary Hutch and Gerard Hatchet Kavanagh over a two year period - sparking the latest bloody feud.
Sources in Spain have told us this man was spotted close to the Kinahan stronghold in Estepona in the south of the country.
Our sources in the region have told irishmirror.ie that a meeting of some of the cartel’s leading members is believed to have taken place.
Meanwhile, Daniel Kinahan, Christy Snr’s son, is in London sorting out a bubbling feud with a UK based crime gang.
But it appears there are a number of crime summits happening across Europe.
Our source said: “It looks as if though they’re trying to put out fires with other international gangs.
“There’s no need for them to be fighting wars all over Europe.
“This is a chance for the Kinahan’s not to lose their control on the continent.
“This man was spotted in the south of Spain with a number of his heavies. He’s been in Spain and Dublin in recent weeks as well but he runs the Kinahan UK drugsempire from the Midlands in Britain.”




The Birmingham boxing champion and the Irish gangster's son




BY MIKE LOCKLEY
Matthew Macklin smiles for camera with Daniel Kinahan, whose dad is allegedly at centre of Dublin gangland family feud
BIRMINGHAM’S top fighter Matthew Macklin smiles for the camera as he soaks up Dublin’s night scene.
But the friend holding the bottle next to him is no ordinary fight fan.
He is Daniel Kinahan, whose father, Christy, is alleged to be at the centre of a bloody gangland family feud and rash of tit-for-tat killings that has brought fear to the Irish capital.
Macklin, former British and European champ, has no criminal connection and has never knowingly rubbed shoulders with mobsters.
But he may feel nervous about his links with Daniel Kinahan following the underworld war that has left bullet-riddled bodies in Marbella and Dublin.
Christy Kinahan, dubbed the Dapper Don, is allegedly at the forefront of an international narcotics cartel worth 500 million Euros.
Now based in Southern Spain, the 59-year-old has been convicted of drug and money laundering offences in Ireland, Holland and Belgium.
Bad blood between Christy and reformed criminal Gerry “The Monk” Hutch is understood to be the catalyst for a gangland war so intense that an elite unit of armed Garda officers has been placed on Dublin’s streets.
It is rumoured that Daniel Kinahan, a man heavily involved in the fight scene, was the intended target of disguised hitmen who brought terror to a boxing weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel. Daniel is believed to have been present at the ceremony, jumping from a window to avoid the spray of bullets.
The gunmen, one of them wearing a woman’s wig, shot dead Christy Kinahan’s most trusted footsoldier, David Byrne.
The Dublin assassination of The Monk’s brother, Eddie Hutch Snr – shot nine times in the head and neck – three days later has heightened fears of an all-out turf war.
The Kinahans are regulars at Brummie boxer Macklin’s contests. Only last year, 37-year-old Daniel spoke openly of his bond with the boxer known as the Tipperary Tornado because of his roots in the Emerald Isles.
And Daniel, who lives the high life in a £1.5 million Costa del Sol villa, revealed to leading fight magazine Boxing Monthly his links with Macklin’s MGM gym in Marbella.
“I had never met Macklin, although I knew of him,” he said. “I only met him after the Jamie Moore fight in September 2006. He came over a week after the fight. I met him at the airport and from there we became friends. Matthew is probably my best friend.”
Daniel boasted of playing a key role in bringing top fighters to thriving MGM.
“We have emails and calls every day from fighters in Britain, Ireland and around Europe waiting to join us,” he told Boxing Monthly. “We just want to keep building, doing bigger fights, bigger shows for the public, and push the fighters.”
Kinahan has certainly been active in signing boxing talent, luring a string of top Irish fighters to the MGM Marbella brand.
But one former champ has already paid a heavy price for getting close to the Kinahans.
In August, 2014, Salford crowd pleaser Jamie Moore was shot in the legs after leaving a Marbella mansion owned by Daniel Kinahan, the Manchester Evening News reported.
Moore was returning from a night out when he was approached and shot by a lone gunman in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.
The former European champion said: “I had got out of the taxi and was heading to the front door when a figure appeared out of the shadows.
“He was wearing a Halloween mask and carrying a gun. Me and my mate are always playing practical jokes on each other and that’s what I thought it was, a joke.
“I carried on walking and said ’You know this isn’t even funny’ and that’s when he shot me.
“The police said he shot five bullets and I just lay there and saw that I was losing a lot of blood.
“I rang the emergency services and waited, thinking ‘I am going to die’ because I had lost a lot of blood and I was going in and out of consciousness.
“Once they got me on the stretcher I passed out. All I remember was waking up in hospital and thinking ‘Thank God I’m alive’.”
Like Macklin, there is no suggestion Moore is in any way involved in criminality.
But the shooting spurred Daniel Kinahan into asking the Spanish courts to provide police protection.
His lawyer Javier Arias told The Irish Mirror: “The reason I will be asking for protection for Daniel is because of Jamie Moore’s shooting at the start of August.
“He was shot in Daniel’s garden and Daniel was at the property at the time.
“Daniel wasn’t injured but you’re obviously going to have a well-founded fear for your life if someone is shot inside your property.
“The incident shows there’s a very clear risk to Daniel’s safety.
“My application will be made in writing. I have no idea how long it will take to resolve.”
The seeds for a all-out underworld vendetta were sown in September, 2014, when Gerard “Hatchet” Kavanagh, an enforcer for Christy Kinahan, was shot dead at a Costa Irish bar.
In August last year, The Monk’s nephew, Gary Hutch – a gangster linked to organised crime in Ireland – was executed by the side of a swimming pool in Mijas. His associates vowed revenge on Christy Kinahan’s criminal empire.
The attack at The Regency Hotel, involving modified Kalishnikov rifles, saw a worrying departure in the Costa gangs modus operandi.

The Third Largest Japanese Mafia Organization is Born


                         
Tokyo, Feb 27 (Prensa Latina) A division of the mafia group Yamaguchi-gumi became the country''s third largest criminal organization, the NHK network informs today.
It is denominated the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, which last summer separated from the yakuza, or Japanese mafia of greater extent.
The National Police Agency said that the newly created criminal group has about 6,000 members and only preceded by the Sumiyoshi-kai from Tokyo, 7,000, and the Yamaguchi-gumi, with about 14,000 members.
So far no clashes between these bands were recorded, since it is supposed that the distribution of territories took place.
Police officers began to take measures to prevent a violence escalation similar to the one that occurred in 1985, when another split took place and as a result there were more than 300 violent incidents.
The Yamaguchi-gumi gets its profits from extortion, gambling, the sex industry, smuggling of arms and drugs, real estate and construction operations, the stock market manipulation and the production of pornography on the Internet.
It is considered the most influential in Japan, because its members also operate in other countries, including the United States.

Five Yakuza Members Arrested on Suspicion of Drug Smuggling - Reports



© AP Photo/ ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASIA & PACIFIC
Five members of Japan’s Yakuza criminal network have been arrested for allegedly smuggling 220 pounds of drugs valued in the black market at around $63 million, Japanese media reported Wednesday.
TOKYO (Sputnik) – Four of the Yakuza members have been apprehended for possession in mid-February, according to the Kyodo news service. They were found inside a criminal network member’s vehicle on a Kagoshima prefecture ferry.
An investigation uncovered a drug trail leading from outside Japan’s territorial waters into the country.
The detained suspects are believed to be part of the 3,000-member Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi group recently after a split in the 23,000-member Yamaguchi-gumi.
Media reports said late last month that police raided the syndicate’s headquarters in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.


Police on high alert as violence escalates between rival yakuza gangs



KYODO
It’s like a mob movie.
Cars and trucks are crashing into the buildings of the nation’s largest yakuza crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, and its splinter group the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, putting police on high alert.
On early Thursday in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, a SUV ran into the garage of a house where the head of a Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi-affiliated group lives. Police officers who were monitoring the house arrested the driver, Akira Matsubara, 34, a member of a Yamaguchi-gumi-affiliated group, on the spot.
The garage door was destroyed in the incident, but no one was injured, according to police. Hidenobu Naruse, 52, another Yamaguchi-gumi affiliate member, was arrested Friday for providing assistance to Matsubara.
Meanwhile, in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, police found early Thursday morning a truck had backed into the closed side entrance of a three-story building occupied by an organization linked to the Yamaguchi-gumi. Police said the truck was a stolen car with Chiba-registered license plates and the building was empty when police arrived at the scene.
The incidents are the latest in a series of events over the past few days that have seen rival members storm the offices of the opposing side.
On Feb. 27, a gun was fired outside the home of a senior official of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi in Yashio, Saitama Prefecture. Police later found what appear to be two bullet marks in the walls of the house.
“I have to say these cases were conflicts between the opposing parties. We are determined to put a rest to this outbreak so it doesn’t cause any trouble to citizens,” Taro Kono, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, told a news conference on Friday.
Kono stressed he would push the police to designate the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi as a violent gang under the anti-mobster law at the earliest date.
The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi was established in August and is led by Kunio Inoue, who was expelled from the Yamaguchi-gumi.

Court rejects Whitey Bulger’s bid for new trial



DENISE LAVOIE
BOSTON - Former mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, convicted of participating in 11 murders during the 1970s and ’80s, will not get a new trial, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.
A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit of Appeals found that Bulger had not shown his right to a fair trial was violated when a judge barred him from testifying about his claim that he received immunity for his crimes.
“For the reasons spelled out above, Bulger got a fair trial and none of the complained-of conduct on the court or government’s part warrant reversal of his conviction,” the appellate judges concluded.
The ruling likely isn’t the end of the line for Bulger, who was once one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives: He has the right to appeal the panel’s ruling by asking for a hearing before the full court of six judges. His lawyer Hank Brennan didn’t immediately comment Friday.
Brennan argued before the court in July that Bulger’s defense was eviscerated when he wasn’t allowed to tell the jury that a now-deceased federal prosecutor granted him immunity to commit crimes. The trial judge said Bulger had not offered any hard evidence of such an agreement.
Prosecutors argued that Bulger was not barred from taking the witness stand in his own defense, only from testifying about his immunity claim.
The appeals panel, in its ruling, determined the trial judge was right to take up the immunity issue pretrial, saying its research has found that resolving such claims before trial is “more the norm than the exception.”
Bulger, who’s now 86, fled Boston in 1994 following a tip from an FBI agent that he was about to be indicted, and he was on the run for more than a decade. He was finally captured with his longtime girlfriend in Santa Monica, California, in 2011. The girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who’s in her mid-60s, pleaded guilty to charges related to helping Bulger elude authorities and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
During Bulger’s 2013 trial, he disputed the government’s contention that he was a longtime FBI informant who gave the agency information on the New England Mafia, his gang’s main rival.
Bulger said that former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan, who died in 2009, had given him immunity during the 1980s in return for protecting his life from the mobsters he prosecuted. The judge found that O’Sullivan did not have the authority to grant such immunity.
Bulger, after deciding not to testify in his own defense, cited the judge’s ruling and called his trial a “sham.”
“And my thing is, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial, and this is a sham,” he said in court.
Brennan argued that if Bulger had been allowed to testify about his immunity claim, the jury would have had a chance to weigh his credibility against the credibility of prosecution witnesses.
Associated Press reporter Philip Marcelo contributed to this report.

Lawyers seek to bar unflattering evidence in Lightbody case



Filings made by Charles Lightbody’s attorneys offer a behind-the-scenes look at the legal maneuvering on points large and small that typically occurs in advance of a complex trial.
By Milton J. Valencia GLOBE STAFF 

You can call Charles A. Lightbody a felon, just don’t elaborate on his criminal past, and don’t refer to him as a New England Mafia associate.
Don’t mention King Arthur’s, the adult entertainment club in Chelsea. If you do, describe it as a bar and nightclub, and definitely don’t refer to defendant Dustin DeNunzio’s visit to a similar establishment in Boston. In fact, don’t refer to his social life at all.
And, of considerable importance, please limit discussion of Lightbody’s jailhouse conversations with reputed New England Mafia soldier Darin Bufalino, because it might unfairly link his codefendants to La Cosa Nostra. Especially DeNunzio, whose name is similar to high-ranking Mafia figures Carmen and Anthony DiNunzio.
Those demands are just a few in a lengthy list made by lawyers for DeNunzio, Lightbody, and codefendant Anthony Gattineri and filed with a federal judge this week. The filings, called motions in limine, are meant to resolve last-minute legal disputes, and they offer a behind-the-scenes look at the legal maneuvering on points large and small that typically occurs in advance of a complex trial.
The three men are charged with fraud for allegedly trying to conceal Lightbody’s lucrative financial interest in an Everett property that was sold to Wynn Resorts to build a casino. Federal authorities allege Lightbody wanted to conceal his ownership because he is a convicted felon, and therefore barred by the state from profiting from casino-related business. His attorneys dispute that interpretation of the law.
US District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton will work with lawyers on both sides of the case to establish evidentiary rules before the trial begins in April; the 14 motions filed by defense lawyers seek to establish narrow parameters for what type of evidence will be presented to a jury, and the lawyers appear to be particularly concerned about unflattering details that could color jurors’ views of the defendants.
One motion, for instance, seeks to prevent government prosecutors from “making inflammatory and gratuitous reference to [DeNunzio’s] social life,” saying prosecutors have made past references to “aspects of Mr. DeNunzio’s social life that jurors might find unflattering or distasteful.”
Such information, which the lawyers fear would cause “seriously unfair prejudice,” includes DeNunzio’s discussion with Lightbody about an hours-long visit to the Centerfolds adult entertainment club in Boston, where, the lawyers argue, DeNunzio planned to conduct “research” in advance of buying a similar business in Chelsea.
Lawyers for DeNunzio also want to block the testimony of a witness who was previously asked about her romantic relationship with DeNunzio — which was short-lived because he did not want to settle down, she said — and about a night she spent out with him in Florida, when they got bottle service at a dance club.
“There is simply no proper purpose for the prosecution to probe into ‘the nature’ of her friendship with Mr. DeNunzio, to elicit details about Mr. DeNunzio’s desire to remain a bachelor, or to ask for descriptions of Mr. DeNunzio’s nightlife,” the lawyers argued. “Such unnecessary probing would serve only to inflame the jurors’ passions by painting Mr. DeNunzio as some sort of despicable playboy.”
Establishing what evidence will be allowed during a trial lays the groundwork for a case. Martin Weinberg, a criminal defense attorney in Boston, said judges invite such requests from both sides because establishing the rules in advance helps streamline a trial.
Without the judge setting those parameters, defense lawyers might jump up to object every time a prosecutor attempted to enter testimony about DeNunzio’s past.
Weinberg also said a defendant’s requests are often shaped by the government’s case, and how broad prosecutors will be in presenting evidence to a jury. The defense may argue that much of the evidence is irrelevant, as part of a strategy to weaken the government’s case before the trial even starts.
In the cases against DeNunzio and the other two defendants, Weinberg hypothesized, “The defense is confident that they have a rational chance of acquittal if the case is tried narrowly based on the white-collar type of allegations, and would have a more challenging trial if the case is permeated with references to prejudicial information that they contend is inadmissible.”
Several of the motions refer to technical matters. Defense lawyers, for instance, want to prevent prosecutors from using the term “backdating” when referring to the defendants’ adjustment of dates on paperwork, saying the term implies fraud.
But other requests are clearly intended to protect the defendants’ image in front of jurors. For instance, the defense wants to prevent prosecutors from suggesting that the acronym used in the name of the defendants’ company — FBT Everett Realty — contains an expletive in reference to a business opponent.
“There is no evidence that any of the three defendants in this case had anything to do with selecting or approving that name,” the defense lawyers argued.
Other documents seek to limit what prosecutors can say about Lightbody’s criminal history and his ties to organized crime figures such as Bufalino. Prosecutors say they uncovered the alleged fraud scheme partly because of Lightbody’s conversations with Bufalino. Lightbody had visited Bufalino in prison.
And several documents seek to preclude the government from making “non-probative, inflammatory descriptions of the King Arthur’s club” — a Chelsea club that has historically been associated with criminal rackets and scene of crimes including murder.
DeNunzio, Lightbody, and a third man considered taking over and redeveloping the Chelsea club, giving them an obvious financial interest in the development of the proposed casino that would go up in Everett. But they argued in the court filings that their interest was no different than that of the nearby pizza parlor, or Dunkin’ Donuts. The lawyer reasoned that calling King Arthur’s a “strip club” in front of jurors would be irrelevant.
“The fact that the local business in question provides adult entertainment is not of consequence in determining the wire fraud charges,” the lawyers argued.
Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MiltonValencia.



Prosecution details bust of Staten Island man with alleged mob ties


By Mira Wassef | mwassef@siadvance.com

MANHATTAN, N.Y.—An alleged Staten Island mobster was living like a gangster when cops busted into his home and found him stocked with sex pills, drugs, wads of cash and about a half dozen guns, according to officials.
That was just some of the evidence that connects Anthony "Skinny " Santoro to the Bonanno crime family, prosecutors said during the Great Kills man's trial Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Santoro and his three co-defendants - Nicholas Santora, 73, Vito Badamo, 53, and Ernest Aiello, 36 - are charged with enterprise corruption, including gambling and loansharking.
Santoro, 52, dressed in a beige suit and white-collared shirt, was jovial and easy going listening to testimony about when cops abruptly busted in on him and his girlfriend at 6 a.m. back in February 2012.
He even laughed when his attorney held up a small white T-shirt the prosecution claims he used to clean his guns up against his not so skinny frame.
"I don't think it fits him," joked defense attorney Adam Konta, who represents Santoro.
During the early-morning raid of Santoro's Tanglewood Drive residence, authorities collected seven firearms, several rounds of ammunition, 24 Viagra pills, $45,000 in cash and nine bags of marijuana found in several safes hidden throughout the home, NYPD Det. Shawn Ricker testified.
The 15-man team also searched a black Cadillac sedan, but didn't find anything.
Santoro, Ricker said, was courteous and chivalrous to the detective after the crew had completed the two-hour search.
Santoro shook the detective's hand and told him, " 'No hard feelings. You're just doing your job. I take full responsibility. She has nothing to do with it.'"
The defendant was referring to his girlfriend, Christine Alfieri.
On cross-examination, Konta coaxed the detective into admitting that the Tanglewood home and the Cadillac belonged to Santoro's girlfriend.
"Did you ask to see the deed to the home or did you check the car's registration in the glove compartment," the lawyer said.
"No," the detective replied.
Santoro, the defense claims, owns a home on Eagan Avenue in Annadale, and that's the address on his license where he receives mail.
The detective said he was unaware of that information and only searched the home the search warrant was issued for.
"Did you know the house was mutli-family dwelling," Konta asked.
"It was my understanding it was a single-family home, but I never researched it," Ricker said. "I was executing the address on the warrant."
Except, Ricker testified that one of the guns was found in the nightstand in the basement. However, the basement was rented out to another individual not involved in the sting, Konta pointed out.
The cash, the defense claims, belongs to Alfieri's son, who lives at the Tanglewood home. But, prosecutors said, the girlfriend never claimed any of the items from the seizure.
"You mean she never came down and said, 'These guns and drugs are mine,'" Konta sarcastically asked.
What the defense didn't find funny was that the detective didn't know if any DNA or fingerprint testing was done on any of the guns, and said none of the firearms were traced back to any crimes.
Ricker also said he removed a bullet from one of the guns, but didn't recall if he was wearing gloves.
"You weren't worried you would get your fingerprints on the gun?" another defense attorney asked.
The defendants were busted in July 2013 when authorities dismantled the nine-man Bonanno family crew.
The state claims Santora, the crime family's alleged ringleader, was in charge of an Internet gambling site, sold prescription drugs, like oxycodone and Viagra, on the black market, and the other three defendants were his associates.
Santora, who sat in the courtroom handcuffed to a wheelchair, inspired the character played by the late Bruno Kirby in the 1997 film "Donnie Brasco."
Testimony resumes 11:30 a.m. Monday.
The trial began in early February and is expected to last for at least two month


Gotti grandson called to testify in car arson case


By Daniel McDonald -

The grandson of late Gambino mob boss John Gotti has been slapped with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, the Daily News has learned.
Prosecutors want to question John Gotti, 22, whose father is mob scion Peter Gotti, in connection with an arson fire that flared up amid a dispute between two pizzerias in Queens, sources said.
His uncle, John (Junior) Gotti, was the crime family’s former acting boss.
Defense lawyer Gerard Marrone said Gotti is scheduled to appear March 16 in Brooklyn Federal Court, but he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“He had nothing to do with this crime and we feel it is only harassment because of his last name and because he’s the grandson of John Gotti," Marrone said.
Gotti is in the process of opening a tattoo parlor in Ozone Park, the lawyer said.
Last month, the FBI arrested Gino Gabrielli, 22, a waiter at Aldo’s Pizzeria in Howard Beach, on charges that he torched a Mercedes Benz leased by the owner of Sofia’s Pizzeria in nearby Ozone Park.
The eatery owners — Gabrielli’s grandfather Aldo Cantore owns Aldo’s pizzeria — had been feuding after Sofia’s allegedly beat him out for a $1,300 catering gig.
Gabrielli’s sister has been dating Gotti, but it is unclear what the feds think he knows about the incident.
The waiter’s lawyer Joseph DiBenedetto declined to comment.
Gabrielli allegedly set himself on fire during the crime and suffered burns on his leg. A surveillance video shows him going up in flames, according to court papers.
Shortly after the fire, he sought medical treatment at Jamaica Hospital.
John Gotti, known as the Teflon Don, once headed the Gambino crime family. He died in 2002 at 61 while serving time in federal prison.