FOREST's ADVANCES

Trying to get rid of surfing, wasted too much time, any suggestion?.......................... 七宗罪?............................... 1,没有原则的政治;2,不劳而获的财富;3,没有理智的享乐;4,没有特点的知识;5,没有道德的商业;6,没有人文关怀的科学;7,没有牺牲的崇拜。............................................. 虽然这是圣雄甘地说老印的.......

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A little drama added to overseas Chinese community

Undercovered FBI have worked for a Chinese gang distributing counterfeit cigarettes to streets for years, Haa ha, right, FBI let counterfeit cigarettes to be sold to the public! I guess the cigarette quality must have been good, perhaps even better than the authentic ones!
Otherwise, look out, Marlboro and Newport suckers, please check if they're "made in China" before you smoke!

Taylor said the agents not only arranged with customs officials to let the illegal cigarettes in at Port Newark, they also had the federal Centers for Disease Control test them to make sure they were no more toxic than regular cigarettes and set up a warehouse in southern New Jersey to distribute them.

The story you really don't wanna miss!!
Another good one Just like what we've seen in movies, cool!
Chinese version
I guess certain HongKong action movie writer has started making money on this one already...

UPDATE: just came across this interesting post by simon, saying that he found many more businesses in Big Apple. Apparently simon don't know FBI is operating them:)

Feds: Elderly Maryland couple was at center of illegal importing

By GEOFF MULVIHILL
Associated Press Writer

August 23, 2005, 5:42 PM EDT


CAMDEN, N.J. -- Back in November 1999, an older couple from a suburb of the nation's capital asked some undercover FBI agents for help.

The couple, both in their 60's, explained to the agents _ who were posing as members of the Mafia _ that they had been smuggling Chinese-made cigarettes into California but were being foiled and were looking for a new way to get their goods into the U.S.
That connection, recounted this week by authorities and in court papers, sparked a six-year relationship that allegedly gained the agents a foothold in a huge counterfeiting operation that involved a billion cigarettes, more than $3 million in counterfeit cash, fake Viagra, real club drugs and the promise of weapons, including anti-tank missile launchers.

It all ended Sunday, when two agents lured eight suspects to New Jersey for a fake wedding.

In sweeps since the weekend across the United States and in Canada, 60 people have been arrested, including eight nabbed as they converged on a staged wedding between two undercover FBI agents who were working the case.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, said Tuesday that all of the main suspects were in custody; some of the 27 others indicted in the case are believed to be in other countries.

It all started, according to federal agents, when Chang Shan Liu and his wife, May Liu, both of Gaithersburg, Md., told two undercover FBI agents they needed help smuggling cigarettes.

Stephen J. Taylor, the chief of the terrorism unit for the U.S. Attorney's office in Newark, said an FBI informant told the agency in 1999 that Chang Shan "Charles" Liu, 67, and May Liu, whose age has been listed in documents as being anywhere from 65 to 76, had been smuggling Chinese cigarettes into California, but were being foiled and were looking for a new way into the country.

The cigarettes, Taylor said, were made in plants on mainland China to look like U.S. brands, mainly Marlboro and Newport.

Suppliers in China bribed customs officials there to get the tobacco onto U.S.-bound container ships, authorities said. By offloading in the U.S. and skirting hefty taxes, the Lius and a network of other alleged criminals stood to make huge profits, authorities said.

But without a place to unload them, there was no money to be made.

Enter the undercover agents, who allegedly met the couple in Atlantic City. "They told the bad guys they had a hook who could get them through customs," Taylor said.

Taylor said the agents not only arranged with customs officials to let the illegal cigarettes in at Port Newark, they also had the federal Centers for Disease Control test them to make sure they were no more toxic than regular cigarettes and set up a warehouse in southern New Jersey to distribute them.

The Lius, according to court papers, paid $50,000 to $70,000 to the agents to get each of 14 shipping containers delivered into the United States.

Each container had around 500,000 packs of cigarettes, many of which authorities said were eventually sold to smokers, many of them in California, New York and New Jersey.

At a retail price of per $20 carton _ less than half the retail value for legal cigarettes _ a shipping container could generate up to $1.1 million.

And the sellers would skirt not only the tobacco and sales tax, but also an import duty of around $100,000 per container by bringing the goods into the U.S. marked as toys or furniture.

The fake mobsters found themselves doing deals with drivers and distributors all over the country. Sometimes, the agents would deliver the cigarettes to self-storage facilities or straight to dealers' trucks; sometimes drivers came to them.

In some cases, Taylor said, those lower-level criminals would offer to pay for the cigarettes not only cash but also in the club drug ecstasy. The involvement of street drugs broadened what was already a wide federal probe.

It was other connections overseas made through the Lius and their alleged associates that led to deals for arms, crystal meth and more than $3 million in high-quality counterfeit $100 bills, Taylor said.

The operation was busted dramatically over the weekend, thanks to a staged wedding to be held Sunday on a yacht off Cape May. Chang S. Liu was on the guest list.

Instead of taking guests to the wedding though, limousines took them to the FBI offices in Northfield, where they were arrested.

Chang S. Liu appeared in court Monday and on Tuesday was released on a $400,000 secured bond. His wife has not appeared in court; she is recovering from a stroke. Neither could be reached for comment; a home phone listed under their name has been disconnected.


Yet another one


'Wedding' wiles worldly group of suspects

By TROY GRAHAM

Philadelphia Inquirer


The FBI capped off a six-year international smuggling investigation by faking a wedding last weekend for two undercover agents and inviting suspects from all over the world to attend.

Ten of the "guests" were given limousine rides Sunday from their Atlantic City hotels purportedly to a wedding aboard a yacht off Cape May. The limos took a detour behind the FBI building in Northfield, N.J., where agents surrounded the cars and arrested the suspects.

"It was brilliant," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Taylor, who is chief of the terrorism unit for New Jersey. "I wish I could say I came up with the idea. It was a female undercover FBI agent who came up with it."

The arrests were part of a huge roundup that netted 59 of the 87 people indicted in federal courts in New Jersey and California on charges of smuggling cigarettes, drugs, guns and counterfeit U.S. currency. Fifty-seven people were charged in six indictments in New Jersey. That case will be prosecuted in federal court in Camden. Eleven of those 57 people - including four of the wedding guests, still wearing formal attire - appeared for bond hearings in Camden yesterday.

Most were of Chinese or Taiwanese decent, but there also was a dual Italian Canadian citizen and a Philadelphia man born in Israel. About half of the defendants are suspected of being in the country illegally, Taylor said.

U.S. Magistrate Joel B. Rosen said he would wait until all the defendants were assembled in Camden to hold an arraignment - probably not until mid-September.

The investigation began in November 1999, when FBI agents from the Atlantic City office went undercover and posed as members of the Mafia to meet with Chang Shan Liu and his wife, May, both of Gaithersburg, Md.

The Lius served as brokers for two Chinese citizens named as the ringleaders in the cigarette-smuggling operation, Taylor said. The ring had been importing cigarettes through Long Beach, Calif., but was looking for a new port of entry after several seizures there.

The undercover agents told the Lius they had contacts at Port Newark who could get shipments through customs. From December 2001 until last week, 21 shipments - containing 200 million counterfeit cigarettes - came through Newark with the help of the undercover agents.

Cigarettes made in China

The cigarettes were manufactured in several factories in mainland China to look like Newport and Marlboro brands. Customs officials in China were bribed to allow the shipments to leave, Taylor said.

Because the cigarettes were not taxed, they were sold throughout the country at prices as low as about half the price of legal cigarettes. The undercover agents handled delivery of the cigarettes to places and people specified by the Lius.

Most of the cigarettes were distributed in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, but some went as far as Chicago and even Canada. The FBI had the cigarettes tested to make sure they were no more toxic than other cigarettes before allowing them to be distributed.

Chang Shan Liu also was charged with importing counterfeit Viagra through Newark.

The investigation eventually branched into several other areas. A distributor in Chicago, for instance, asked to pay the undercover agents for the cigarettes in ecstasy pills instead of cash. He later introduced the agents to a Canadian man who sold the agents more than 12,000 ecstasy pills.

The undercover agents also began handling cigarette shipments for another man, Khanh "Keith" Tang, Taylor said. The agents asked Tang whether he had any connections for drugs, guns and counterfeit money.

Counterfeit currency

Tang took the agents to meet Jyimin "Jimmy" Horng in Phuket, Thailand. Horng eventually arranged to ship to Newark a total of $3.3 million in counterfeit currency - known as "super notes" because of the high quality of the bills. Super notes often are manufactured in North Korea.

Horng also sent 390 grams of crystal meth into the country and arranged a shipment of weapons. The agents selected the arms from a catalog they were provided. The $1 million shipment, which included rockets, silenced submachine guns and antitank missiles, would have arrived last month. The smugglers put off the arrival for a couple months because of the heightened security after the London terrorist bombings, Taylor said.

During the trip to Thailand the undercover agents brought along their "girlfriends," who were agents providing extra backup.

The "wedding" for one of the couples was announced about seven months ago.

"Invitations were sent out, a date was given and RSVPs were received from different points around the world," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

The wedding was set for the fictitious yacht Royal Charm, which was actually the FBI's operational name for the investigation.


2005.08.24  中國時報
坐上迎賓車 直達聯調局 FBI鴻門婚宴 一舉擒華人黑幫
閻紀宇/綜合廿三日外電報導


美國司法部長岡薩雷斯昨天宣布,執法當局透過長達四年半的臥底行動,破獲一個龐大的國際走私、偽造與洗錢集團,八十七名嫌犯遭到起訴,其中五十九人已經在美國與加拿大的十一個城市遭到逮捕,另外廿八人在逃。據熟悉案情的官員透露,這個集團的主要成員是來自澳門、中國大陸與香港等地的華裔罪犯,以一個許(徐)姓家族為核心。

這個集團走私與偽造的違禁品與商品種類極廣,當局迄今已查獲四百四十萬美元的偽造百元美鈔、市值四千兩百萬元的假菸、四萬五千一百顆快樂丸、五.五公斤甲基安非他命、價值七十萬美元的偽造美國郵票、市值一萬美元的假陽痿藥「威而鋼」,以及數十萬美元的各種走私物品;此外該集團還準備走私一批價值一百萬美元的武器,包括火箭彈發射器、自動步槍、消音手槍、消音衝鋒槍。司法部助理檢察長李希特說:「這個集團幾乎可以讓人『一次購足』各種非法物品。


臥底幹員假結婚 42人上鉤

立下大功的兩項臥底行動,分別是在東岸新澤西州進行的「皇家魔力行動」(OperationRoyal Charm)與西岸加州洛杉磯地區的「噴煙龍行動」(Operation Smoking Dragon),以聯邦調查局(FBI)幹員為主力,九個聯邦官署、加拿大皇家騎警與多個地方執法單位參與任務,司法部表示,偵辦規模之大史無前例。

逮捕行動中最精彩的一段過程,猶如電影「婚禮終結者」的改編版,廿一日下午在新澤西州的大西洋城展開。一男一女兩名長期臥底、深獲集團信賴的聯調局幹員,假意表示他們要在當地「五月角」外海的一艘遊艇「皇家魔力號」上舉行婚禮,廣發喜帖邀請集團重要成員觀禮,結果有四十二人上鉤,其中有不少是從中國大陸遠道而來。

這批黑幫賓客抵達大西洋城之後,坐上由「新人」特地準備的豪華「迎賓」禮車,結果禮車並沒有駛向碼頭,而是直達聯調局位於諾斯菲爾德的拘留所。他們被請下車、戴上手銬時一臉錯愕,其中一人帶著一對勞力士金錶準備送給「新人」;另一人得知「婚禮已經取消」時,還很關切地探問「新人」到底出了什麼事。

美金香菸威而鋼 啥都偽造

兩位聯調局幹員從四年半前開始偽裝成黑手黨分子,在新澤西州與該集團的一對劉姓夫妻接頭,表示自己有銷售走私貨的管道,想與該集團合作。當時該集團從南加州走私上岸的假菸屢被當局抄獲,正想另闢管道,於是雙方一拍即合,從二○○一年十二月開始,改經新澤西州的紐渥克港走私假菸。這些劣質假菸是在中國大陸製造,冠上「Marlboro」(萬寶路)與「Newport」兩種品牌,經由賄賂中國海關官員放行,以家具等商品名義裝入貨櫃運往美國,再分銷至美加各地。執法單位為取信於集團,在化驗確定其毒性並不高於一般香菸後,真的將這些假菸在街頭販賣,價格為真菸一半。

雙方的「合作」默契日益順暢,於是進一步從去年四月開始,透過集團的唐姓與洪姓嫌犯,以同樣手法走私北韓製造的偽鈔,這批號稱「超級鈔票」的一百美元偽鈔在國際上赫赫有名,連最精密先進的儀器都未必能判定真偽,不過執法單位當然沒有讓它在市面上流通。後來唐姓與洪姓兩名嫌犯還準備走私大批火力強大的槍械,但是只來得及匯出訂金,整個集團就已宣告瓦解。

3 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home