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When you next sit down at your local coffee shop, look around you: there may just be a professional hitman sitting at the next table. As author Mark Shaw reveals in this highly original and informative book, the ‘upper world’ sails perilously close to the underworld.
Hitmen For Hire takes the reader on a journey like no other, navigating a world of hammermen (hitmen), informers, rogue policemen, taxi bosses, gang leaders and crooked businessmen. The book examines a system in which contract killings have become the norm, looking at who arranges hits, where to find a hitman, and even what it is like to be a hitman – or woman.
Since 1994, South Africa has witnessed some spectacular underworld killings associated with various industries and sectors. Drawing on over a thousand cases, from 2000 to 2016, Shaw reveals how these murders have an outsized impact on the evolution of both legal and illegal economic activity.
Just who is Radovan Krejcir? Known as “Baas John” to his underlings, he arrived in South Africa in 2007 under a false passport. He was a fugitive, a powerful Czech multimillionaire, who escaped from prison on fraud charges and fled to the good life in the Seychelles. But a bid by the Czech Republic to have him extradited saw Krejcir coming to South Africa. He was arrested at the airport, but an alleged bribe kept him in the country. Within a few years Krejcir had amassed great wealth and his name began being associated with underworld gang members such as Cyril Beeka and Lolly Jackson. It was the murder of Lolly Jackson that brought Krejcir’s name into the limelight and revealed his dealing with crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa and small time criminal George Louka.
Over the next three years 10 more deaths took place, each one more dramatic than the next. He was also the victim of a bizarre James Bond style shoot out. His business Moneypoint exploded when a bomb left inside a bag blew up, killing two associates. Soon afterward Krejcir was arrested, but in true Krejcir fashion even a jail cell could not hold him down. Police foiled a plan to murder top cop Colonel Nkosana Ximba and forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and to stop numerous escape attempts.
He has been found guilty and sentenced for kidnapping, attempted murder and attempted drug possession. He also faces charges for the murder of Sam Issa, the conspiracy to murder investigators and the murder of Phumlani Ncube, a hit man-turned informant. But Krejcir reveals why we have not heard the last of the worst crime boss South Africa has ever seen.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
In The Dirty Game, investigative reporter and BBC Panorama presenter Andrew Jennings, who has been heralded around the world for his decade-long pursuit of this story, uncovers the eye-watering level of fraud and criminal activity at the heart of FIFA, which has been described as the biggest sporting scandal of the century.
From Blatter to Blazer, from bribery to embezzlement, Jennings reveals the key protagonists, crimes and evidence he handed to the FBI which led to the arrests of FIFA executive and the resignation of Sepp Blatter.
Written in a gripping narrative, and based on years of research and never-before-seen documents, this is the definitive portrait of the downfall of FIFA, and the men who stole football.
This is the story of the world’s biggest unprosecuted fraud. A fraud that in today’s terms amounts to R26 billion.
The cast is stellar: top financial institutions, leading bankers, a world where every other player is a lawyer, a world where Brett Kebble was king. This is a world of outright denial and selective amnesia, of complex financial transactions designed to confuse, obfuscate and hide the spoils. This is a world of dirty dealings across the upper strata of the socio-political system.
Barry Sergeant, hard-hitting, bestselling author of Brett Kebble: The Inside Story, now tackles the murky world of shady financial dealings, post the Kebble murder. A frightening world, where whistle-blowers have to watch their backs. A world where so many major players are involved to such an extent that none of them can afford the cost of the truth. This is a major work that relies on painstaking details and many years of preparation. It is ultimately about unravelling one of the world’s biggest cover-ups.
The Lolly Jackson murder case – a mix of elements that has grabbed the public’s imagination. Fast cars, fast money, murder, revenge, missing millions and smashed up Teazers clubs. With kilometres of newspaper headlines and a body count growing by the week, the insatiably curious public is still no closer to the truth. Amidst the confusing reports, money laundering on a grand scale, SARS investigations and the mafia-like killings, Jacana Media brings you the inside story in a book entitled: Lolly Jackson: When fantasy becomes reality. The book opens on the night of Lolly’s murder and is a personal, inside track into the reality of Lolly's private and business lives, as never before made public. Intimate and detailed, it provides the reader with a fascinating view of a previously only imagined world.
An account of the illicit drug trade and sex industry which shows how post-apartheid South Africa has been drawn closely into the global market for drugs, while continuing to exhibit its own peculiarities. Included is a discussion of official policy towards vice and suggestions for effective control measures.
Domestic terrorism. Financial uncertainty. Troops abroad, fighting an unsuccessful and bloody war against guerrilla insurgents. A violent generation gap emerging between a discontented youth and their disapproving, angry elders. This was the early seventies in America, and it was against this backdrop that the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Front - a rag-tag, cult-like group of political extremists and criminals - stole headlines across the world. Using new research and drawing on the formidable abilities that made The Run of His Life a global bestseller, Jeffrey Toobin uncovers the story of the kidnapping and its aftermath in vivid prose and forensic detail.
KILLING GOLDFINGER charts the extraordinary rise and spectacular bullet-riddled fall of John Palmer, the richest, most powerful criminal ever to have emerged from the modern British underworld. During the late 1990s, Palmer was rated as rich as The Queen by the Sunday Times Rich List.Palmer earned his nickname Goldfinger after smelting (in his back garden) tens of millions of pounds worth of stolen gold bullion from the 20th century's most lucrative heist; the Brink's-Mat robbery. Palmer then used his share of the millions to become the vicious overlord of a vast illegal timeshare property empire in Tenerife. At the same time, Goldfinger financed huge international drugs shipments as well as some of the most notorious UK robberies of the past 30 years, including the GBP50m Securitas heist in Kent in 2006 and, many believe, the Hatton Garden heist in 2015.Palmer vowed to hunt down all his underworld enemies. But in the end it was those same criminals who decided to bring his life to an end. Murdered in June 2015, with charges of fraud, money laundering and worse pending, this book tells his murky story for the first time.As outrageous and bullet-riddled as the hit Netflix series Narcos, Killing Goldfinger tells the true story of Britain's underworld kingpin, who turned the sunshine holiday island of Tenerife into his very own Crime Incorporated and then paid the ultimate price.
The Japanese Yakuza. The Chinese Triads. The Sicilian Cosa Nostra. The Calabrian N'Drangheta. The New York Mafia. The Russian Vory -v -Vakone. Today, mafias operate across the globe, with hundreds of thousands of members and billions of pounds in revenue. From Hong Kong to New York, these vast organisations spread their tentacles into politics, finance and everyday life. But what is it like to belong to the Mafia? How do you join? What does it do to your loved ones? How do you make it to the top? And what happens if you break the rules? Criminologist Federico Varese draws on a lifetime's research to give us access to some of the world's most secretive societies. Mixing reportage with case studies and historical insights, this is the story of mafia as it really is: filled with boredom and drama, death and disaster, ambition and betrayal. Infiltrating initiation ceremonies from Russia to England, visiting exclusive gambling clubs in Macau and Mafia summits in Dubai luxury hotels, Varese builds up a unique picture of life in the mafia from the inside.
When Pablo Escobar, Colombia's "King of Cocaine," was killed, the
world thought--or hoped--the cocaine industry would crumble. But
ten years later the country's production had almost quadrupled, and
since 2001, Colombia has produced more than 60% of all the cocaine
consumed in the world.
A gay man who created New York's most notorious den of heterosexuality ...an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history...In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. Blutrich, founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York history. A resourceful lawyer at one of the city's most respected firms, Blutrich fell into the skin trade almost by accident, but it was his legal savvy that made Scores the first club in Manhattan to feature lap dances and enabled him to neatly sidestep a law requiring dancers to wear pasties by instead covering their nipples with latex paint. Soon Scores, the club Howard Stern called "like being in a candy shop," was a home away from home for everyone from sports superstars and Oscar-winning actors to pop singers and political notables alike. The catch? The club was smack dab in John Gotti's territory, and the mafia wanted a piece of the action. The Gambino family doesn't take no for an answer ...and neither, as it turns out, does the FBI. In his memoir, Blutrich recounts in detail how his beloved club became a hub for the mafia, and how he found himself caught up in an FBI investigation, sorely struggling to juggle roles of business owner and undercover spy. As his life spiraled out of control, Blutrich would face the loss of almost everything dear to him. But whether marching a line of topless strippers as human exhibits into a trial to save the club's liquor license or wearing wires to meetings with armed gangsters, he never lost his sense of humor or his nerve. In Scores, Blutrich finally tells all--from triumph to betrayal--in his own funny, self-deprecating voice.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom - and almost got away with it. In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything - drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons - free of the government's watchful eye. While the federal government were undertaking an epic two-year manhunt for the site's elusive proprietor, the Silk Road quickly ballooned into a $1.2 billion enterprise. Ross embraced his new role as kingpin, taking drastic steps to protect himself - including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren't sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It's a story of the boy next door's ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralised Web advocates and the old world of government control, order and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it's all too real.
For the past five years, journalist Sarah Garland has followed the lives of current and former gang members living in Hempstead on the border of Garden City, Long Island. Affiliated with Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street, their troubling personal stories expose the cruel realities of segregation, racial income gaps, and poverty that lie hidden behind suburban white picket fences.
As Garland travels from Los Angeles to El Salvador and back to the East Coast, she reveals a disturbing cycle of poverty in which families, fleeing from troubled Central American cities, move into America's suburban backyards, only to find the pattern of violence repeating itself. Brilliantly reported and sensitively told, "Gangs in Garden City" draws back the veil on a hidden, troubling world.
What drug lords learned from big businessHow does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the 300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola. And what can government learn to combat this scourge? By analyzing the cartels as companies, law enforcers might better understand how they work,and stop throwing away 100 billion a year in a futile effort to win the war" against this global, highly organized business. Your intrepid guide to the most exotic and brutal industry on earth is Tom Wainwright. Picking his way through Andean cocaine fields, Central American prisons, Colorado pot shops, and the online drug dens of the Dark Web, Wainwright provides a fresh, innovative look into the drug trade and its 250 million customers. The cast of characters includes Bin Laden," the Bolivian coca guide Old Lin," the Salvadoran gang leader Starboy," the millionaire New Zealand pill maker and a cozy Mexican grandmother who cooks blueberry pancakes while plotting murder. Along with presidents, cops, and teenage hitmen, they explain such matters as the business purpose for head-to-toe tattoos, how gangs decide whether to compete or collude, and why cartels care a surprising amount about corporate social responsibility.More than just an investigation of how drug cartels do business, Narconomics is also a blueprint for how to defeat them.
No one can deny that mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi are two of the most brutal killers in American history--not even the two gangsters themselves. But a jury denied the Davis family closure for the slaying of Debbie Davis, Flemmi's beautiful young girlfriend, who went missing in 1981 and whose remains were found nearly twenty years later under the Neponset River Bridge in Quincy, Massachusetts. Now serving a life sentence, Stephen Flemmi testified in graphic detail how he lured Debbie to a house in South Boston where Bulger jumped out of the shadows and strangled her to death. Flemmi then extracted her teeth and buried her body by the Neponset River while Bulger watched. Bulger wanted Debbie dead, Flemmi claimed, because she knew that the two men were meeting with an FBI agent named John Connolly. That, and he might have been jealous of the time Flemmi and Debbie were spending together. Throughout his trial, Bulger stubbornly insisted that he never would have committed the dishonorable act of killing a woman. In the end, it was one stone-cold murderer's testimony against another's. In Impact Statement, veteran journalist Bob Halloran looks at the devastating impact Bulger and Flemmi have had on the Davis family, whose longstanding relationship with the two mobsters cost them a father, two sisters, and a brother. Through up-to-the-minute coverage of Bulger's criminal trial and extensive interviews with Debbie's brother Steve Davis, a one-time protege of Flemmi's and now an outspoken advocate for the victims' families, Halloran has pieced together this unique and compelling story of a family's quest for justice.
"Queen of Thieves" is the gritty, fast-paced story of Fredericka
"Marm" Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her
profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York
City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country's
top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and
power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or
otherwise. The "New York Times" called Mandelbaum "the nucleus and
center of the whole organization of crime in New York City."
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