Feature Articles

November 27, 2000

Round Up The Usual Suspects 2

By John William Tuohy

John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washingon, D.C.

compiled by John William Tuohy

China: Border police in southwest China's Yunnan province arrested a man for attempting to smuggle drugs hidden in the stomachs of ducks.

     Officers searching a vehicle became suspicious of the man who appeared nervous and was traveling with five ducks, three of them already dead, the official Xinhua News Agency reported late Friday.

     Questioned further, the man told police there was heroin hidden in the ducks' stomachs and that he was given $426 by an unidentified man to deliver them to a contact.

     Police then slit open the ducks, discovering 116 small packets containing a total 30 ounces of heroin, the report said.

     Yunnan borders Southeast Asia's notorious Golden Triangle drug-producing region, and heroin and other narcotics are run through the province to markets in China and abroad.

Los Angeles: A joint corruption task force is investigating allegations from a woman who claims two former officers killed two people in an apartment near their police station.

     The officers in question are officers Rafael Perez and David Mack.

     The so-called ``crash pad'' was where officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart station allegedly went to use drugs and meet their girlfriends.

     The FBI-LAPD task force is investigating the allegation made by one of Perez's ex-lovers, quoting unidentified law enforcement sources. Investigators on Thursday seized the car the unnamed woman claims Perez and Mack used to get rid of the bodies. The car belonged to a Rampart officer who leased the apartment where the slayings allegedly took place. The officer remains on duty and hasn't been charged.

     Authorities freed a Salvadoran national and ex-gang member who had been arrested by a member of the Rampart station's anti-gang unit.

     Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler overturned Sanchez's 10-year-old car theft conviction, saying the man was never told he would face deportation if he pleaded guilty.

Washington: A senior U.S. lawmaker has asked the American Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission for reports on the screening process for listing companies on the AMEX.

     Rep. John Dingell, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Commerce Committee, comes after a congressional hearing last week on the inroads organized crime has made in small cap stocks.

     Dingell asked them to study "whether Amex has an effective screening mechanism for identifying persons with questionable backgrounds."

     He also asked the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to conduct an audit of the AMEX listing department.

     In addition, he requested a report on AMEX screening procedures for "assessing the reputations of the management and stockholders of companies seeking a listing" and whether AMEX has enforced the screening process.

Dubai: Police have arrested several suspected prostitutes and pimps and closed down hotels that were allegedly involved in a big vice ring in the Gulf's trading and tourism hub.

     Eleven men from Russia, Iran, Syria and Egypt who were detained on suspicion of running a vice network. The prostitutes who were arrested were of various nationalities.

     The move followed orders by Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who stressed the need ``to preserve values and morals,'' it added.

     Al-Bayan said some of the suspected gang members would be deported, while others would face charges.

Atlanta: A businessman gets caught on tape offering a $5,000 bribe for a competitor to walk away from bidding for a suburban county equipment contract, has saved himself and offered to work wiht the FBI. As a a result, guilty pleas have been taken from a Fulton County commissioner, a high-ranking staffer, a contractor and the FBI is now focusing Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell.

     Although authorities will not confirm the probe, but Campbell has said that he is being investigated. He originally agreed to cooperate with investigators, but recently lashed out against them, calling federal authorities ``the forces of evil'' and comparing the FBI to ``the KGB in Communist Russia.''

Japan: A civic group aiming to abolish a new wiretapping law submitted Monday to the House of Representatives a petition with 19,730 signatures opposing the law.

     Members of the group said the petition is the fifth such and the total number of signatures now comes to more than 200,000.

     The wiretapping law came into force Aug. 15. It allows law enforcement authorities to use wiretaps to monitor private communications while investigating crimes involving illegal drugs, guns or murder thought to have been committed by organized crime groups, or the mass smuggling of people into Japan.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi officals executed an Afghan man on Monday for smuggling drugs, raising to at least 102 the number of people put to death this year in the Arab kingdom.

     At least 99 people were executed in Saudi Arabia last year, including many foreigners.

Mr. Tuohy can be reached at

Past Issues

Copyright © 2000 PLR International