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Organised Crime: Cocaine trafficking
With governments around the world suggesting that the war on controlled drugs is all but lost. Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick calls on the British middle-classes to consider the moral implications of their drug taking. Was she right to make such a statement?
UK residents rank amongst the highest users of illicit narcotics in the world., whilst being regulated by some of the strictest drug control laws in the world, However this has failed to stem the use of drugs such as cocaine for which we pay some of the highest prices, not only financially but also in the way it destroys lives, directly and indirectly, feeding crimes such as robbery and murder.
In charge of policing the capital city is the UK's first female Commissioner Cressida Dick. Vastly experienced, she leaves her predecessors standing. Determined to tackle the issues that impact on the lives of each and every community, Commissioner Dick has done more in little over than a year than others managed full term.
In this Opinion piece, we examine her comments on the misuse of cocaine by the middle classes of society and her plea for them to examine the morality of their actions and their impact on the communities in which they live. Do they need to realise their significance within the drugs trade and how they are targeted by traffickers as they have the disposable income they crave?
Published in the Guardian this opinion piece examines the commissioner's comments in contrast with the drugs trade and questions what do the middle classes really know about the trade and who they are really dealing with.
The stimulated impressive debate from those who seek an outright ban on drugs to those who maintain that it is their right to take what they please without state intervention.
UK Arms supply: Corruption, bribery and fraud
Corruption in arms control, is the UK Government turning a blind eye to UK arms manufacturers who break the law
Corruption is rife with the arms supply industry, we examine whether the UK Government is allowing UK based companies to act with impunity as they fuel global conflicts by supplying weapons to countries who carry out human rights abuses and divert weapons to third parties in breach of international agreements.
Bribes, fraud, and corrupt practices are at the heart of the industry and although there is legislation in place to deal with such breaches, we examine why the government has failed to act despite several UK companies being prosecuted in foreign jurisdictions.
Siting several cases studies where the government has forced the closure of investigations by the Serious Fraud Office on the basis of national security, we ask why.
The moral issues surrounding UK arm control
With the world becoming a less safe place we examine the role of the UK government, its ethics and the implications for those involved in arms manufacture.
Technology on the battlefield is being developed as a pace that will mean that many of those currently involved in the manufacturing process could be made redundant. In this special examination on behalf of the Guardian, we look at what could be done to save these jobs and how best to provide financial security for those affected by technologic developments in the arms industry.
UK Arms export controls
An economic decision, incompetence or cover-up, the question that UK Government needs to answer over its failure to stop 13m bullets passing in to wrong hands.
In this report we ask why the UK Department of International Trade’s failed to pass on vital intelligence it had gathered over 14 months to stop a shipment of 13 million bullets that was being shipped from Bosnia to Saudi Arabia.
Brokered by an unnamed UK agent, the DIT assessed that the shipment was likely to be diverted to Islamist groups but they chose not to warn Bosnia, allowing the shipment to travel to Saudi Arabia where the diversion was likely to take place. The bullets concerned are the calibre used in AK47 assault rifles widely used by Islamist terror groups and not the Saudi army. The UK government has thus far failed to answer the simply question “why?”
Global arms control
More than 1bn small arms in the world and US citizens possess 40% of of them!
We examine the report by the Small Arms Survey which shows that the proliferation of privately owned guns is on the rise, with wealthy countries outstripping developing and war-torn countries.
The detailed report examined the ownership of revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles, carbines, assault rifles and sub- and light machine guns, held by civilian, military and law-enforcement groups, their latest report shows there are now estimated to be more than 1bn firearms in the world – an increase of 17% over the past 10 years. The majority of the arms, 85% (857m), are estimated to be held by civilians (including individuals, private security firms, non-state armed groups and gangs); while law enforcement agencies own 2% (23m) and military stockpiles account for 13% (133m).
Top of the polls was the United States which has just 4% of the world population but estimated that its civilians possess almost 40% of the world’s firearms – 393m weapons – equivalent to 121 firearms for every 100 residents. Americans topped the polls in 2007, owning 270m weapons, which translated into 90 weapons for every 100 residents.
At the NRA Convention in Dallas, Texas. Photograph: Julie Dermansky for the Guardian
Investigative journalism: Human trafficking & Modern slavery
Two-year-old “Mawda” accidentally shot dead during police attempt to stop people smugglers van in Belgium
May 2018 - FiG Media Group were first to report on the tragic death of two-year-old migrant Mawda Shawri, who was killed during a high-speed chase between Belgian police and a van being driven by a suspected people smuggler.
Police attempted to stop the Peugeot Boxer van which contained 26 adult and 4 child migrants mainly from Kurdish Iraq. The van was traveling along the E42 motorway outside the town of Mons when police attempted to stop it. The driver failed to stop resulting in the chase and an officer discharging his firearm. Unfortunately, the bullet hit Mawda in the cheek, causing injuries from which she later died; a major investigation into the incident has now been launched.
FiG Media Group investigative journalists were able to obtain the detailed facts of this incident before any other news agency, putting together a detailed account which was then published by The Guardian’s Global development desk.
The report on the tragic death of Mawda but also details the plight and risks undertaken by migrants who flee war zones only to be exploited by people smugglers focused on cashing in their fight for a better life.
FiG Media group continues to report on the ongoing state investigation.
Photographs: FiG Media Group Handout
The Guardian commissions FiG Media Group to interview “9/11 Sleeper terrorist Ali al-Marri”.
In March 2018, The Guardian commissioned FiG Media Group (FMG) to conduct joint interviews with Global Development Editor Tracy McVeigh to investigate claims by Ali al-Marri that he was tortured by FBI and CIA interrogators whilst being detained at a US Naval Brig in South Carolina following his after his arrest in 2001.
Al-Marri, arrested months after the 9/11 attacks, an outrage that killed 2700 people, was the only non-US resident to be held outside of Guantanamo Bay. Held without charge for 8 years as an enemy combatant by the Bush Administration, al-Marri was charged as a result of intervention by Barack Obama who, having become President raised his concerns over holding terrorism suspects without charge. Al-Marri subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material assistance and resources to al-Qaeda and was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. Released in 2015 al-Marri was deported to Qatar in 2015, where he received a hero’s welcome. Al-Marri now proclaims his innocence, providing The Guardian / FMG with his first public account of his detention, allegations of torture and why he now says he was innocent.
Photograph: Maarten Tromp
The interview provides an intriguing insight into al-Marri, who prosecutor’s say was in the US to carry out secondary acts of terrorism. Al-Marri is challenged on why he failed to answer basic questions as to why he entered the US, evidence found in his possession and communication data that connected him to al-Qaeda. The interview prompted a detailed rebuttal statement from ex FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan against whom al-Marri made an allegation of torture.
21/11/2017: Filmmaker Innovations Gateway launches "FiG Media Group"
Welcome to the launch of FiG Media Group, a new media production company with a difference.
FiG Media Group is a dynamic, media collaborative that aspires to bring together a unique blend of media talent and ex-law enforcement experts, to form a production company focused on producing groundbreaking investigative content for television, print, radio, digital and social media. We also provide specialist training in the field of undercover work, source handling, surveillance awareness and investigative interviewing techniques with the aim of complementing and improving current industry practices. This collaboration and offering is our unique selling point.
Please review our website to see the unique services we offer and how we can help you and your business; from investigative journalism, documentary filmmaking to training and much much more, we are just one click away.
Keep a look out for our launch party, where you can meet the people behind FiG Media Group; networking has never been so easy. Click on the “Guest List” button below to be added to our VIP list and we will send you an invitation to join us as we look forward to an amazing future and doing business with you.