Montag, 3. April 2017

Bugging the mob...




The practical thing is that in many cases mob and political power are near to each other – literally: Sometimes they live next door. This can be confusing for both. And for the media.

It is not so new but I still cannot believe it how ignorant parts of the media reported this nearly forgotten tweet from POTUS:


Is this really McCarthyism? Or is it fighting organised crime? Take a deeper look at the brave work of the United States District Court/Southern District Of New York and their investigations about the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organisation, obviously part of the Russian Organised Crime scene. Regarding the indictment this organisation "was a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in crimes including operating an illegal gambling business, money laundering, and extortion."

Beside others the Feds looked at this nice flat:


The adress can be found in the indictment:


Yes, it is the Trump Tower. Nice coincidence. A current look into a real estate database shows this:

Another chart appoints to the Russian family - and to POTUS:

Elena Trincher - she does not appear in the indictment - is also mentioned in the Russian internet:

Trump, the Russians, the mob...it can be a confusing thing to find a clue in this opaque net. Already in the near past, in 1999, the one who may be to near to POTUS, was bugged: Putin. He met Berezovskiy a few times in Spain, in Sotogrande - the place where Berezovskiy and Abramovich 1996 hugged each other tenderly (seen on a photography). In this interesting city Spain intelligence observed a Russian Organised Crime figure - who lived next door to Berezovskiy.

And all the distrust about meetings between Russians and US officials...this has tradition and nothing is new: During his presidential campaign Al Gore had the problem that he was the former contact for the relations between Moscow and the White House - under Clinton. Others as Strobe Talbott were acused to be - more or less - unofficial sources of intelligence for the Kremlin, claimed by... the Russian intelligence, here the former agent Sergei Tretyakov.

"Information at best will always be in some part fragmentary, obsolete, and ambiguous."(Armstrong, Willis C. (et al.): The Hazards of Single-Outcome Forecasting, in: Westerfield Bradford, H. (Ed.), Inside CIA's private world, Yale 1995, p. 242).

Donnerstag, 16. Februar 2017

First strike



Actually there is a lot to read about the possible reasons for the death of Kim Jong Nam. Beside all those theories I also like reading tea leaves:

First:
A group inside the elite (possibly from the military or security circles and not from the Kim dynasty) works as a stand-alone organisation, willing to build up another type of regime. Their aim is to eliminate the Kim bloodline and all who are loyal to the Kims.

Second:
Since approximately three years there are concrete plans to conduct a covert, maybe a clandestine operation, targeting the elite in North Korea. Those people took a look into the Kim family and draw a huge graph, conducting Social Network Analysis. They studied M. S. Granovetter, “The Strength of Weak Ties”  (1973), and came to the conclusion, that „removal of weak ties, starting from the weakest link and working up, caused the communication network to break apart, while the removal of strong ties had little effect on the overall integrity of the network.“

Remembering the words of a North Korean security adviser, working now for the South Korean government and assuming that Kim Jong Nam was a weak link: This was the first strike against a target, very easy to reach, conducted by outside forces who want to overcome the regime and therefore they have to overcome the Kim dynasty.



This leads to the question: Who will be the next target?



Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2016

Omertà: North Korea’s organized crime...

... at home and abroad: - My last report on NK Pro about the efforts of the Kim Clan to make profit - anyhow.

I try to show that the DPRK's inner circle relies on hard currency from abroad - and operates much like an organized crime cartel.

In my opinion the nice graph from an informative Wikipedia article about the North Korean economy should definitely be supplemented somehow by an entity named "Criminal activities".



Freitag, 21. Oktober 2016

Clowns...

...in den deutschen Medien wollte ich eigentlich ignorieren, aber ich sehe mich nun mal wieder genötigt, auf die allgemeine Verflachung hinzuweisen, die sich ausbreitet. Liest man das ratlose und schlecht recherchierte Gestottere im Blätterwald zu den "rätselhaften Clowns", die derzeit in Deutschland ihr Unwesen treiben, dann fragt man sich: Haben diese Freelancer unter den "Journalisten" denn nicht wenigstens in den bisher drei absolvierten Semestern Politikwissenschaft aufgepasst oder sich auch in dieser Zeit eher mit Handyspielchen und dem von Mutti gesponserten MacBook beschäftigt?

Jede anständige Recherche hätte auf eine bestimmte und seit Jahren bekannte Subkultur in den USA hingewiesen und auch die (pseudo)kulturellen Hintergründe verständlich gemacht, die nun von einigen Dummköpfen hierzulande kopiert werden - wie überhaupt die ganze, sinnentleerte "Gangsta"-"Kultur" diverser Kleinkrimineller ohne Schulabschluss.

Man werfe einen Blick in einschlägige Publikationen, die zu finden offenbar die digitale Medienbohème nicht in der Lage ist. Meinetwegen fange man bei Google an:


Diese Gestalten, die meines Erachtens überwiegend während ihres offenen Strafvollzugs fotografiert worden sind (ich kann mich natürlich irren), fühlen sich einer Subkultur zugehörig, die den US-Behörden aus gutem Grund seit langer Zeit ein Dorn im Auge sind:


Steht da irgendo etwas von "Clowns", "Klownz" usw.? Ja. Es handelt sich nicht um Spaßvögel mit Farbe im Gesicht, sondern um Kriminelle oder von Kriminellen beeinflusste oder instrumentaliserte Banden, die in den USA der Organisierten Kriminalität (bzw. den Gangs) zugerechnet werden - aus gutem Grunde! Bei den "Outside Gang Influences" werden Banden aufgeführt, die für Hunderte an Morden, Schießereien, Drogenhandel, Prostitution usw. verantwortlich sind und deren Tentakel sich seit Jahren auch nach Europa ausdehnen. Auch andere Länder sind davon betroffen, was interessanterweise mit den dortigen Stützpunkten des US-Militärs zusammenhängt.


Das Rumgehampel dieser Leute, die man hier auf den Fotos bewundern kann, lässt sich hierzulande auch im Straßenland beobachten. Eine dramatische Entwicklung kann ich in  Deutschland noch nicht erkennen, jedoch sollte man auf der Hut sein und sich rechtzeitig mit dem nötigen Hintergrundwissen versorgen, um entsprechend effektiv einschreiten zu können.




Auch angesichts der trüben, grauen Herbstkälte wird man in Deutschland wohl kaum verräterische Hotpants dieser Subkultur feststellen können:


Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2016

North Korea’s spy games...

...

Tracking the DPRK’s intelligence operations - is the title of my new text, published on NK Pro. 

North Korea's spy games: Tracking the DPRK's intelligence operations 

This is the first part of a series explaining why North Korea is a top priority target for Western and Asian intelligence agencies. 

 

Anyone who might be interested in my older piece about North Korean intelligence agencies, their structure and operations, should go to "North Korean Intelligence Structures", printed 2009 in the well known North Korean Review.


In the next weeks I will publish four more papers about North Korean intelligence, power structure, the existence of organised crime etc. - all to find on NK Pro.

Donnerstag, 29. September 2016

Office 39....

...gone? In the last weeks a few media reports describe the disappearance of Office 39 and 38. The name of the office would be State Affairs Commission (SAC). It is the old game with North Korea: What is real and what are rumours?

One of my favourite intelligence disciplines is RUMINT. In his book Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence  Robert W. Pringle wrote:

Also important was RUMINT (rumor intelligence or gossip) about the leadership of the Soviet Union and East Germany gathered from the talk of Soviet general officers in Berlin with their colleagues and families in Moscow.

Many of the books and papers about North Korea are dealing with RUMINT and even my article in Janes Intelligence Review from 2014 might have been RUMINT, when I mentioned there the rumours that Office 39 and 38 were merged into one new office named Moranbong Bureau.
















Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd - some notions


The current news coverage about Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd shows remarkable details about the discreet operations of North Korean agencies. Beside the role of Hong Kong one must come to the conclusion to look deeper into the business networks in Dandong in China, near to the North Korean border. This is definitely one of the places where North Korean procurement agents and traders are active.




Dandong is not only a place where Muslims, living in North Korea, can buy halal  meat – as a Twitter user explains, showing this picture:





Obviously the business of Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd was more focused on the non-muslim parts of the North Korean society, especially the Kim clan and his network of loyal agencies. Comparing two adresses in Dandong it seems that both participants of this special business didn't have a long distance to walk when it comes to chatting about money and deals. The following shows the official contact adress of Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd:
 
The North Koreans in Dandong are sitting here:


Perfect conditions for doing business. And there are others sitting around Jiadi Square: Ever heard about SINO-KOREAN FRONTIER TRADE CITY Co., Ltd?
More or less a Joint Venture it had set up the "Pyongyang Carry Cargo Autodumper Manufacturing Factory". Their website says about their office in North Korea: "The Pyongyang office’s establishment is in the strong assistance of Committee of External Economic Cooperation (CPEEC) of the leaders, it is among a select group of offices that have established by China’s governmental and business firm in North Korea." The adress in Dandong is:

  
The "Liaison Person" is not so unknown in the Chinese-North Korean business network. Drew Thompson writes in his 2011 study "Silent partners":
Another Chinese investor in North Korea, Wang Yuangang, CEO of China-North Korea Border Trade City, started out in business in the 1980s making garments in Dandong for the domestic market. In 1999, he opened a street market with stalls for vendors to sell items to North Koreans right on the Chinese side of the bridge crossing the Yalu river. The city razed the market for a street improvement a few years later. In 2002, Mr. Wang set up a barter-trade market in Pyongyang and worked closely with Yang Bin, the Dutch-Chinese businessman who was named head of the Siniuju Special Administrative Region but was subsequently arrested and jailed by Chinese authorities for tax evasion before he could take up the post. At that time, most trade was by barter and the market was ultimately unsuccessful because of policy restrictions in North Korea.
 The company mentioned above produces e.g. this:

A rotary encoder may not be necessary for a nuclear fuel cycle, but this is something only experts can evaluate. Even the other products look somehow suspicious - for an ordinary person like me:

In 2012 the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) published a report, titled: "North Korea - Characeristics of Joint Ventures With Foreign Partners, 2004 - 2011". In this report they are listed as well:



The funny thing is, that this report already speaks about "Sino - DPRK" and not "Sino - Korean" - but means the same company. On many pages similar collaborations are listed and Dandong is certainly one of the main regions:




The North Korean partner produces vehicles which reminds me on some old East Bloc movies:

  
Anyway: Coming back to Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd: For observers of the North Korean system and their efforts to generate profits this company was not so under the radar as some people argue today. Already in 2010 the former "DPRK Business Monthly" (Volume 1, Number 2, March 2010) wrote about a bridge, linking Dandong with Sinuiju:

Ma Xiaohong, director of the Dandong Hongxiang Development Co. Ltd, a leading Sino-DPRK trade company, welcomed the project. "Currently, we have a long waiting time to cross the old bridge," she told the China Daily. "The new bridge will greatly increase trade volume and improve transportation."


In 2013 the responsible Chinese ministry mentioned the company in a register of companies with a special export license, here in the category "Border Trade":

"China Commodities", a category of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) database, still says about those bad guys: 


It was obviously an intensive, extended investigation and maybe some data breaches or leaks helped in this case: Beside other front companies and banks  the US indictment describes the role of "Fully Max Trading" - an entity which can be found in the Panama Papers: