Archive for ‘Crime’

12/12/2018

Chinese loan shark who raped victim among 18 jailed for gang crime

Wang Yinan was one of 19 people convicted of various gang-related crimes in Hulunbuir in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Tuesday.

Wang and eight of his associates were tried in the city on Monday charged with illegally providing loans of between 10,000 yuan (US$1,450) and 30,000 yuan to people via a smartphone app since September 2017.

Those who failed to keep up with their repayments were subjected to physical assault, including being made to stand naked in the snow, the report said. One victim was raped as punishment, it said, without providing any further details of the crime.

Wang’s associates were each sentenced to between one and nine years in prison.

The trials followed a nationwide crackdown on organised crime launched at the start of the year.

Among the others given prison sentences on Monday were Lee Yongbin, who led a group of hired thugs that intimidated people involved in construction conflicts and worked as debt collectors for loan sharks, the report said.

Members of the gang were also charged with “creating public disturbances”, the court heard.

Lee was sentenced to 5½ years in prison, and his associates to between 10 and 30 months.

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16/01/2017

Why do Indians vote for ‘criminal’ politicians? – BBC News

Why do India’s political parties field candidates with criminal charges?

Why do the voters favour them despite their tainted past?

Political scientist Milan Vaishnav has been studying links between crime and democracy in India for many years now. His upcoming book When Crime Pays offers some intriguing insights into what is a disturbing feature of India’s electoral democracy.

The good news is that the general election is a thriving, gargantuan exercise: 554 million voters queued up at more than 900,000 stations to cast their ballots in the last edition in 2014. The fortunes of 8,250 candidates representing 464 political parties were at stake.

The bad news is that a third (34%) of 543 MPs who were elected faced criminal charges, up from 30% in 2009 and 24% in 2004.

Fiercely competitive

Some of the charges were of minor nature or politically motivated. But more than 20% of the new MPs faced serious charges such as attempted murder, assaulting public officials, and theft.

Now, India’s general elections are not exactly a cakewalk.The Indian politicians facing criminal charges

Why do many India MPs have criminal records?

Politics and the barrel of the gun

Over time, they have become fiercely competitive: 464 parties were in the fray in 2014, up from 55 in the first election in 1952.

The average margin of victory was 9.7% in 2009, the thinnest since the first election. At 15%, the average margin of victory was fatter in the landslide 2014 polls, but even this was vastly lower than, say, the average margin of victory in the 2012 US Congressional elections (32%) and the 2010 general election in Britain (18%).

India’s elections are fiercely competitiveAlmost all parties in India, led by the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress, field tainted candidates. Why do they do so?

For one, says Dr Vaishnav, “a key factor motivating parties to select candidates with serious criminal records comes down to cold, hard cash”.

The rising cost of elections and a shadowy election financing system where parties and candidates under-report collections and expenses means that parties prefer “self-financing candidates who do not represent a drain on the finite party coffers but instead contribute ‘rents’ to the party”. Many of these candidates have criminal records.

There are three million political positions in India’s three-tier democracy; each election requires considerable resources.

Many parties are like personal fiefs run by dominant personalities and dynasts, and lacking inner-party democracy – conditions, which help “opportunistic candidates with deep pockets”.

‘Good proxy’

“Wealthy, self financing candidates are not only attractive to parties but they are also likely to be more electorally competitive. Contesting elections is an expensive proposition in most parts of the world, a candidate’s wealth is a good proxy for his or her electoral vitality,” says Dr Vaishnav, who is senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Political parties also nominate candidates with criminal backgrounds to stand for election because, simply put, they win.

During his research, Dr Vaishnav studied all candidates who stood in the last three general elections. He separated them into candidates with clean records and candidates with criminal records, and found that the latter had an 18% chance of winning their next election whereas the “clean” candidates had only a 6% chance.

Many Indians vote on lines on identity and religion

He did a similar calculation for candidates contesting state elections between 2003 and 2009, and found a “large winning advantage for candidates who have cases pending against them”.

Politics also offers a lucrative career – a 2013 study showed that the average wealth of sitting legislators increased 222% during just one term in office. The officially declared average wealth of re-contesting candidates – including losers and winners – was $264,000 (£216,110) in 2004 and $618,000 in 2013, an increase of 134%.

‘Biggest criminal’

Now why do Indians vote for criminal candidates? Is it because many of the voters are illiterate, ignorant, or simply, ill-informed?

Dr Vaishnav doesn’t believe so.

Candidates with criminal records don’t mask their reputation. Earlier this month, a candidate belonging to the ruling party in northern Uttar Pradesh state reportedly boasted to a party worker that he was the “biggest criminal”. Increasing information through media and rising awareness hasn’t led to a shrinking of tainted candidates.

Dr Vaishnav believes reasonably well-informed voters support criminal candidates in constituencies where social divisions driven by caste and/or religion are sharp and the government is failing to carry out its functions – delivering services, dispensing justice, or providing security – in an impartial manner.

“There is space here for a criminal candidate to present himself as a Robin Hood-like figure,” says Dr Vaishnav.

Clearly, crime and politics will remain inextricably intertwined as long as India doesn’t make its election financing system transparent, parties become more democratic and the state begins to deliver ample services and justice.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested state funding of polls to help clean up campaign financing. Earlier this month, he said people had the right to know where the BJP got its funds from. Some 14% of the candidates his BJP party fielded in the last elections had faced serious charges. (More than 10% of the candidates recruited by the Congress faced charges). But no party is walking the talk yet.

Source: Why do Indians vote for ‘criminal’ politicians? – BBC News

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02/09/2016

Crime Capital: Why Delhi Is by Far India’s Most Dangerous City – India Real Time – WSJ

Delhi is India’s biggest megacity, home of the country’s central government and, according to new police data, way ahead of the competition in the quest to claim the title as the country’s capital of crime.

The National Crime Records Bureau released its statistics for 2015 on Tuesday and Delhi left everyone else in the dust.Around 25% of the nearly 670,000 crimes recorded in India’s 53 largest cities were committed in Delhi last year, even though the megacity only accounts for around 10% of their combined populations.

The financial capital Mumbai was a distant second, recording only about 6% of the crimes. Tech hub Bangalore claimed about 5% of the crimes and Chennai looked to be the safest of the top five major metros, accounting for only 2% of the crimes.

This is not because Delhi–home of more than 16 million souls–has the largest population. Even on a per capita basis, the capital shined when it came to crime.

Last year it brought home the gold in theft and insulting the modesty of women, beating all the other cities with populations of more than 1 million,  according to the bureau’s data. In rape, only Jodhpur was worse. In the murder category, it was the bloodiest of the five major metros and well above average.

Delhi police attribute the high rate of crime in the city to their hard work. More and more cases are being registered every year as the force cracks down, said Taj Hassan, spokesman for the Delhi police.

“Delhi, being the national capital, witnesses a lot of law and order problems because people from all states live here,” he said. “The law and order situation is under control.”

More than previous years and in other cities, people are now being “encouraged to come forward and report” every incident of crime. “Not even a single complaint goes unnoticed,” he said.

There was, however, one area of hope.Surprisingly Delhi-ites were relatively law-abiding last year when it came to injuries caused by rash driving and road rage. Maybe the city’s notorious traffic is keeping cars from going fast enough to cause injury.

Maybe the city’s police force is too busy tracking down violent criminals to deal with bad drivers.

Source: Crime Capital: Why Delhi Is by Far India’s Most Dangerous City – India Real Time – WSJ

15/06/2016

India Police Probe Trade in Human Organs – India Real Time – WSJ

Police in India’s capital Delhi have uncovered a complex network illegally trading in kidneys. Suryatapa Bhattacharya report.

Earlier this month, a woman marched into a police station in India’s capital to file a domestic-abuse complaint and then made another allegation: that her husband was involved in illegal organ-trafficking.

Police said that accusation sparked a probe that had yielded 12 arrests as of Tuesday after authorities said they uncovered a complex nationwide network that was illegally trading in kidneys.

Donors, mostly poor residents of rural areas, were paid about $6,000 to give their kidneys to wealthier people in need of transplants, police said. The recipients paid more than $37,000. Traffickers produced counterfeit documents to make it appear as though the donors and recipients were related, police said. A 1994 law outlawed organ sales but permitted donations between family members.

The suspects—including five middlemen and four people who allegedly sold their own kidneys—were held on suspicion of trafficking in human organs and forgery, police said. They were in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. It was unclear if they had legal representation.

Most countries prohibit organ selling, in part because of fears the poor and sick will be exploited by unscrupulous brokers.

Source: India Police Probe Trade in Human Organs – India Real Time – WSJ

10/06/2016

Indian men given life for gang-rape of Danish tourist | Reuters

Five Indian men were sentenced to life in prison on Friday for raping a Danish tourist in the heart of New Delhi‘s tourist district in 2014, in a case that reignited worries about sexual violence against women in India.

The men, all in their twenties, were found guilty by a Delhi court on Monday for robbing and raping the 52-year old Dane at a secluded spot close to New Delhi railway station.

“All the five convicts have been sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment for their offences,” additional public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, told Reuters at the court. The Dane was walking through an area of narrow lanes near Delhi’s Paharganj district, a tourist area packed with backpacker hotels, on the evening of Jan. 14, 2014, when she asked a group of men for directions to her hotel.

The men then lured the woman to an area near New Delhi railway station where they raped her and robbed her at knife-point, the prosecution said in its chargesheet.

India was shaken into deep soul-searching about entrenched violence against women after the fatal gang-rape in December 2012 of a female student on a bus in New Delhi.

The crime, which sent thousands of Indians onto the streets in protest against what many saw as the failure of authorities to protect women, encouraged the government to enact tougher jail sentences for rapists.

Police accused nine men of attacking the Danish woman in 2014. Three are juveniles being tried in a separate court while a fourth died during the trial.

Lawyer D.K. Sharma, representing the five convicted men, said his clients would appeal against the verdict.

Source: Indian men given life for gang-rape of Danish tourist | Reuters

12/06/2014

BBC News – Another Indian woman found hanging from tree in Uttar Pradesh

A teenager has been found hanging from a tree in a village in northern India, the fourth woman to die in such a way in recent weeks in Uttar Pradesh state.

Anti-rape protest in Kolkata on June 7, 2014

The family of the 19-year-old say she was raped. A post mortem is under way.

It comes just one day after a woman’s body was found hanging from a tree in a remote village elsewhere in the state.

The gang rape and murder of two girls found in similar circumstances last month sparked outrage. Correspondents say more cases are now being reported.

Such attacks have long taken place in Uttar Pradesh, reports the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi, but recent outrage over sexual violence has meant that every case is being reported to police and getting media coverage.

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with more than 200 million people, is also home to a staggering number of poor and it is the poor and the disadvantaged low-caste women who are most at risk of such crimes, our correspondent adds.

The body of the latest victim was found in a village in the state’s Moradabad area, just three hours’ drive from India’s capital, Delhi.

via BBC News – Another Indian woman found hanging from tree in Uttar Pradesh.

18/01/2014

Teenage German tourist raped on Indian train – The Local

A German charity worker was allegedly raped while sleeping on a train in southern India on Friday – the second European to report a rape in the country within a week.

The teenager was attacked while asleep on a train travelling from Mangalore in western India to Chennai on the east coast, where she was heading to volunteer with a charity.

Police said she was reportedly too scared to shout for help and alert passengers in her carriage, Indian news site NDTV said.

Officers said a man had been arrested in Chennai on suspicion of the rape.

The German, said to be just 18 years old, complained to police on Monday, three days after the alleged attack.

Seema Agarwal, Inspector General of Police, said: “The young lady took several days to muster courage to report to the police. Though it\’s too late for medical examination, we have handled the case in a very sensitive manner,” NDTV reported.

On Tuesday a 51-year-old Danish woman was allegedly robbed and gang-raped in the capital New Delhi. Police said 15 men had been arrested.

via Teenage German tourist raped on Indian train – The Local.

See also: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-01-16/india-police-close-in-on-homeless-men-in-gang-rape

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02/01/2014

Calcutta anger as double gang-rape victim set on fire and burns to death | South China Morning Post

An Indian teenager who was gang-raped in two separate attacks has died after being set on fire, sparking protests in Calcutta.

rape_parent.jpg

The girl, 16, was assaulted on October 26 and again the day after by a group of more than six men near her family\’s home in Madhyagram town, just north of the city.

The second rape occurred as she was returning home after reporting the first attack at a police station.

A rape victim\’s dead body is covered in floral tributes before a protest march in Calcutta on January 1. Photo: EPA

She was set on fire on December 23 and died in hospital late on New Year\’s Eve, police said.

\”She gave us a dying declaration in front of the health officials that she had been set on fire by two people who were close to the accused when she was alone at home on December 23,\” local policeman Nimbala Santosh Uttamrao said.

Police made their first arrests on Wednesday, two months after the initial crime, local police chief Rajiv Kumar said.

\”The accused tried to kill my daughter by setting her on fire to hush up their crimes,\” the victim\’s father, a migrant taxi driver from India\’s poorest state, Bihar, said. Neither he nor the victim can be named for legal reasons.

Several hundred activists on Wednesday protested in Calcutta over the crime, which was shocking in its brutality, even after a year when sex crimes were widely reported in India.

Rampant rape, assault and harassment of women in India were in the spotlight in the past 12 months after the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in New Delhi in December 2012 sparked nationwide outrage.

The parliament has since passed tougher laws to punish rapists.

Despite the reforms, new cases of rape continue to be reported daily from across the country in the Indian press.

Activists say rape victims in India often face severe threats and intimidation from their attackers after the assault, while police often discourage them from lodging complaints.

via Calcutta anger as double gang-rape victim set on fire and burns to death | South China Morning Post.

25/11/2013

Talwar couple found guilty of killing daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj – The Times of India

A special CBI court on Monday convicted dentist Rajesh Tawlar and his wife Nupur Talwar for killing their daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj.

Aarushi Talwar

Special CBI judge Shyam Lal held the couple guilty of murder and destruction of evidence under section 302 and 201 of Indian Penal code (IPC) respectively. Rajesh Talwar was also separately held guilty, under section 203, of registering a false FIR. Soon after the judgment, Talwars issued a statement saying they were deeply disappointed and hurt by the verdict.

The two were taken into custody immediately after the verdict.The court will hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence on Tuesday.

The verdict comes almost five-and-a-half years after the sensational double murder was committed.

The CBI had accused the parents — Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — of being the killers, going by circumstantial evidence, testimony of witnesses and forensic reports.

The Talwars had all along claimed that \”they have been framed\” on the basis of conjectures and tutored witnesses.

When the Noida police first came to know on May 16, 2008 that the 14-year-old daughter of prominent dentist Dr Rajesh Talwar had been murdered at their residence in Jalvayu Vihar allegedly by their servant, Hemraj Banjade, it appeared as a regular murder case.

But things changed dramatically the very next day when Hemraj\’s body was found on the terrace of the house. The Noida police and two CBI teams investigated the case, which saw many twists and turns.

From Dr Rajesh and Nupur Talwar going to jail and allegations of tampering of evidence to witnesses turning hostile, police officers getting shifted, closure report being filed, parents coming out on bail and then a trial – the case has kept both the media and people transfixed.

The latest trial got over on November 12 after almost 19 months during which CBI used testimony of close to 90 witnesses in order to prove that it was only the parents who could have committed the murders and there was no possibility of an outsider entering the house.

via Talwar couple found guilty of killing daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj – The Times of India.

15/05/2013

* After ATM heist, India’s IT sector again in unwelcome spotlight

Reuters: “A breach of security at two payment card processing companies in India that led to heists at cash machines around the world has reopened questions on the risks of outsourcing sensitive financial services to the Asian nation.

The EnStage Inc. office is seen in the southern Indian city of Bangalore in this May 12, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Global banks that ship work to be processed in India, either in-house or to big IT services vendors, were already under pressure to step up oversight of back-office functions after a series of scandals last year.

Last week, U.S. prosecutors said a global criminal gang stole $45 million from two Middle Eastern banks by breaking into the two card processing companies based in India and raising the balances and withdrawal limits.

“India is exposed in two ways: The threat that the same theft could happen in India and the fact that the outsourcing industry will also get affected,” said Arpinder Singh, partner and national director for fraud investigation and dispute services at consultancy Ernst & Young.

The episode is reopening debate on banks sending work requiring a high degree of confidentiality to offshore locations.

“It is the weakest link,” said Shane Shook, an expert with U.S. cyber-security firm Cylance Inc who has helped financial firms conduct investigations into some major cyber crimes.

“I think the lesson is they need to pull back on what they’ve outsourced. When you’re giving a third party, the outsourced entity, the ability to access credit limits or cash limits of the consumers you’re managing the finances for, you’re giving up control that is your fundamental responsibility.”

India’s $108 billion IT services industry is the world’s favored destination for outsourcing. Over 40 percent of exports by the industry are support services for the global financial sector, ranging from investment bank back-office functions to research, risk-management and processing of insurance claims.”

via After ATM heist, India’s IT sector again in unwelcome spotlight | Reuters.

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