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July 29, 2009 / jeni

Adventures in Criminality

Is it me or have there been some really wacky stories from the world of crime lately?

Sweeping federal probe nabs crooked politicians & alleged black-market kidney peddler

A developer-turned-snitch brought down mayors, rabbis and dozens of others in a stunning probe of money laundering, bribery – and trafficking in black-market kidneys and fake Gucci bags…The most outrageous arrest was that of Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, 58, of Brooklyn, who authorities say would buy kidneys from vulnerable people in Israel for $10,000, then turn around and sell them for $160,000.

Hey, that’s a pretty nice markup! I admit I’m a bit curious about the illicit organs trade. It’s such a great urban myth that sometimes happens to be true. And it reminds me of one of my favourite films, Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things (check it out, really).

Belgian criminals escape from prison in helicopter

This has been treated in somewhat lighthearted fashion in tabloid-land but one of the escapees is apparently one of Belgium’s ‘most dangerous criminals’.

Then there’s Carl Schreck of the Moscow Times and his Crime Watch feature, which highlights unusual crimes committed in Russia (usually by, let’s not dance around this, rather stupid and/or drunk people). Recently he’s covered Russian mobsters intentionally getting caught shoplifting and trying to commit suicide in custody.

Okay I admit, this all has little to do with crime and conflict per se. Will write up something deadly serious next time. I’m just amazed sometimes by how audacious and creative criminals can be, and wonder why so many people continually push the ‘criminals are stupid’ trope.

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