100 held in Europe for running organized gangs

Updated 10 September 2014
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100 held in Europe for running organized gangs

THE HAGUE: European police arrested 100 suspects in a continent-wide swoop aimed at busting organized gangs, including those selling forged identity documents for as little as 250 euros, Europol said on Wednesday.
“In a major international police operation supported by Europol on Tuesday, 950 law enforcement officers in nine countries arrested 100 individuals,” the Hague-based Europol said in a statement.
The operation was a “major blow” against organized crime groups operating Europe, said Europol.
Coordinated by the German police and Europol, raids were staged on 138 properties including in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Sweden -- where the arrests were also made.
Police seized 57 forged documents, as well as cash, guns, drugs, counterfeit cigarettes, one stolen vehicle and jewellery.
Arrest warrants were also issued against two further suspects believed to be responsible for the mass production and forgery of mainly Czech, Romanian and Bulgarian passports, identity cards and counterfeit drivers’ licences.
“These documents were used by hundreds of criminals throughout Europe to regularise their stays in the EU, claim welfare benefits and commit other offences ranging from thefts and robberies to racketeering and violent crime.”
The suspects charged between 250 euros ($323) and 1,500 euros per ID document.
They were paid by bank transfer after which the forgeries were sent by mail and later by courier to various recipients around Europe.
By April 2014, at least 300 of these fraud ID packages have been sent around the continent, Europol said.


Three of four engines on stricken Norway cruise ship restarted

Updated 24 March 2019
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Three of four engines on stricken Norway cruise ship restarted

  • The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday about two kilometers off More og Romsdal in dangerous waters and high seas
  • The captain forced to send out a distress call and trigger a massive airlift operation

OSLO: A cruise ship that broke down in rough seas off the Norwegian coast with some 1,300 passengers and crew on board has restarted three of its four engines and will be towed to port, emergency services said Sunday.
“Three of the four engines are now working which means the boat can now make way on its own,” emergency services spokesman Per Fjeld said.
The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday about two kilometers (1.2 miles) off More og Romsdal in dangerous waters and high seas, prompting the captain to send out a distress call and trigger a massive airlift operation.
The airlift was continuing in the early morning, Fjeld said.
Police said 338 of the 1,373 people on board the Viking Sky had so far been taken off by helicopter.
The vessel is making slow headway at two to three knots (4-5 kilometers) an hour off the dangerous, rocky coast and a tug will help it toward the port of Molde, about 500 kilometers northwest of Oslo, officials said.
Police said that 17 people had been taken to hospital.
The passengers are mostly British or American, they added.