Liquid Cocaine: A New Challenge for Latin American Authorities

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Liquid Cocaine: A New Challenge for Latin American Authorities

first_img BOGOTÁ, Colombia – In their constant efforts to deceive counter-narcotics agents, drug traffickers have found another way to camouflage cocaine: diluting it. The method recently was exposed in Bolivia, where agents from the Special Force in the Fight Against Drug Trafficking (FELCN) confiscated 13 kilograms (28 pounds) of liquid cocaine in the city of Abapó in the department of Santa Cruz on April 28. Authorities also seized 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds) of sodium hydroxide in 20 bags before arresting the driver of the truck transporting the narcotics. “Drug traffickers will always try to use unconventional methods, because their goal is to deceive police controls so the substance can pass unnoticed,” Lt. Col. Fernando Amurrio, head of the FELCN in Santa Cruz, said during a media conference. It’s easy to transform cocaine into liquid because the narcotic is highly soluble. Half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) of the drug can be diluted in a liter (0.26 gallons) of water. It’s also easy for liquid cocaine to be returned to its original state, as 90% can be decanted and filtered, according to FELCN. A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine costs about US$1,300 in Bolivia, but it’s worth more in Argentina (US$5,000), Spain (US$60,000) and New Zealand (US$100,000), according to the Bolivian daily El Día. Roberto Carlos Achá Arandia, a counter-narcotics prosecutor in Bolivia, said the trafficking of narcotics in their liquid forms is becoming more common throughout South America. “The mules [people who swallow the drug to transport the merchandise] now carry it in capsules made out of condoms [to protect the drug and the carrier’s digestive system],” said Achá, according to El Día. This type of smuggling makes the drug much harder to detect through the use of X-ray or ultrasound scanners, Arandia said. By Dialogo May 13, 2011 One of the largest seizures of liquid cocaine was on board the “Guasare II” vessel, sailing under a Venezuelan flag, in international waters. During the operation, carried out in April 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard confiscated a shipment of 2,000 liters (528 gallons) of liquid cocaine, according to Mexican daily El Universal. “Trafficking methods are like fads: What is hot today is cocaine in a solution, particularly in fuels,” said Hernán Bernal, coordinator of the Studies and International Relations Group of Colombia’s National Directorate on Narcotics, according to El Universal.center_img In March, Colombian National Police reported the seizure 276 kilograms (608 pounds) of liquid cocaine during an operation in the city of San Félix in the department of Antioquia. “It is not usual to find [liquid cocaine], much less the level of purity found [by the police],” said Gen. Yesid Vásquez, commander of the Medellín Metropolitan Police, according to the website El Colombiano.com. Vásquez said narco-traffickers are smuggling liquid drugs to the United States and Europe more frequently because they are easier to get through airport security checkpoints without detection. On April 18, in the city of Barranquilla in the department of Atlántico, a drug-sniffing dog from the North Region Counter-Narcotics Company of Colombia’s National Police detected a 1,400-kilogram (3,086-pound) shipment of cocaine stored in seven motor oil containers on the ‘Seven Seas’ ship, sailing under a Honduran flag. Meantime, on April 25 in Argentina, authorities stopped a Bolivian woman carrying five kilograms (11 pounds) of liquid cocaine in her luggage on a bus departing from the province of Salta, on the Bolivian border. Police agencies worldwide are on alert. Barcelona National Police arrested a Spanish man and Brazilian woman at El Prat Airport on May 2 after finding eight kilograms (17 pounds) of liquid cocaine had been injected into clothing and two insect repellent cans allegedly in the couple’s possession.last_img read more

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Berger talks credit union regulatory relief on the Hill

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger discussed credit union regulatory relief and other top advocacy goals for the association with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other lawmakers Wednesday.Berger and NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler met with McConnell, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. (a member of the Senate Banking Committee), House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services Chairman Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla.During the meetings, Berger emphasized the need for credit union regulatory relief and the difficulty credit unions are having serving their members under the increasing regulatory burden. He also touted NAFCU’s continued support for a national data security standard that would hold retailers to standards similar to those credit unions already follow under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. continue reading »last_img read more

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More than a quarter of all Australian households are renting

first_imgMore than a quarter of all Australian households are rentingACCORDING to new analysis by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, more than a quarter of all Australian households are renting.That’s about 2.1 million households.It said the private rental sector had grown by 38 per cent in the 10 years to 2016 and it predicts that level to increase.“This growth looks set to continue, largely due to a long-term decline in access to home ownership, particularly among younger and midlife age cohorts, because of high house prices and contraction of the social rental sector,” the research institute said.Real Estate Institute of Queensland Far north zone chairman Tom Quaid said the Cairns city area continued to stand out for its quick turnover in rental properties.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“Rental vacancy rates remain tight, with the added pressure on supply seeing landlords able to increase their rents in many cases,” Mr Quaid said.“Landlords remain in the box seat for the time being, particularly around the CBD and tightly held city fringe pockets where supply has been the most affected.“The $300-$500 per week range would be the most popular.”As Mr Quaid has mentioned previously, there was not enough stock available in Cairns at present.“Cairns has seen very little new construction over the past decade, and combined with steady population growth and the growth of Airbnb in our tourist-driven market, rental stocks are stretched,” he said.last_img read more

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Tim Daoust not concerned with Cole Murphy’s 2 deep misses against UVA

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 18, 2015 at 11:37 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — After converting on 81.3 percent of his field goals last year, sophomore kicker Cole Murphy dipped to 66.7 percent in 2015 after two misses against Virginia Saturday.He pushed a 48-yarder well left in the second quarter and another wide right from 48 yards in the third overtime of Syracuse’s (3-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) 44-38, triple-overtime loss to UVA (2-4, 1-1) at Scott Stadium. It’s the third miss in the last three games for Murphy, who also wears No. 48, but special teams coordinator Tim Daoust didn’t seem too concerned after the loss to the Cavaliers.“He hit the one good off his foot and then pushed it and then that one he didn’t hit cleanly,” Daoust said. “So we’ll go back to the drawing board … and Cole’s a good kicker.”Murphy was one of 30 named to the preseason Lou Groza Award Watch List, the honor given to the country’s top kicker. So far this season, he’s 8-for-12 with a long of 43 yards against then-No. 8 Louisiana State on Sept. 26.Murphy’s 44-yard miss in the second quarter against Rhode Island on Sept. 4 was inconsequential, but a 31-yard shank right before halftime against LSU came back to bite. It sent the Orange into the break trailing by four instead of one, and three Zack Mahoney touchdown passes in the second half couldn’t pull SU within a score late against the Tigers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMurphy’s first miss on Saturday came with 11:33 left in the second, when the game was still scoreless. He did connect on a 33-yarder that stretched the Orange’s lead to 24-14 late in the third, but a touchdown and an Ian Frye chip shot sent the game to overtime with two seconds left in regulation.After both teams matched touchdown for touchdown through the first two overtimes, Murphy stepped up for a 48-yarder following Eric Dungey taking a sack for a loss of 6 yards.The attempt drifted wide, opening the doors for Virginia to steal a game once comfortably in Syracuse’s grasp.“Obviously he’s kicking himself for that one,” Daoust said. “We lost, the whole team did, period.” Commentslast_img read more

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Syracuse DB Corey Winfield out of the hospital 2 days after allegedly being stabbed by former teammate

first_imgCorey Winfield is out of the hospital and resting at home after being stabbed in his right lower back, upper right chest, left abdomen and left wrist Saturday evening, a source told The Daily Orange Monday evening. Winfield, a defensive back who started for Syracuse last season, was one of two victims, along with teammate Chauncey Scissum, of an alleged stabbing by former teammate Naesean Howard.Court documents obtained by The Daily Orange on Monday afternoon stated that Winfield was hospitalized in stable condition as of Monday morning. The document also said that Scissum was hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.The stabbing occurred around 5:50 p.m. on Saturday at 321 Slocum Drive on SU’s South Campus, according to the document. Howard, a former SU defensive back who was kicked off the team in 2014, intentionally and repeatedly used a pocket knife to stab Winfield in four different spots before stabbing Scissum on the right side of his neck, his right upper chest, his left shoulder and his bottom lip, according to the document.Both Winfield and Scissum were transported, at different times, to University Hospital Emergency Room. Howard was arraigned in city court on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond Monday morning and is due back in court on Friday at 10 a.m. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Published on April 18, 2016 at 6:37 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Age of Conan to relaunch as a freetoplay MMO

first_imgRemember Age of Conan, the so-called “grown-up MMORPG?” It was the first in a long line of MMOs that marketed themselves specifically towards more mature players who wanted an alternative to the juggernauts in the arena at the time, like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI. Now, Funcom has announced that Age of Conan will become a free-to-play MMO, relaunched as “Age of Conan: Unrated.”Players will be able to download and play the game for free, and choose to pay for additional premium content if they wish. Funcom is also introducing an in-game store that will allow both free and paid members to buy additional mounts, gear, or other items. Many hardcore MMO gamers abhor the idea of micro-transactions in any game, but the switch to a free-to-play model that’s laden with them may be the only way Age of Conan survives and isn’t forced to shut down completely.The game launched to generally favorable reviews, and got some early notoriety because of its more mature themes and content. Even so, that wasn’t enough to stop the game’s subscriber base from plummeting after launch, and the game faded into memory pretty quickly. It lived on with some big updates, and Funcom kept the game up and running for the subscribers that still play, but it never got back to the top of the charts.Funcom is more upbeat about this change. Morten Larssen, SVP of Sales and Marketing, said that Age of Connan has “been a true success story for Funcom,” citing its 1.4 million sold copies of the game, good reviews, and its player-base. He also pointed out that the free-to-play arena is becoming more and more popular, and that the company has high hopes for Age of Conan‘s success when it re-launches.The new version of the game, Age of Conan: Unrated, is expected to be available this summer.Read more at Funcom, via MCVlast_img read more

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Employee Rewards that Matter

first_imgPraise is a Powerful MotivatorEmployees respond to praise by working harder. That is why so many companies use employee reward programs to improve morale, retention and contentment. The key to a successful rewards program is making it fit for each individual employee.A successful rewards program should include compensation, benefits, recognition and appreciation. The most successful programs are a careful blend of appreciation (expressed gratitude) and recognition (a public pat on the back).The SkillStorm Blog, reports that while cash was once the ultimate motivator, other rewards now trump cash for long-term motivation. Non-cash rewards cost a company less and deliver more motivation. They also reinforce company values and improve teamwork.Effective non-cash rewards include:Simple praise: Personal recognition from a supervisor is one of the most powerful motivators.Spontaneous recognition: acknowledge exceptional performance when it happens.A plaque and/or certificate: these items can serve as reminders of a specific achievement or event.If employers want to retain top talent and remain profitable, an employee rewards program is essential.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

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