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Smuggling

Rio de Janeiro on edge as police wage big anti-crime sweep

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Military police launched a major anti-crime operation in northern Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, arresting dozens of men and confiscating automatic rifles in a sweep that led gang members to burn public buses and left the city that hosted last year’s Olympics on edge. The …

Thailand seizes 422 pieces of smuggled elephant tusks

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities have seized 422 pieces of elephant tusks and arrested a Gambian man suspected of smuggling the ivory. Customs Department Director-General Kulit Sombatsiri said Tuesday the tusks were hidden in a shipment listed as unprocessed gemstones. He said the parcel was examined because items from Malawi …

Venezuela military trafficking food as country goes hungry

PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela (AP) — When hunger drew tens of thousands of Venezuelans to the streets in protest last summer, President Nicolas Maduro turned to the military to manage the country’s diminished food supply, putting generals in charge of everything from butter to rice. But instead of fighting hunger, the …

Judge rejects pimping charges against escort services site

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge rejected pimping charges Friday against the operators of a major international website advertising escort services that the state attorney general has called the “world’s top online brothel,” citing federal free speech laws. California Attorney General Kamala Harris had charged Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer …

Vietnam seizes smuggled ivory hidden in timber

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese authorities have seized nearly a ton of ivory smuggled from Africa after locating nearly five tons in five previous shipments to the same port in the past two months. Ho Chi Minh City’s deputy customs chief, Le Dinh Loi, said the ivory seized Monday and …

Vietnam seizes 1 ton of ivory smuggled from Kenya

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese authorities have seized 1 ton of ivory smuggled from Kenya, the fifth such seizure in the past month. The ivory was hidden in timber in two containers on the way to Cambodia via Vietnam. Customs official Le Dinh Loi says the shipment was seized Wednesday …

Promises unmet as Thailand tries to reform shrimp industry

SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand (AP) — Facing international pressure for failing to stop human trafficking in its seafood sector, Thailand promised almost a year ago to compensate victims of slavery and industry leaders vowed to bring all shrimp processing in-house. That hasn’t always happened. Instead, some formerly enslaved shrimp peelers have …

High court temporarily blocks subpoena over sex ads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday temporarily blocked a congressional subpoena that seeks information on how the classified advertising website Backpage.com screens ads for possible sex trafficking. The order came hours after Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer asked the high court to intervene, saying the case …

Turkey police find smuggled dagger of Libya’s Gadhafi

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish police on Monday caught a man trying to sell a jeweled dagger allegedly pillaged from the palace of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, according to the state-run news agency. Police confiscated the ivory carved dagger which was encrusted with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, during a …