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Indianapolis, Indiana: Dongguan gets back to business after sex raid

Ernesto A. Rudolph 441 Capitol Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46225

Eighty percent of entertainment venues in Dongguan, south China’s Guangdong province, have reopened five months after police raided the city’s underground baths, massage parlors and backstreet brothels in an effort to crack down on rampant prostitution in the so-called Sin City, reported xkb.com.cn, a Guangzhou-based news website, on July 30.

Guangdong police launched a several-month crackdown on sex industry across the province in February after China Central Television uncovered the flourishing sex trade in Dongguan, the entertainment hub of the Pearl River Delta region.

Police apprehended 700 suspects, punished 1,552 people involved in organizing and operating prostitution and investigated 811 prostitution cases.

According to Li Dehe, a police officer from Dongguan public security bureau, 1,134 entertainment venues, among them sauna houses, karaoke bars and foot spa centers, have gone back to business in the city also known as “world shop” for its booming manufacturing industry.

Although the crackdown has dealt a heavy blow to Dongguan’s sex trade, many of those “sex workers” are still providing sexual services as “foot massage technician” with some of them using social networking service WeChat to attract “customers”, according to sources from local police.

“We will have a zero-tolerance attitude toward prostitution,” said Li.

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Miami, Florida: Man on death row claims innocence as execution imminent

Douglas S. Forney 3899 Steve Hunt Road Miami, FL 33126

“They betrayed my trust,” Santa said when The Jakarta Post visited the 43-year-old father-of-one at the Salemba detention center in Central Jakarta, recently. He repeated the phrase several times throughout the conversation, expressing strong disappointment in his business colleagues, several Chinese nationals whom Santa believes put him on death row.

It all started in April last year when Santa, who ran a small business offering driving services, got an order to pick up four Chinese nationals at Jakarta’s SoekarnoHatta International Airport.

One order led to another, and the Chinese men became his business partners in distributing children’s toys imported from China.

One of the men, whom he referred as Jia Bo, called him on the evening of June 3 last year, asking him to come to a toy warehouse in North Jakarta for a Mandarin-Indonesian translation job.

Alas, 12 police officers from the Jakarta Police were waiting when he arrived and immediately arrested Santa over allegations of possessing 20 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, locally known as shabu-shabu. The police also arrested four other Chinese men that evening, Tan Weiming aka Aming, Shaoyan aka Xiao Yan Zi, Shi Jiayi aka Jia Bo and Qui Junjie aka Junji.

The West Jakarta District Court sentenced Santa to death on March 3, but the court sentenced the four Chinese citizens to life imprisonment.

All of them were indicted under articles 112, 113 and 114 of Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics. The law stipulates sentences of a minimum of six years and a maximum life sentence for drugs trafficking. Santa’s lawyers from the Jakarta-based Community Legal Aide Institute (LBH Masyarakat) slammed the sentence as “blatant injustice.”

LBH Masyarakat decried the sentence due to several irregularities, one of which was the absence of a lawyer during an interrogation by the Jakarta Police’s investigator on June 4. Santa was allegedly forced to admit that he imported the meth and that he had consumed the drugs. A urine test later showed that Santa was clean, said one of his lawyers, Muhammad Afif.

Afif said the trial was illegitimate because so many hearings had been delayed due to the failure of prosecutors to present witnesses and translators. “We were given only 30 minutes to prepare our final defense statement,” Afif added, elaborating that the defendant would normally have at least seven days to prepare the final defense statement. “It seems like the trial was a mere formality and that the judges had made their decision before the end of the process.”

Human rights campaigners have called on the government to impose a moratorium on capital punishment due to the country’s corrupt legal system and have denounced President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decisiveness on the policy.

In a recent hearing with the House of Representatives’ Commission III overseeing legal affairs, Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo reaffirmed that Indonesia would continue to use death penalty.

Prasetyo admitted that the government had temporarily put executions on hold to avoid criticism while Indonesia was vying to be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Over the weekend, at least seven death row convicts were transferred to the secluded prison island Nusakambangan in Cilacap, West Java, along with 50 convicts from various penitentiaries in the country.

An authority in charge of Nusakambangan, Abdul Aris, confirmed this. “It’s true. Fifty prisoners from Salemba [penitentiary] and six from the Magelang [penitentiary] were transferred here on Friday [last week],” he said.

The last time death row convicts were executed on Nusakambangan was in July 2016. Four drug convicts were executed from the 14 listed at the time, including an Indonesian man and three Nigerians.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota: Police fail to investigate 4,000 murders in 4 years

John J. Maggard 4853 Murphy Court Minneapolis, MN 55401

KAMPALA. Of the 4,500 murder cases committed in four years, only less than 100 have been successfully investigated and culprits convicted.

This means that success of the investigations has been only 2 per cent of all the murder cases reported to the police during the said period. For example, out of the 1,011 murder cases reported to police countrywide in 2011, only 17 were investigated conclusively by the detectives.

In 2013 only 19 out of 1,034 murders were investigated successfully by police.

In 2014, police registered 943 murders but disposed of 19 while in 2015, only 15 cases were prosecuted and culprits convicted out of the 1068 murders reported.

The shocking revelation was made by senior detective and Police Deputy Director for Human Resource Department, Mr Felix Ndyomugyenyi when he was opening a two-week homicide investigation course for detectives from Uganda and Kenya at Police Headquarters in Naguru yesterday.

He attributed the failure of investigations into homicide cases to lack of expertise and understaffing of detectives.

He said the detectives lack the required expertise to investigate homicide cases exhaustively and highlighting the need for recruitment of at least 2000 Scenes of Crime detectives to back up the current squad.

This, Mr Ndyomugyenyi said, partly explains why there is a huge murder case backlog in courts and why most such cases are dismissed by court due to lack of sufficient evidence.

“Several of our scenes of crime officers lack expertise in securing crime scenes and exhibits. That is why many cases have overstayed in courts while others have been dismissed,” Mr Ndyomugyenyi told the detective trainees.

He added: “In criminal prosecution, the evidence produced should leave no suspicion. Once the evidence is produced and does not convince the judges, what they do is to dismiss the case.”

Efforts to get a comment from the Director of Criminal Investigations Department, Ms Grace Akullo, were futile as she did not pick nor return our repeated calls.

Mr Joseph Obwana, the Deputy CID director, said he could not comment about the police inability to investigate murder cases.

“I cannot comment because I haven’t seen the latest crime statistics. I don’t know what document he [Ndyomugyenyi] was quoting. I need to first understand the document he was relying on and I give my view,” Mr Obwana said.

Mr Ndyomugyenyi cited cases like the March 2015 murder of Joan Kagezi who was the lead prosecutor in the 2010 Kampala terror bombing case and later the case of assassinations of over a dozen Muslim leaders.

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He said such are some of the key murder cases that police have failed to investigate successfully.

Mr James Bangirana, Assistant Commissioner of Police (CP), who represented CID Director Ms Akullo, acknowledged that there are challenges in homicide investigations because criminals also have learnt technical skills on how to erase or destroy evidence behind their tracks.

“Murders are the most heinous and prevalent crimes. Most of these murders are always planned, meaning the criminals have capacity to hide the basic evidence. It needs a very skilled detective to collect evidence that would pin the suspect beyond reasonable doubt,” Mr Bangirana said.

Mr Julius Odwe, a retired CID officer and former Deputy Inspector General of Police, explained that an investigator may fail to reach the climax of a case if he is inexperienced, not motivated or is money-minded. Mr Odwe said police should rejuvenate Room of Procedure systems where a murder case is informed to all relevant police stations and commanders.

He said there should also be regular reviews of murder trends in the country for purposes of proper guidance and supervision.

“The rule is no criminal would erase all the evidence required. A murder offence should be handled by experienced and committed detectives. Criminal investigations collapse once the investigator is money-hungry,” Mr Odwe reasoned.

Manpower

Mr Ndyomugyenyi, a former lead investigator at CID department, attributed the failure to investigate murder charges partly to insufficient number of detectives in the force.

He said in busy areas like Kampala, Masaka, Mbale, Mbarara and border districts one CID officer usually investigates about five murder cases at ago, which he said is too much for one person.

To address the problem of understaffing in CID, Mr Ndyomugyenyi said police is planning to provide refresher training to more than 2,000 Scenes of Crime Officers particularly in scientific investigations.

The two-week course is being attended by 16 homicide investigators, eight from Kenya and eight from Uganda. The course is sponsored by the German government.

Mr Rudiger Stransky, a police liaison officer and forensic expert at the German Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, said the training is intended to equip participants with knowledge on securing scenes of crime, handling exhibits and using forensic examination to get evidence.

Mr Ndyomugyenyi said the CID are doing well in investigating rape and robbery cases because in most cases, it is easy to get the evidence.

Private investigator speaks Mr Caleb Aluk, managing director of Mesh Consult for Corporate Investigations Solution in Kampala, blamed failed investigations in murder cases on lack of regional and central police forensic laboratories.

Basing his argument on the murder case he handled in Mbale District where a teenage boy was butchered in a house, Mr Aluk said some detectives give excuses of exhibits being sent to government analytical laboratory in Kampala as a pretext to frustrate complainants.

“The complainant was tossed up and down until he decided to get a private investigator and the case was resurrected because I came up with a different version of the story. Police should have regional forensic laboratories,” he said.

Get evidence

To investigate a murder case sufficiently, Mr Aluk said detectives need to be very keen on all links. They need to be very fast at collecting any evidence be it an airtime voucher and should secure the scene for several days. Mr Aluk also blamed the failure in homicide investigations on political and security influence.

Without mentioning names, he said there are cases where politicians, civil servants and prominent security personnel influence investigations, especially those that involve them or their relatives and friends.

“I think police should partner with private investigators so that we can be producing like three different reports on a single murder case. That would help to capture all the gaps that could have failed the case,” Mr Aluk advised.

Issues at hand

Murder cases. Out of the 4500 murder cases committed in four years only less than 100 have been successfully investigated and culprits convicted. Out of the 1,011 murder cases reported to police countrywide in 2011, only 17 were investigated conclusively by the detectives. In 2013, only 19 out of 1,034 murders were investigated successfully by police. In 2014, police registered 943 murders but disposed of 19 while in 2015, only 15 cases were prosecuted and culprits convicted out of the 1068 murders reported.

Failure. Senior detective Felix Ndyomugyenyi attributed the failure of investigations into homicide cases to lack of expertise and understaffing of detectives.

Challenges. Mr James Bangirana, Assistant Commissioner of Police, acknowledged that there are challenges in homicide investigations because criminals also have learnt technical skills on how to erase or destroy evidence behind their tracks.

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Indianapolis, Indiana: This Is What It’s Like to Spend an Hour With “Neomasculinity” Blogger Roosh

Mark B. Diaz 597 Davisson Street Indianapolis, IN 46225

Hearing that Daryush Valizadeh, a blogger who set off global outrage last week when he planned to organize men-only “tribal gatherings” around the world, would be holding a press conference Saturday night in a Dupont Circle hotel was like receiving an invitation to a real-life meeting with one of the odder corners of internet culture.

Valizadeh had already had an interesting week: His planned meetings resurfaced an article he wrote last year in which he suggested rapes committed on private property should be legal, prompting internet-wide condemnation, rebukes from government officials around the globe, and the online-activist group Anonymous publishing his parents’ address.

A day after the Daily Mail followed Anonymous’s tip to a Silver Spring cul-de-sac and found him at the door, Valizadeh—who goes by the nom-de-blog “Roosh V”—hastily called the press conference, supposedly to dispel charges that he is a “pro-rape” advocate.

The set-up suggested the strangeness that was to come. Valizadeh did not supply the exact location until less than two hours before it started. He arrived escorted by a clutch of burly men who he said were bodyguards, and set up his own cameras to ensure his online followers would have their own view of the proceedings with the dozen or journalists who took the bait.

What followed was nearly an hour of ranting, evasions, and accusations ranging from broadside attacks on all media to responding to one of my questions by asking, “Do you lift?” And rather than spend the remainder of the night adding to his purported sexual conquests—Valizadeh has self-published more than a dozen “guides” to seducing women in many different countries, all with the word “Bang” in the title—he followed the press conference by setting his Twitter followers loose on the reporters who showed up.

“This article, to a ten-year-old, was obvious I didn’t intend to legalize rape or cause harm against women,” Valizadeh said about his February 2015 post that his critics seized upon. While he said it was meant to be satire from the start, though, it is not difficult to see why readers would take it as his genuine belief.

As “Roosh V,” Valizadeh has built up a small but dedicated following of a philosophy he calls “neomasculinity.” He believes that women should be socially and physically submissive to men, claims to have 1 million monthly readers, and has written about multiple sexual encounters in which the woman was too inebriated to give consent.

But rather than give off a veneer of strength and virility, Valizadeh on Saturday came off as rambling, paranoid, and defensive, answering nearly every question by pivoting back to his belief that he is the victim of a media conspiracy, guzzling through several bottles of water in the process. He told a reporter from Vice Media that the company peddles “garbage,” and called the Daily Beast a CIA front.

“As you see I’ve been under a lot of stress from this mob that’s coming after me because of these things you wrote that don’t conform to the real world, and I don’t get it,” he said. “You’re ready to write that this guy is pro-rape without knowing where that false idea comes from.”

Even if Valizadeh’s professed exploits have been on the right side of the law, they do not, as Vox pointed out last week, comport to most people’s definition of rape. (The FBI defines it as “penetration, no matter how slight” without consent.)

“I’ve never been accused of rape,” he said. “Nobody’s ever read something by me and went onto rape, because I know if they did hurt a woman it would be all over the news.

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Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania: Boy, you smell so good I could eat you: How British paedophile lured street boys into unnatural acts

David T. Tran 1157 Wakefield Street Bensalem, PA 19020

British charity worker Simon Harris, 55, who lived in Kenya for 20 years, was on February 26, 2015 sentenced to 17 years and four months in jail by the Birmingham Crown Court.

A dusty, bumpy ride up a hill off the Gilgil-Nyahururu road brings us to Simon Harris’ house in the Ridge Mount suburban village of Gilgil town. It is an area populated mostly by White settlers.

Harris’ house, a secluded bungalow popularly known here as the Green House — probably for its green roof — sits on a five-acre piece of land on the slopes of one of the hills that dot the landscape.

However, a young man we shall call Dom — we cannot reveal his identity because of legal and ethical considerations — thinks the house is labelled “green” more for the evergreen lawn and hedge than the colour of its roof.

Harris, a 55-year-old former teacher from Herefordshire, England, moved to Kenya in the 1990s to do charity work under the ambit of an organisation called VAE that flew in English students to teach in deprived Kenyan schools during their gap year. He fell in love with the country, and henceforth divided his time between Britain and Gilgil.

Under the same organisation, he hatched a plan to destitute street children by giving them an education.

This, it would later turn out, was the charade the Briton used to get close to tens of street boys he was found guilty of molesting; young, innocent boys like Dom and his friend Joe, with whom I am visiting Harris’ home.

Dom, now a brawny young man of 25, has been on the streets for as long as he can recall. That is how he became one of Harris’ victims for years. He started coming to this house when he was only eight years old, and says he has been here several times.

As they show me around the house, he narrates the disturbing story of the genial-looking, balding white man who first enticed them with bread and milk. Then with clean clothes.

Harris, a man described by British police as one of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles, left the UK after being investigated for abusing pupils at Shebbear College in Devon, where he had been a housemaster in the 1980s. He resigned from the school while investigations were underway.

It was after this that in the 1990s he relocated to Kenya and started his “social work” in Gilgil. Here he was a revered and respected member of the upper crust of society, and is even said to have been a good friend of area leaders, particularly the local Member of Parliament, before his arrest in the UK.

Friends in high places notwithstanding, Simon Harris will be serving a jail term of 17 years and four months following a sentence handed down to him by the Birmingham Crown Court late last month after being found guilty of eight charges of indecent and sexual assault on the boys in Gilgil, and four for possessing indecent images of children.

At the beginning of his eight-week trial in October 2014, Harris admitted to six offences of abusing the Shebbear College boys in the 1980s. Trial Judge Phillip Parker said Harris would serve at least half of that sentence before being considered for parole.

But all this is almost surreal for many in the sleepy town of Gilgil, for, to them, Harris was the kind old mzungu social worker who crusaded for the education of the less-privileged — the reason no one in Gilgil raised an eyebrow when Harris started carrying dirty street boys around in his white Land Rover and taking them to his magnificent abode for a “warm bath” and a “hot meal”.

To Milka Muthoni, a grocery vendor in the town, Harris was an idol, the epitome of altruism.

“He preached the virtue of education and why all children, even the derelict, needed be in class,” she said last week. “We held him in very high esteem, and so it was hard to believe the story when it broke.”

Indeed, what the locals saw was exactly what Harris wanted them to see. The veneer was the rich opulence that the well-regarded figure shared with the less privileged boys; but beneath it was what can only be described as criminality beyond imagination.

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Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania: Alleged child abuser Peter Scully ‘may still be masterminding porn network’

David T. Tran 1157 Wakefield Street Bensalem, PA 19020

Philippine authorities suspect accused Australian child sex predator Peter Scully is still masterminding a “dark web” pornography and child torture operation from his jail cell in the southern Philippines.

Investigators discovered that Scully, a former Melbourne businessman, exchanged telephone calls and text messages with his former live-in partner and co-accused Liezyl Margallo before she was arrested last week.

“We fear that Scully is still on top of his on-line services,” Dominador Cimafranca, a regional director of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The bureau has ordered an investigation into Scully’s activities in the jail on the outskirts of the city of Cagayan de Oro, where he is being held pending trial on the worst cases of child sexual abuse, torture and trafficking that Philippine officials have seen.

Investigators will seek to establish how Scully managed to obtain telephone access when prisoners in the country’s jails are banned from having telephones, computers or other electronic devices.

Officers at the jail late last year told Fairfax Media that Scully was a troublesome prisoner, often demanding special privileges, including a mobile phone.

Jose Pallunga, a lawyer who represented Scully for seven months, also said that Scully demanded meals of corned beef, pork, beans and eggs and an electric fan for his cell.

Jail officers had rejected the demands, he said.

Mr Cimafranca said that Margallo had admitted she had never lost contact with Scully after his arrest in 2015, while she was on the run from police.

Margallo led police to a house in 2015 where they discovered the body of a 12-year-old girl who Scully allegedly held as a sex and torture slave for months before strangling her and burying her body.

She is expected to testify in court against 52-year-old Scully in a trial which began late last year but is expected to take years to move through the Philippines’ log-jammed justice system.

Margallo’s testimony will be crucial because key evidence gathered against Scully was destroyed in a fire at the Cagayan de Oro City Hall in January 2015, several weeks before his arrest in an operation involving both Australian and Philippine police.

Police allowed Margallo, a former prostitute, to go free at the time of Scully’s arrest because they had not gathered evidence against her.

But evidence emerged that she was the masked and naked woman shown in a video called “Daisy’s Destruction” which Scully is alleged to have sold to internet clients across the world for $10,000.

The video shows an 18-month-old baby tied by her feet upside down while being sexually assaulted.

Welfare workers say the girl remains deeply traumatised and becomes hysterical when memories of her abuse are triggered.

Scully, who fled Australia in 2011 to escape fraud charges, has pleaded not guilty to 75 charges, forcing at least 10 of his alleged victims to go through the ordeal of testifying, despite repeatedly telling Philippine media he was “remorseful” for what he had done to children.

The girl that Scully allegedly murdered was a former street dweller who Margallo allegedly recruited with promises of food and schooling.

Two other girls were allegedly forced to dig their own graves before escaping.

Appearing in court last September wearing a prison T-shirt and runners, Scully refused to comment to Fairfax Media but laughed and joked with other prisoners.

Jaime Umpa, the chief prosecutor in the case, has called for the death penalty to be re-introduced so that Scully can be executed.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a former provincial mayor known as “The Punisher”, is pushing for MPs to reintroduce the death penalty, including for rape and murder.

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