The Welfare State and the Criminal State

Tea Party supporters in the United States are convinced the state has been taken over by socialists who follow an agenda diametrically opposed to the “real America.” According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, they overwhelmingly feel that the federal government is too big and that the Obama administration favours blacks over whites and the poor over the rich and the middle class. The Welfare State is anathema to them. Historians trace these attitudes back to fundamental concepts going back to the Founding Fathers and beyond. The subtext is that the individual is good and the state is evil. The original target was George the Third. All European regimes have been targets ever since. In the Tea Party supporters’ eyes, they are all socialist.

George the Third – meet Slobodan Milosevic. Unlike you, the dictator – Tito’s disciple – really was evil. He allowed the state to become an accomplice of organized crime.

How he did it is convincingly documented in an amazing article in the New Yorker of April 12. The writer is David Samuels. It is much more than what it seems at first – a mere story about a gang of jewel thieves known as the Pink Panthers.

A slightly edited abstract…

On May 20, 2003, two thieves walked into the jewelry store Graff, in London, and, in less than three minutes, made off with more than thirty million dollars’ worth of diamonds. It was the biggest jewel heist in British history. One of the thieves, who was raised in Montenegro, was reputed to be one of the leaders of a spectacularly inventive, and elusive, gang of jewel thieves called the Pink Panthers.

The London robbery was followed by other Pink Panther heists, in Europe and Asia; the take from these robberies approached a quarter of a billion dollars. In frustration, detectives in London, Paris, Brussels, Geneva, and Tokyo, working through Interpol and Europol, began pooling information about the Panthers. Over the past year, David Samuels spoke with seventeen detectives, in ten countries, who are tracking the Panthers. The Belgian detective, André Notredame, believes that the core of the Panther operation consists of between twenty and thirty experienced thieves. Dozens of other facilitators in various European cities provide logistical assistance. Since 2002, Notredame says, the Panthers had robbed a hundred and fifty-two jewelry stores. Samuels describes a robbery committed in Dubai and mentions Dusko Poznan, a thief who was hit by a car in Monaco and then arrested at the hospital.

Criminal gangs became dominant forces in Serbia during the Balkan conflicts of the nineties, and they were further empowered by Western sanctions, which gave them a stranglehold on the markets for gasoline, cigarettes, and other staples.

Six years ago, two Serbs, Djordje Rasovic and Aleksandar Radulovic, stole the Comtesse de Vendôme necklace from a Tokyo boutique. According to Milutin Dacovic, a retired criminal, the higher ranks of the Panther organization include a number of Serbian ex-soldiers, but the diamond trafficking was directed mainly by criminals from Italy, Russia, Israel, and Holland.

In Montenegro, banditry may be even more deeply entrenched than it is in Serbia. The writer met with a Panther who called himself Novak. Novak said there were four main Panther groups, originating from a single group of diamond thieves from Montenegro. After a robbery, the jewels were handed off to a member of the team, who then drove to a rendezvous near a highway. The diamonds would be inspected by the buyer. Novak suggested that many of the jewels were recut in Antwerp and then shipped to Israel, where they re-entered the legitimate diamond market as “new” stones.

Isn’t it evident that these crimes are typical of Socialists?


2 responses to “The Welfare State and the Criminal State

  1. Is that how Koch got rich? No, No, No. Did the Comtesse de Vendome ever get her necklace back? RK