compiled by John William Tuohy and Ed Becker
JAPAN: On June 19, former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita died of respiratory
failure. He was 76. An aide, Shin Kanemaru, admitted that he had sought help
from the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia, in silencing an ultrarightist group that
was harassing Takeshita during the presidential race in 1987.
Takeshita stepped down in June 1989 in disgrace in relation to the
stock-for-favors scandal that involved politicians, senior government
officials and businesspeople. Takeshita's secretary committed suicide after
his involvement in the scandal was disclosed.
CAMBODIA: A Japanese man suspected as being a member of the Yakuza, the
Japanese Mafia, has been arrested and charged with child pornography. If
convicted, he will be the first Japanese citizen to be prosecuted under a new
Japanese law applying to child porn offenses committed overseas.
The man was arrested on June 14 after a Phnom Penh photo shop tipped
police that he had submitted several rolls of allegedly pornographic photos
PHILADELPHIA: Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Gross identified reputed mob
underboss Steve Mazzone as one of five shooters who severely wounded rival
underboss Joseph Ciancaglini during the 1993 mob war.
On March 2, 1993, Ciancaglini, then underboss for John Stanfa, was
shot several times in the head and chest inside the Warfield Breakfast and
Lunch Express in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia.
The FBI, which had a hidden camera outside, videotaped the shadows of
the gunmen getting out of their car, going into the restaurant and leaving in
Ciancaglini now walks with a walker and has significant hearing loss,"
Gross also cited Mazzone's role in the May 19, 1996, wounding of
Anthony Milicia, 70, a vending machine operator who would not pay the mob's
Gross alleged Mazzone's role in the shooting during a federal bail
hearing for Mazonne who is charged with six crimes of violence in a
The indictment charged Mazzone and his co-defendants, reputed acting
mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, consigliere George Borgesi and soldier
Martin "Marty" Angelina, in the mob hit, but it did not say what role any of
Gross told the judge that Mazzone listed Malone's bar as his place of
employment, but "he didn't know how many days he worked there or what kind of
work he did."
In a related story, reputed mob associate Angelo Lutz, 36, told the
judge that he could not afford to pay $20,000 in debts or hire private
attorney Edward Crisonino for the upcoming racketeering trial.
Lutz said he owns "nothing" and that his 1993 Cadillac was repossessed.
Lutz, who never married, was now taking care of his mother, who was in bad
health, according to Lutz. He said he has applied for welfare to be covered
by health benefits.
"I'm currently not working due to the fact that the government has put
out a list of 81 people I cannot associate with," he added. "The business is
SPAIN: Madrid's prosecutor has decided that scantily dressed prostitutes who
stroll in a popular Madrid park should not be ordered to cover up because
they are simply wearing the uniform of their profession.
The prosecutor, Mariano Fernando Bermejo, rejected a proposal to charge
prostitutes with the offense of indecent exposure after the idea was put
forward by a police chief outraged at the women's state of undress day and
night in the park.
The park, Casa de Campo, is a well-known center of prostitution but it
also houses an amusement park, a zoo, soccer pitches and restaurants.
Strolling families often come into contact with near naked men or women.
WASHINGTON STATE: Long time Teamsters boss Lawrence Brennan, president of
Detroit Teamsters Local 337, has been charged with embezzling and diverting
union funds to Brennan's 1997 reelection campaign.
The charges were brought by the Independent Review Board, a
quasi-governmental agency created in 1989 to monitor the Teamsters and end
the influence of organized crime on union operation. The charges are a
setback to union boss Jimmy Hoffa's goal to end government supervision of the
union. Brennan is an ally of Hoffa.
ILLINOIS: Three Cook County Sheriff's officers have been charged with first
degree murder for allegedly beating an inmate to death after he made lewd
remarks to a female guard.
The inmate, a self employed house painter named Louis Schmude, died two
days later. Schmude had been arrested for throwing a brick through a window
in his wife's home. Teamsters Local 714, which represents Cook County
deputies, had no comment.
SOUTH AFRICA: After increasingly violent attacks on them by vigilantes, South
African criminal gangs are lobbying the government for police protection.
Mr. Tuohy can be reached at MobStudy@aol.com