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Meth for Missiles: Yakuza mobster Arrested in New York Trying to Buy Surface-to-Air Missiles

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Following a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, alleged Japanese Yakuza leader Takeshi Ebisawa, 57, was arrested in New York this week along with three Thai associates accused of conspiring to sell drugs in the US to purchase missiles for armed groups in Myanmar.

Prosecutors said that Ebisawa and his co-conspirators, Sompak Rukrasaranee, Somphob Singhasiri, and Suksan Jullanan, intended to distribute hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine and heroin to buy the weapons.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a press release: “The drugs were destined for New York streets, and the weapons shipments were meant for factions in unstable nations. Members of this international crime syndicate can no longer put lives in danger and will face justice for their illicit actions.” Japan’s notorious Yakuza are members of Mafia-like organized crime syndicates. The Department of Justice said Ebisawa’s international criminal network spans Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Europe, and the United States.

Officials said The DEA had been investigating Ebisawa since around 2019. A criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday provided some details. Ebisawa was introduced an undercover DEA agent posing as a narcotics and weapons trafficker to associates to arrange large-scale narcotics and weapons transactions.

The msn.com report continues: “At the meeting, Ebisawa handled and inspected an array of US Army weapons brought by the agents, including three portable M72 light anti-tank rocket weapons, ten 7.62 M60 machine guns, and ten 5.56 Colt Canada C8 fully automatic rifles.

The undercover agents also showed Ebisawa photographs and video of 400 US Army surface-to-air Stinger missiles purportedly stored at a nearby bunker. After the meeting, Ebisawa allegedly told the agent that the political situation in Myanmar was deteriorating and that the rebel groups United Wa State Army and the Shan State Army needed weapons.

Ebisawa has been charged with five counts, including narcotics importation conspiracy, conspiracy to acquire, transfer, and possess surface-to-air missiles, and money laundering. Many of the charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Read the original article on Insider.

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International

Biden Admin Announces Eased Restrictions On Cuba

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Joe Biden

On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it is easing restrictions on Cuba in order to help support the Cuban people.

“The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis — and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department said.

The Biden administration’s changes include reduced restrictions on travel, along with removing “the current limit on family remittances of $1,000 per quarter per sender-receiver pair and will authorize donative (i.e., non-family) remittances, which will support independent Cuban entrepreneurs.”

The move received backlash as many argued that reduced restrictions on Cuba will only benefit the Cuban dictatorship. According to Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the decision marks another policy failure by President Biden.

“Biden’s plan to prop up the Cuban dictatorship represents yet another failure when it comes to standing for freedom in our hemisphere,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.

“Money from ‘tourism’ will go into the pockets of the Cuban regime – and will help fortify the government against those seeking freedom in Cuba,” he added.

The news comes a week after DeSantis announced that November 7 will now be Victims of Communism Day in Florida.

“Today, I established November 7th as Victims of Communism Day to honor those who have suffered under communism and remind people of the destruction communism has caused worldwide, including a death toll exceeding 100 million,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “In Florida, we will tell the truth about communism.”

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Report: Ukraine Sunk Russian Warship By Using US Intel

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Ukraine sunk the Russian warship Moskva last month using United States intelligence, according to a new report from NBC News.

“A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” NBC News reported. “It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles, U.S. officials said. Moscow said the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War II. American officials said there were significant Russian casualties, but they don’t know how many.”

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the outlet added. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”

The news comes the day after a report from The New York Times revealed that the United States has provided Ukraine with intelligence on Russian military units that has enabled the country to kill multiple Russian generals.

“The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.”

“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently,” the outlet added. “Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.”

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