Displaying items by tag: arrests
It took $120,000, and a reduced prison sentence, for a smartphone developer to collaborate with the FBI and Australian police in 2018 and kick-start Operation Trojan Shield. Three years later, the investigation involving 9,000 law enforcement officers from 17 countries saw authorities monitor 27 million messages from 12,000 devices in 100 countries and track the activities of over 300 organised crime groups. To date, there have been over 800 arrests and over eight tons of cocaine seized, 22 tons of cannabis, two tons of synthetic drugs, 250 guns, 55 luxury vehicles, and over $48 million. More arrests and seizures are expected. The ‘confidential human source’ had created a new hardened encrypted phone with a bespoke app called ANOM to organise drug deals and hits on rivals, and launder illicit earnings without detection. However, the criminals did not realise that all their messages were being monitored.
The military held its first news conference since toppling the government. They said the armed forces would not remain in power for long, and would ‘hand power back to the winning party’ following another election. On 18 February the military ordered more arrests, and civil servants went on strike. Large numbers have protested for 16 days. ‘It is incredible to witness that our people are unified. People’s power must return to the people,’ actor Lu Min wrote on Facebook. Many of the country’s lawyers have joined the Red Ribbon Campaign calling for the restoration of democracy in the country. The Defend Lawyers website reported that forty barristers could face prosecution for participating in the anti-coup movement. Doctors Without Borders are ‘gravely concerned’ about the recent arrests and detentions of health care workers and other civilians. The situation has the potential to severely interrupt the lifesaving healthcare that they and others have been providing to the most vulnerable people in the country, particularly in the time of the Covid pandemic.
Praise God for a rescue last week that resulted in the arrest of 5 suspects and the rescue of 15 victims from online sexual exploitation. This rescue was the result of close collaboration between Philippine authorities, Australian law enforcement, and IJM. Pray for the survivors as they receive care and for continued strong collaboration efforts with international law enforcement. Read more on the story here
Chinese Christians in Anhui are said to be ‘outraged’ after their state-registered megachurch was demolished and their pastors arrested.
Demolition work (pictured) began at Funan County Christian Church on Friday, partway through a worship service. (More information and short video clip of the demolition here.)
Elderly church members knelt down in front of the church, begging officials not to destroy the building, says Release partner ChinaAid. Several fainted and required hospital treatment.
Pastors Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao were arrested the next day on suspicion of ‘gathering a crowd to disturb social order’. Their church could seat up to 3,000 people.
ChinaAid Director Bob Fu says believers are ‘outraged’.
‘The Chinese Government is now ordering believers to worship in a remote endangered building which can only host a few hundred people,’ he said. Yet, ChinaAid says many Christians, including those in Funan, are too afraid to speak out for fear of more persecution.
Pray: that God will bless His people in Funan and provide a new building for them. Pray that they will grow in unity and faith through this ordeal.
Pray: for the immediate release without charge of Funan pastors Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao. Ask God to comfort those who were distressed by the demolition.
Praise: God that Christianity is growing fast in China, despite intense persecution. Sources quoted by ChinaAid estimate that there are now more than 100 million Christians in China.
(Source: China Aid)
In 1989, the longest human chain in history (675 kilometres) was formed from north Estonia across Latvia to south Lithuania, as a moral protest against the illegal occupation of those lands by the Soviet Union. Thirty years later, thousands of protesters formed an unauthorised but peaceful human chain across Hong Kong in a movement against the erosion of liberties under Chinese rule. On 29 August, at 3 am, Hong Kong became alarmed as Chinese troops, armoured personnel carriers and trucks poured into the city in what Beijing called 'routine' troop rotation. China has made it clear recently that it considers a military intervention in the crisis a viable option, despite US warnings that this might lead to a repeat of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. On 30 August, three prominent protesters were arrested. See
Journalist and church deacon of Early Rain Covenant Church, Zhang Guoqing, was missing for several days before it was discovered he was being held in police custody for ‘provoking trouble’. He had published a story of how the pastor’s mother, Chen Yaxue, had been beaten up by a policeman, and how one officer had grabbed her hair and kicked her. Also, eight Christian families from the same church were evicted from their homes and two fired from their jobs, after police pressured landlords and employers. Twelve Christians are currently being held in criminal detention, and one is missing. Pray for them all, asking the LORD to be a shield of protection around them (Psalm 3:3). Pray for the Lord’s provision for those who have lost their homes and jobs. Ask also for mental and physical healing for Chen Yaxue, after the cruel police assault.
This month Eritrean police have arrested 32 Christians in the capital, Asmara, including a newlywed couple and ten of their guests. Eritrea’s human rights record was recently condemned at the UN Human Rights Council. A UN monitoring group said thousands of Christians are facing detention, as ‘religious freedom in Eritrea continues to be denied’. The council also heard that Eritrea’s claims of improvement in the human rights were unfounded. In 2002 Eritrea introduced a law prohibiting Christian practice outside the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran denominations, and Sunni Islam.
Police arrested senior members of the Turkish Medical Association, and President Erdogan branded them ‘terrorist lovers’. The association, which represents 80,000 doctors, publicly voiced opposition to the offensive against Syrian Kurdish militia, warning: ‘Every clash, every war, causes physical, psychological, social and environmental health problems, and human tragedy.’ After publishing their statement they were inundated with threats of violence via telephone, email and social media. The New York-based Physicians for Human Rights group condemned the intimidation campaign. ‘It is a bleak commentary on the state of affairs in Turkey that a group of doctors can’t make a peaceful statement without being targeted with physical threats and condemned by the head of state’, said Dr Homer Venters. ‘Medical professionals must have the freedom to call out threats to public health without fear of retribution.’
A boy of 17 is the sixth person to have been arrested in connection with the London Underground bomb at Parsons Green on 15 September. He was detained at a 'halfway house' for asylum- seekers, following police counter-terror operations in Dover, Hounslow and Newport. He is the youngest of the suspects being questioned over a homemade bomb blast that failed to detonate fully but still injured thirty people on a packed train during morning rush hour. IS claimed the attack was carried out by ‘soldiers of the caliphate’. The head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command said, ‘This continues to be a fast-moving investigation. A significant amount of activity has taken place, and searches are continuing at five addresses. Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack.’