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So the fact that cable stealing is an international business cannot be evidence that local gangs are not involvd in it?

I did not say that that local mafia was specialised in cable theft. (In fact, I wouldn't call a mere cable-ripping gang a 'mafia'.) The rumours (because for lack of trials and convictions, it's all hearsay) are of expropiating homes, protection money extortion, drug trafficking, and running prostitution rings as far as Italy. (The pair who was snatched by Austrian highway police was on its way to a hiding in Italy, according to another rumour.)

As for what I alluded to regarding international cable theft, I referred to cases of cable-ripping gangs from Romania caught in the act in Western Hungary or Austria. Cable-theft certainly exists locally, but no one knows what are the relative levels, given the low solvency rate. (Not to mention the crucial issue of who buys the stolen metal.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2009 at 06:20:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, for the heck of it, I conducted a cursory scan of recent news of caught cable thiefs. The overwhelming majority were local or regional (ethnicity not reported); though, again, I surmise it's the less professional who tend to be caught.

BTW, I forgot to mention another 'funny' rumour.

One of the seriously hurt, Žarko Šešum, is from Serbia. It was alleged by a paper in ROmania that his father fought in the infamous Serbian paramilitary led by Arkan, and that he'll come with 300 former comrades. After the news spread across every web forum into the (Hungarian) MSM, Šešum's father denied it personally, declaring that he is just the director of an agricultural company and has full trust in law enforcement...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2009 at 07:01:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can add one more story as well, to demonstrate why I can't trust anything I hear.

The major of Siófok, a city on the shore of the Balaton, also raised his voice, claiming that the alleged Gypsie mafia from Enying (the village the stabbers are from) was also active in his town: they tried to take over control over night life, but failed, after which over a hundred marched menancingly through town with swords and knifes, which was ignored by police. Supposedly.

Now, given that this mayor is from Fidesz, and given how his party boss managed to claim ever more Roma criminals without any evidence, forgive me my automatic scepticism. And indeed I found a political motive in the old news real soon: back then he also claimed that police was absent because many were re-grouped to confront 'political protests' (speak: riots) in Budapest and some of the rest was busy dismantling an illegal Fidesz protest nearby... But, it gets better: I found how police responded back then.

  • They said they did send a patrol after a telephone call, but no one was around by the time it arrived,
  • security camera tapes do show a large group of Roma men walking along the lakeshore, but no weapon is visible,
  • there was no sign of any illegal action, nor any complaints to the police from locals and shop owners (indeed apart from the mayor, there are only a few vague claims by anonymous sources talking to blogs and media),
  • no well-known criminals were identified in the crowd based on the tapes, either. (It's not even certain they were all or in part from Enying.)

:: :: :: :: ::

As for the other rumours about the 'Enying mafia': who knows how much of it is true, while police denies that they were serious organized criminals; but here is my own speculation: methinks the 'Enying mafia' is probably more a gang of simple robbers and burglars mostly active in their own village, and police heeded them little because most of their victims were Gypsies too, and/or did not report it to the police.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2009 at 10:00:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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