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Old 03-25-2019, 05:20 PM   #31
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Illegality is in the eye of the beholder. Bribes can shut down political and law enforcement investigations quite easily outside the developed world, and most people are willing to sell themselves for very little. As for tracing the money, that only works if someone has jurisdiction within the nation where the money transfers are occurring.
Actually, while jurisdictional issues can slow financial investigations, in the modern world, they don't stop them. Plenty of people whho've never actually stepped foot in the US to commit a crime there have had assets frozen or made part of RICO cases.

Not to mention that whoever is behind this fears that banking confidentiality regulations won't actually prevent potential enemies from accessing banking records, once they find some to access. After all, not all analysts work for law enforcement agencies or worry about warrants and bribes or coercion can serve to open up servers just as well.

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When you are talking about an illegal bloodsport operation, there are multiple streams of revenue. First, the ticket sales themselves. Second, the Internet streaming on the dark web. Third, the hotel accommodations. Fourth, the prostitution. Fifth, the drugs. Sixth, blackmailing clients who kill the prostitutes. If you have expenses of $4 million per week, you only need 1,000 visitors spending $5,000 a week on tickets, accommodations, prostitution, and drugs to make a 25% profit, which is a quite modest expense for the wealthiest 0.1% (around 2,500,000 households globally, most from the developing world). Any money that you make from streaming and blackmail is just a cherry on top.
While the operation hopefully doesn't actually lose money, no one would ever do this simply for profit. The risk-to-reward ratio is ridiculous, compared to either legal investment or financing drug importation into Western countries.

The only reasons to do something like this is if you're a villain in a cheesy movie or there is something supernatural going on. Real crime is much less elaborate or interesting than this.

Also, you are not going to find a thousand people a week that are prepared to risk the potential PR and legal fallout of being an accessory to murder, let alone over fifty thousand people a year that would be remotely trustworthy to be discreet about this. Try one or two orders of magnitude less.

However, no one there is spending money merely by the thousands. The exclusive clientele should be of a kind that makes bets in the hundreds of thousands and millions per fight.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:28 PM   #32
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

Several points if I may...

* Concerning the local constabulary and politics. How much does the individual(s) controlling things actually help the local economy? All of that "tourism" can have a positive impact on lower income countries. Especially id the owner has an "advertising budget" that he uses to help fund local hospitals, modern technologies, etc. I can see many offering to help in that case, and many more just willing to accept it as part of cost of comfort/modernity.

* Never underestimate the power of greed. If the rules are known to all fighters going in (no holds barred, death is definitely possible, etc) and there is a visible "big prize" like maybe a cage where the money gets added after each fight. Something that can be seen and coveted.

* If the above is true, the local hospital might even have a section set up specifically to treat the fighters.

LOL, I had several more...but as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, brain flushed.

EDIT:
Also, there is the possibility that whoever is in the middle of this (and those involved) might even have a higher GNP than the country they are in.

The thing with the obscenely rich is that money can buy just about everything. There is a reason Capone was only caught on tax evasion (true that was during the 20's-30's but many wore get away with things today)

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Old 03-25-2019, 05:33 PM   #33
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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However, no one there is spending money merely by the thousands. The exclusive clientele should be of a kind that makes bets in the hundreds of thousands and millions per fight.
There's a psychology issue here. What gives them the interest in specific fights to be betting so much? That needs some degree of interest in the sides, or rivalry with someone who matters to them. The rich and important in today's world don't tend to be people who throw away vast sums on a whim. They do it to count coup on their rivals.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:43 PM   #34
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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There's a psychology issue here. What gives them the interest in specific fights to be betting so much? That needs some degree of interest in the sides, or rivalry with someone who matters to them. The rich and important in today's world don't tend to be people who throw away vast sums on a whim. They do it to count coup on their rivals.
Well, I'm assuming that only the most psychologically deviant or aggressively decadent people would want to witness actual gladiatoral combat to the death and that these people might see in such bloody contests interest that mere sporting contests no longer held.

The audience will consist of deeply suspicious people, each with their own shady connections, questionable sources of income and perverted appetites and the PCs should have ample reason to suspect each of them of secretly being behind the whole sickening shebang for vile reasons of their own.

And yes, obviously, there will be powerful interpersonal rivalries among that exclusive club of people who are simultaneously outrageously rich and utterly morally bankrupt. If the PCs don't get caught in the middle of a tawdry spat between a Russian oligarch's harpy wife and a cartel boss' beloved child bride, what is even the point?
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:05 PM   #35
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Several points if I may...

* Concerning the local constabulary and politics. How much does the individual(s) controlling things actually help the local economy? All of that "tourism" can have a positive impact on lower income countries. Especially id the owner has an "advertising budget" that he uses to help fund local hospitals, modern technologies, etc. I can see many offering to help in that case, and many more just willing to accept it as part of cost of comfort/modernity.
Massive subsidies to the local economy are a given.

Exactly how depends on the local laws, but if, say, gambling and strip clubs are legal, there might be legal establishments of that nature at the resort where locals are employed and which pay high taxes.

They could even do as legal casinos in the US do and hold entirely legal and aboveboard MMA and boxing matches.

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* Never underestimate the power of greed. If the rules are known to all fighters going in (no holds barred, death is definitely possible, etc) and there is a visible "big prize" like maybe a cage where the money gets added after each fight. Something that can be seen and coveted.
Well, I imagine they are not recruited with strict attention to contract law and might even be lied to in important matters. And transported the last leg of their trip below decks so as to keep them unaware of the exact location.

However, they'd be told, probably truthfully, about a huge cash prize for victory.
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* If the above is true, the local hospital might even have a section set up specifically to treat the fighters.
johndallman suggested Maiden Island and Antigua is actually well-known for their for-profit medical schools...

Still, it might not be worth having witnesses to illegal doings too closely associated with the actual location.
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LOL, I had several more...but as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, brain flushed.
No worries, it will come to you later.
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EDIT:
Also, there is the possibility that whoever is in the middle of this (and those involved) might even have a higher GNP than the country they are in.
Well, as soon as there is just one major Mexican cartel boss involved, that holds true for most Caribbean island nations. On the other hand, for most of the visiting dignitaries, this would be a thrilling vacation, not a focus of their professional lives.

Still, this should be a business with significant revenue, even if the illegal part of it might only amount to a small part of the whole resort. The resort should be in the top 100 Caribbean resorts, revenue-wise, maybe even in the upper half of that list.

How much revenue would that be?

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The thing with the obscenely rich is that money can buy just about everything. There is a reason Capone was only caught on tax evasion (true that was during the 20's-30's but many wore get away with things today)
The thing about getting away with murder is that it's extremely unpredictable how someone, even someone who'll cheerfully take bribes for what he imagines are 'venial' sins, might react when they face the possibility in being implicated in murders they might reasonably suspect will eventually come to light.

If you're careful, you'll use bribery, corruption and coercion to ensure privacy to engage in minor peccedillos your corruptees imagine they know all about and then take care that very few people ever have to see, confront or think about actual evidence of anything truly serious.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:38 PM   #36
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Also, you are not going to find a thousand people a week that are prepared to risk the potential PR and legal fallout of being an accessory to murder, let alone over fifty thousand people a year that would be remotely trustworthy to be discreet about this. Try one or two orders of magnitude less.
Supportive reality check: there have been News Corp tabloid reports about a company offering sex parties somewhere in the Caribbean with a starter price on the order of 1,000-1,500 USD/customer-day. It was moved from Columbia to "a drug-friendly island" after the organizers offended the locals.

They have PR people with a knack for social media and tabloids, they are avoiding anything drastically illegal, and they still get tens (not hundreds) of johns for each party. I don't trust tabloids, but that strikes me as plausible based on my bohemian life in the swingin' New Country, because just like most people can get their vicarious violence kick at mostly-safe contact sports like hockey or MMA, most people can get their sex drugs and rock and roll kick through a swingers' party, a rave, or a weekend date with a couple of sex workers in a nice hotel in the nearest big city.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:50 PM   #37
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

Plenty of wealthy people travel to Southeast Asia for child prostitution, and they usually do not fear discovery by their peers or prosecution for their vicious crimes. They hire morally and ethically challenge people to procure their victims and, if need be, to take care of the evidence afterwards. The local authorities do not blink an eye when they fish out the corpse of an unnamed child from a nearby river as long as the proper bribes were paid and as long as the child was not related to someone important.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:43 AM   #38
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Plenty of wealthy people travel to Southeast Asia for child prostitution, and they usually do not fear discovery by their peers or prosecution for their vicious crimes. They hire morally and ethically challenge people to procure their victims and, if need be, to take care of the evidence afterwards. The local authorities do not blink an eye when they fish out the corpse of an unnamed child from a nearby river as long as the proper bribes were paid and as long as the child was not related to someone important.
The only criminals I've met who have zero fear of discovery are those who have absolutely nothing to lose, having no money, social position nor even the vestige of any kind of good name. That's usually people who cannot function in society and who have been inside one institution or another since childhood. Pretty much by definition, wealthy people have a lot more to lose than that.

No child abuser I have defended has been truly wealthy, but some are middle class. In my experience, people who have an education, some assets and a clean criminal records are far more likely to be absolutely terrified at any hint of legal trouble, more or less regardless of their possible guilt or innocence.

Someone who has never been arrested before can actually show PTSD-like symptoms after being detained for questioning about a serious crime, even if they are never charged. In my experience, both innocent and guilty people who have never interacted with law enforcement are very likely to impute something very close to omniscience to agents of the law and to feel shame and terror at being 'treated like a criminal'.

Anywhere up to a third of people will confess to crimes they did not commit simply because detectives ask them to, without any form of threats, violence or coercion, largely because most people feel guilt over something and when removed from familiar surroundings and without their social support structures, many people will default to accepting the authority of police and think they must be guilty of something because they are being treated that way.

The kind of articulate, smart, careful and unrepentant criminals that are the mainstay of popular fiction are in actual fact a vanishingly rare breed. Far more people are terrified and guilty without any good reason to be than there are people who remain calm and cool in the face of possible social condemnation.*

Importantly, this can happen even to people who are mostly cynical and have never shown even a hint of fearful respect for authority. I've seen severe psychological distress even on the part of experienced policemen or attorneys, when they are suddenly put into the position of suspect. It's easy to say on the Internet that you know how to behave when questioned, but the cold hard truth is that most people do not retain that cool rationality when really put to the test.

I don't know how many pedophiles and child abusers you know personally, but while I cannot completely rule out that any of those I've met could kill a child, I can state categorically that not one of them would be completely without fear of consequence after doing so, even if they had been in another country. In fact, I suspect that if any did, they would be nervous wrecks and would probably be easy prey for any potential witnesses, to blackmail them of everything they owned, if they didn't just collapse and prove unable to act rationally in any way.

From what I can tell from sitting at the other side of the table, real police work is mindbogglingly dull and not very demanding in an intellectual capacity, but that's okay, because my clients, the criminals and those alleged to be criminals, generally make the work of those trying to convict them very, very easy. Even those few suspects who are not in dire need of psychiatric help and remedial schooling tend to be in such a psychologically bad place when questioned that they are in no position to clear themselves even when innocent, let alone come up with a plausible story if guilty.

The reason fiction usually doesn't get within a mile of realism when it comes to crime and police work is that showing the reality would be dull, depressing and offensive to all parts of the political spectrum.

*The fear of actual punishment tends to have far less impact on people, except in so far as it reinforces social stigmatization and feelings of ostracization.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:43 AM   #39
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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The only criminals I've met who have zero fear of discovery are those who have absolutely nothing to lose, having no money, social position nor even the vestige of any kind of good name. That's usually people who cannot function in society and who have been inside one institution or another since childhood. Pretty much by definition, wealthy people have a lot more to lose than that.

No child abuser I have defended has been truly wealthy, but some are middle class. In my experience, people who have an education, some assets and a clean criminal records are far more likely to be absolutely terrified at any hint of legal trouble, more or less regardless of their possible guilt or innocence.

Someone who has never been arrested before can actually show PTSD-like symptoms after being detained for questioning about a serious crime, even if they are never charged. In my experience, both innocent and guilty people who have never interacted with law enforcement are very likely to impute something very close to omniscience to agents of the law and to feel shame and terror at being 'treated like a criminal'.

Anywhere up to a third of people will confess to crimes they did not commit simply because detectives ask them to, without any form of threats, violence or coercion, largely because most people feel guilt over something and when removed from familiar surroundings and without their social support structures, many people will default to accepting the authority of police and think they must be guilty of something because they are being treated that way.

The kind of articulate, smart, careful and unrepentant criminals that are the mainstay of popular fiction are in actual fact a vanishingly rare breed. Far more people are terrified and guilty without any good reason to be than there are people who remain calm and cool in the face of possible social condemnation.*

Importantly, this can happen even to people who are mostly cynical and have never shown even a hint of fearful respect for authority. I've seen severe psychological distress even on the part of experienced policemen or attorneys, when they are suddenly put into the position of suspect. It's easy to say on the Internet that you know how to behave when questioned, but the cold hard truth is that most people do not retain that cool rationality when really put to the test.

I don't know how many pedophiles and child abusers you know personally, but while I cannot completely rule out that any of those I've met could kill a child, I can state categorically that not one of them would be completely without fear of consequence after doing so, even if they had been in another country. In fact, I suspect that if any did, they would be nervous wrecks and would probably be easy prey for any potential witnesses, to blackmail them of everything they owned, if they didn't just collapse and prove unable to act rationally in any way.

From what I can tell from sitting at the other side of the table, real police work is mindbogglingly dull and not very demanding in an intellectual capacity, but that's okay, because my clients, the criminals and those alleged to be criminals, generally make the work of those trying to convict them very, very easy. Even those few suspects who are not in dire need of psychiatric help and remedial schooling tend to be in such a psychologically bad place when questioned that they are in no position to clear themselves even when innocent, let alone come up with a plausible story if guilty.

The reason fiction usually doesn't get within a mile of realism when it comes to crime and police work is that showing the reality would be dull, depressing and offensive to all parts of the political spectrum.

*The fear of actual punishment tends to have far less impact on people, except in so far as it reinforces social stigmatization and feelings of ostracization.
Most defendants are not millionaires or billionaires who can afford top lawyers to defend them. I teach Constitutional Law and Ethics in CRJ, so I am quite familiar with the issues of the criminal justice system. Heck, the US justice system depends on 88% of criminals confessing to their crimes and would collapse if half of criminals refused to confess.

When it comes to wealthy defendants though, their lawyers are quite capable of taking a buzzsaw to most evidence. There is a reason why most wealthy criminals only get caught for white collar crimes, it tends to leave a broad trail. Wealthy people who avoid white collar crimes can pretty much do what they want without consequences in American society, as long as they are willing to spend enough money, and it is even worse in the majority of the world.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:45 AM   #40
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Most defendants are not millionaires or billionaires who can afford top lawyers to defend them. I teach Constitutional Law and Ethics in CRJ, so I am quite familiar with the issues of the criminal justice system. Heck, the US justice system depends on 88% of criminals confessing to their crimes and would collapse if half of criminals refused to confess.

When it comes to wealthy defendants though, their lawyers are quite capable of taking a buzzsaw to most evidence. There is a reason why most wealthy criminals only get caught for white collar crimes, it tends to leave a broad trail. Wealthy people who avoid white collar crimes can pretty much do what they want without consequences in American society, as long as they are willing to spend enough money, and it is even worse in the majority of the world.
Actually, most crimes leave a trail, but only the most obvious ones tend to be found. Far fewer white collar crimes are successfully prosecuted than almost any other kind. And considering the enormous bias judges and juries exhibit, consciously and unconsciously, toward the most powerful elite in any state, the representatives of official authority, it's a good thing the defense can exclude evidence, as it provides some slim hope that the innocent can escape punishment.

From what I can tell, only in simplistic TV shows is guilty people escaping 'justice' any kind of real problem compared to the fact that few people, innocent or guilty, actually get any kind of presumption of innocence. Most people want to believe in evil criminals, who are some kind of different species or at least tribe, from 'people like us', and a vanishing proportion of ordinary people have the ability or inclination not to make knee-jerk judgments about guilt and pretend it represents some deep moral wisdom.

None of which has anything to do with the actual state of mind of suspects. I don't know your background, perhaps you have a background in criminal defense, social work with prisoners or sociology field work with suspects and criminals. If so, perhaps you have met many cool, collected, intelligent and unrependant criminals who do not fear discovery, exposure, social ostracization and condemnation. All I can say, I see more people like that in a single episode of any popular cop TV show than over a decade of working in the field.

The unfortunate part is that many detectives, prosecutors and even judges seem to engage in very little actual human interaction with suspects and defendants and continue to have views about 'criminals' that seem based on entertainment for children. I'm not saying your views are necessarily formed without any real world experience, but lawyer jokes aside, I don't think teaching ethics to law students (or anyone else) is an environment that will yield much knowledge of how suspects or criminals really think, what they fear and what kind of people they are.
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