Above: Guristas Pirates Forward Operating Base orbits Renarelle V
BREAKING: Angel Cartel and Guristas Pirates Forces Establish "Forward Operating Bases" in Warzones
Floseswin, Metropolis and Renarelle, Placid – Pirate "Forward Operating Bases" have been detected in the war-torn systems of Floseswin in the Amarr-Minmatar militia warzone, and Renarelle in the Caldari-Gallente warzone. CONCORD conflict monitors sounded the alarm as scouts from the Republic Fleet and Federation Navy are reported to have probed the newly-appeared pirate structures for weaknesses.
The appearance of an Angel Cartel FOB in orbit of the temperate planet of Floseswin IV has rapidly caused alarm across the civilian population of a Minmatar border world that has experienced much devastation since the House Sarum invasion of the planet in late YC121. A brutal months long campaign of occupation, counter-offensive, and eventual liberation was carried out against the background of Triglavian invasions. Episodes of violence such as raids by Sarum holdouts and orbital bombardment by renegades during the Equilibrium of Mankind Crisis of YC123 have only served to prolong the instability despite a substantial Republic military presence and efforts to fortify population centers.
In Renarelle, a Guristas Pirates FOB has appeared in the orbital zone of the planet of Renarelle V, also a temperate world with a colonial population primarily occupied in various mining, industrial, and research enterprises. Renarelle V has a garrison of Federal Marines and has been noted in recent years as a hotbed of revolutionary activity. Accusations of the planetary assembly collaborating with Caldari occupation forces in YC124 led to closer scrutiny by Federal authorities when Gallente control was re-asserted. The reaction of local civilian to the Guristas presence has been muted with the heavily-armed frontier colonists apparently ready to look to their own defence.
Republic Fleet authorities have refused to comment on the development but Hetman General Kanth Filmir is understood to be briefing an emergency session of the Tribal Council called by Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor. A Federation Navy spokesman has stated that Vice Admiral Foriana Revelli has mobilized reserves and is considering declaring a state of emergency in Placid. Counter-insurgency operations are understood to be underway and being co-ordinated from the Republic military HQ in Amo system and the Federal military facilities in Intaki system.
The Amarr Empire and Caldari State have made no comment on the latest developments but independent observers have noted an increase in military activity by both powers. Despite allegations of a new Amarr plan to invade the Republic, the Empire's forces have continued to focus on the warzone and its borders under the direction of Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh. Caldari State forces continue to press on multiple fronts while pursuing a multi-pronged foreign policy involving colonial efforts in the Syndicate region and increased trade and co-operation with the Minmatar Republic.
Above: Astrahus in G-086Q destroyed by Angel Cartel and capsuleer fleets
Pirate Fleets Strike Capsuleer Structures Close to Ancient Jovian Stargates Destroying Astrahus
Alsavoinon, Placid and G-0Q86, Curse – Large fleets of pirate warships have repeatedly struck at capsuleer structures close to the recently-discovered ancient Jovian stargates to Zarzakh, in recent days. The attacks followed warnings from the Angel Cartel and Guristas Pirates to remove the structures or face hostile action.
Last night, a combined assault by Angel Cartel battleships and a large contingent of capsuleers from the "WE FORM V0LTA" alliance was able to destroy the "DECOY" alliance Astrahus-class citadel anchored close to the G-0Q86 stargate to Zarzakh. With significant capsuleer forces joining the Angel Cartel in the attack, the valiant defenders were unable to stave off the inevitable destruction of the citadel.
In Alsavoinon, following two assaults on its shields on Friday and Sunday, the Guristas Pirates were able to reduce the armor belt of the "Initiative" alliance Fortizar-class citadel anchored close to that system's ancient Jovian stargate. The Fortizar's hull is now reinforced until Thursday evening New Eden Standard Time. Significant capsuleer defence forces inflicted heavy losses on the Guristas fleet but the pirate group appears willing to commit substantial forces to achieve its goal.
The notable hostile interventions against capsuleer structures by assault fleets of the Angel Cartel and Guristas Pirates are apparently in line with a join policy of the groups combined with the Deathless Circle. The loose pirate alliance appears concerned to maintain its control of the Zarzakh stargates and secure deployment routes for pirate fleets and capsuleer allies.
Above: EverMore President Alexander Ducasse with legal team at Ourapheh V corporate offices
EverMore Lobbying Against SCC Suspension of Scrip Trading in Money Laundering Crackdown
Yulai, Genesis – CONCORD's Secure Commerce Commission has pressed ahead with its suspension of scrip transfers in order to combat increased money laundering, despite the announced measures continuing to cause turmoil among finance houses and interstellar currency exchanges.
The SCC announcement came amidst reports from security teams of increased criminal activity. According to the SCC, this increase has led to unprecedented levels of trading in illicit funds via scrips. Scrips are tokens issued by corporations. The most common kinds of scrip in New Eden are so-called "loyalty points", often used by corporates as a form of "social credit". The EverMarks currency used in capsuleer transactions by the Paragon corporation is also classified as a corporate scrip.
According to the SCC, criminal groups like the Angel Cartel and Guristas Pirates have been using scrips to launder money earned through criminal activities. Cartel and Guristas infiltration of the financial systems of New Eden has long been a concern with a number of high-profile heists and scrip embezzlement schemes in recent years. The commission estimates that trillions of ISK has already been hidden from their auditors using scrip trades.
Despite the SCC's insistence that this is a temporary measure, the restrictions have been met with criticism throughout the financial sector. The President of EverMore, Alexander Ducasse, has called the suspension “a typically anti-business move by an overzealous commission.” As Paragon's parent company, EverMore is expected to be negatively impacted by the suspension as it eliminates the secondary market for EverMarks. In addition to being issued to capsuleers as incentives, EverMarks are also used to supplement the salaries of employees in EverMore's subsidiaries.
Ducasse insists, “I have no fears about the future of EverMore. Thanks to our foundational businesses and cutting-edge innovations, I can assure you, that future is secure. I am speaking out because entrepreneurial spirit is the lifeblood of this cluster.” EverMore's legal team has already lodged a petition for EverMarks to be granted an exemption from the suspension in scrip trading.
The Scope has also been informed by sources close to Ducasse that EverMore's significant economic, political, and diplomatic resources are being redirected to exert pressure on the SCC. Many observers expect that the SCC inclusion of EverMarks will be reconsidered in the not-too-distant future.