Post It Notes – Yellow, square. Come in a pad with a sticky side. Billions used. Would you write your password on one?
On June 18, 2012, A crowd gathering at the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe ice cream shop in Toronto’s Little Italy district were busy viewing Italy take on Ireland in the UEFA Cup.
A man dressed as construction worker, walked calmly towards the crowd, gun at the ready and shot John (aka Johnny Maserati) Raposo four times and disappeared into the crowded city.
Five years elapsed when on April 5, 2017 the Toronto Star reported the proceedings of the criminal trial for the contract hit on John Raposo – a cocaine importer and distributor. Three conspirators Nicola Nero, Martino Caputo and Rabih Alkhalil planned to rob Raposo of a pending 200 kg cocaine shipment from Chicago and split the stash three ways.
In a former lifetime, Caputo had owned the restaurant Savorie located at 390 Spadina Road in Toronto’s upscale Forest Hills neighborhood.
The conspirators hired a hit man Dean Wiwichar from Vancouver to do the job. His fee was $100,000. His clients always provided the murder weapon.
The Chicago drug theft fell apart when a third person, body builder and Hell’s Angel member Nick Hero was arrested in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario.
The police were tailing Wiwichar on his first visit to Toronto. Wiwichar believed he was being followed and returned to Vancouver. Wiwichar then took a circuitous route via Calgary and Montreal to arrive undetected in the city on a second trip.
Charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder are Nicola Nero, Martino Caputo and Rabih Alkhalil along with Wiwichar. Alkhalil provided Nero and Caputo with Wiwichar’s reference.
At the time of the hit, the Niagara Region police were monitoring Nicola Nero for drug trafficking activity. The police obtained warrants to wiretap Nero’s phones and bug his car and phones. They got lucky. Nero had written his Blackberry’s user id and password on a Post It Note. The police found it while searching his home under a special warrant.
This enabled the police to crack the encrypted messages Nero had sent on his Blackberrry. The messages incriminated the gang in the conspiracy. All were arrested. Nero escaped to Germany while Alkhalil fled to Greece. Caputo and Nero are serving time for prior drug related convictions.
Without the Blackberry userid and password, the Crown would likely have a weak case. They obviously knew who the hit man was since they searched Wiwichar’s Vancouver home soon after the hit.
For those of you who have sat through numerous corporate security training sessions which implore you to never to leave passwords written down in your desk, I shook my head in disbelief that this actually happens.
Secondly, it shows that even if the message is encrypted, there is a chance it will be intercepted. For secure message exchange, any nefarious business should have been conducted which leaves no trace. Any major criminal should check out the one time pad method of encryption.
On Wednesday May 11, 2016, the Toronto Star reported that Martino Caputo was already in jail for importing a tonne of cocaine. The crime also involved Nero and the Rizzuto crime family of Montreal.
The trial continues. Millhaven Maximum awaits new long term guests.
Italy won the game 2-0 but lost the 2012 UEAFA cup to Spain.