Another rainy day here, with two dozen people for the Sunday Eucharist. Afterwards I spoke with the elder sister of a teenager who's started singing in the choir. They're from Bulgaria. The lad is still in school, but his sister who's been here longer, has run her own restaurant in Montreux, and is now setting up a new business to import niche market food and drink products from back home, aware of the growing interest in traditional hand crafted products in Western Europe. It's good to meet a young entrepreneur in tune with contemporary interests.
After a leisurely lunch and siesta I was ready to go out for a stroll, but rain persisted, so I stayed in did some writing, and listened to a BBC local radio webcast in which the release of Kath and Anto's new Sonrisa album 'From Today' was mentioned and a track from it played for the first time. Clare has been in Kenilworth looking after Rhiannon this weekend and she returned home with the album CD. I greatly look forward to hearing this when I return in ten days time, as the track broadcasted was a beautiful piece of music. craftsmanship. It makes me very proud.
I watched another episode of McMafia, summarised in a quote I read somewhere as 'English toffs and the Russian underworld'. Oh really? Well maybe. I can't quite suspend disbelief, although I can accept how complex is the web of international financial trading within which criminal enterprises hide, and how it's possible to snoop on people, know just where they are in this interconnected world, and do nasty things to them. But surely this applies to crime fighters as well as criminals. Can crooks really do bad things, so often with impunity? Is it true that law enforcement world wide is so under-funded that it's unable to keep track, so their adversaries are always one jump ahead?
There was an interesting 'File on Four' radio programme this afternoon about criminal organisations which issue fake university degree certificates, to people who want to buy professional qualification credentials they think will do them some good in the job market. As if this isn't lucrative enough, perpetrators turn to extortion and blackmail of clients, threatening to expose them to authorities and cost them their jobs and maybe residence permits unless they pay extra.
It makes use of thousands of websites, and uses VOIP telephone contact with enquirers which can spoof caller i/d, and ensure the real life location of the scammers is very hard for non-experts to trace. It's just like the people who ring up and tell you they're from TalkTalk, troubleshooting your compromised internet router, using real phone numbers gleaned from a hack of the company subscriber database a couple of years back. These new technologies are very capable, but have made crime and deception possible on a mass scale, and internationally, in a way few thought possible at the turn of the 21st century.