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Crime in Antarctica

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While crime in Antarctica is relatively rare,[1] isolation and boredom affect certain people there negatively and may lead to crime.[2] Alcoholism is a known problem on the continent,[2] and has led to fights and indecent exposure.[3] Other types of crimes that have occurred in Antarctica include illicit drug use,[2] torturing and killing wildlife,[2] racing motorbikes through environmentally sensitive areas,[2] assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, and arson. Sexual harassment also has been reported.[4]

Robberies are rare and unlikely in Antarctica because people entering cannot bring many belongings onto the continent,[3] and because there is very little use for money.[3]

Under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, ratified by 53 nations, persons accused of a crime in Antarctica are subject to punishment by their own country.[3]

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Alcoholism

Alcoholism

Alcoholism is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol that results in significant mental or physical health problems. Because there is disagreement on the definition of the word alcoholism, it is not a recognized diagnostic entity. Predominant diagnostic classifications are alcohol use disorder (DSM-5) or alcohol dependence (ICD-11); these are defined in their respective sources.

Antarctica

Antarctica

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost and least-populated continent. Situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it contains the geographic South Pole. Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent, being about 40% larger than Europe, and has an area of 14,200,000 km2 (5,500,000 sq mi). Most of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, with an average thickness of 1.9 km (1.2 mi).

Environmentally sensitive area

Environmentally sensitive area

An environmentally sensitive area (ESA) is a type of designation for an agricultural area which needs special protection because of its landscape, wildlife or historical value. The scheme was introduced in 1987. Originally it was administered by Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, then the Rural Development Service for the United Kingdom Governments Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and currently Natural England following successive re-organisation of the departments. In 2005 the scheme was superseded by Environmental Stewardship and closed to new entrants. Existing agreements remain active until they expire, meaning the designation will remain active until 2014.

National laws applying to crimes in Antarctica

South Africa

South African citizens in Antarctica are subject to South African law under the South African Citizens in Antarctica Act, 1962. Violations of the Antarctic Treaty System are criminal offences under the Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996. Under these two acts, Antarctica is deemed to be within the jurisdiction of the magistrate's court at Cape Town.[5]

United Kingdom

The Antarctic Act 1994 extends the laws of every part of the United Kingdom to UK nationals in Antarctica.[6] Additionally, the Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory may enact laws for the territory.[7]

United States

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (enacted 12 October 1984) covers crimes committed by Americans or crimes committed against Americans.[8] Any American who is outside of the United States, but not in another country, is still subject to certain U.S. laws.[8] All Americans committing a crime, and any foreigner committing a crime against an American outside of a sovereign state, are subject to prosecution in a U.S. federal court.[8] This includes international waters and Antarctica.[8] Although nations claim territory in Antarctica, the United States does not recognize these claims.[8]

Examples of crimes covered by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 include murder, maiming, rape, arson, treason, and bribing a federal official.[1]

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South African Citizens in Antarctica Act, 1962

South African Citizens in Antarctica Act, 1962

The South African Citizens in Antarctica Act, 1962 is a South African statute which applies the country's law to its citizens in Antarctica. It provides that "[t]he laws from time to time in force in the Republic [of South Africa] shall apply to any South African citizen while he is in Antarctica." Antarctica is defined as the area south of the 60°S latitude, corresponding to the extent of the Antarctic Treaty System. For the application of the law, Antarctica is deemed to fall within the district of the magistrate's court at Cape Town.

Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996

Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996

The Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996 is a South African statute that incorporates the Antarctic Treaty System into national law. It provides that the Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol on Environmental Protection (PEP), the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources all form part of South African law.

Magistrate's court (South Africa)

Magistrate's court (South Africa)

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Cape Town

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of South Africa's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the Parliament of South Africa. It is the legislative capital of the country, the oldest city in the country, and the second largest. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is the largest city of the Western Cape province, and is managed by the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The other two capitals are Pretoria, the executive capital, located in Gauteng, where the Presidency is based, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital in the Free State, where the Supreme Court of Appeal is located.

Commissioner for the British Antarctic Territory

Commissioner for the British Antarctic Territory

The Commissioner for the British Antarctic Territory (BAT), is the head of government in the Antarctic Territory of the United Kingdom. As one of the British Overseas Territories, the commissioner is appointed by the monarch of the United Kingdom on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

British Antarctic Territory

British Antarctic Territory

The British Antarctic Territory (BAT) is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom as one of its 14 British Overseas Territories, of which it is by far the largest by area. It comprises the region south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes 20°W and 80°W, forming a wedge shape that extends to the South Pole, overlapped by the Antarctic claims of Argentina and Chile.

Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984

Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was the first comprehensive revision of the U.S. criminal code since the early 1900s. It was sponsored by Strom Thurmond (R-SC) in the Senate and by Hamilton Fish IV (R-NY) in the House, and was eventually incorporated into an appropriations bill that passed with a vote of 78–11 in the Senate and 252–60 in the House. It was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Among its constituent parts and provisions were:Armed Career Criminal Act Sentencing Reform Act which created the United States Sentencing Commission, intended to standardize sentencing extension of the Secret Service's jurisdiction over credit card fraud and computer fraud increased federal penalties for cultivation, possession, or transfer of marijuana a new section in the criminal code for hostage taking abolished parole for federal prisoners convicted after November 1, 1987 made several new offenses federal crimes, including arson, murder-for-hire, trademark violations, credit card fraud, and computer crime Stipulations about using civil forfeiture to seize assets of organized crime, establishing "equitable sharing."

International waters

International waters

The terms international waters or transboundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems (aquifers), and wetlands.

List of crimes in Antarctica

  • 1959 – The Vostok Station (станция Восток), then a Soviet research station in Princess Elizabeth Land, was the scene of a fight between two scientists over a game of chess.[9][2][10] When one of them lost the game, he became so enraged that he attacked the other with an ice axe.[10][9][2] According to some sources, it was a murder,[10][9][2] though other sources say that the attack was not fatal.[11] After a KGB investigation, chess games were banned at Soviet/Russian Antarctic stations by the Antarctic Soviet.[9][10]
  • 12 April 1984 – The Almirante Brown Station (Estación Científica Almirante Brown) is an Argentine research station located on the Coughtrey Peninsula by Paradise Harbour. The station's original facilities were burned down by the station's leader and doctor on 12 April 1984 after he was ordered to stay for the winter.[12] The station personnel were rescued by the ship Hero and taken to Palmer Station, an American research station on Anvers Island.[13] The stations are about 58 km (36 mi) apart.
  • 9 October 1996 – At McMurdo Station, a fight occurred between two workers in the kitchen.[14] One worker attacked the other with a hammer.[14] Another cook tried to break up the fight and was also injured.[14] The two victims were Tony Beyer and Joe Stermer.[14] Both of them required stitches.[14] FBI agents from the United States were sent to McMurdo Station to investigate and make an arrest.[3] The suspect was flown to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he faced charges of four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.[15] He pleaded not guilty.[16] No further information was publicly available.
  • 9 October 2018 – On 9 October 2018, a stabbing occurred at the Bellingshausen Station (Russian: станция Беллинсгаузен, romanizedstantsiya Bellinsgauzen), a Russian research station on King George Island.[17] The perpetrator was Sergey Savitsky (Сергей Савицкий), a 54-year-old electrical engineer.[18] He stabbed Oleg Beloguzov (Олег Белогузов), a 52-year old welder, in the chest[18] multiple times.[19] According to some sources, the attack occurred because Beloguzov was giving away the endings of books that Savitsky checked out at the station's library.[20] Other sources say that the attack occurred in the dining room when Beloguzov teased Savitsky by telling him that he should dance on top of the table to make money.[19] Both accounts say that Savitsky was believed to be intoxicated at the time of the attack.[19][20] They had worked together at the station for about six months,[17] and Savitsky was apparently having an emotional breakdown.[21] Being in a confined space may have been a major cause for this (see Winter-over syndrome).[21] Both Beloguzov and Savitsky had had problems with each other for several months.[19] Beloguzov was sent to a hospital in Chile.[17] Savitsky surrendered to the manager of the station,[18] and 11 days later was placed on a flight back to Russia,[18] where he was placed on house arrest until 8 or 9 December.[17][21] On 8 February 2019, Savitsky was at a preliminary hearing at the Vasileostrov District Court of Saint Petersburg.[22] Savitsky was remorseful and was willing to accept a criminal punishment rather than rehabilitation.[22] Beloguzov was forgiving of Savitsky and proposed dropping the case.[22] The public prosecutor was supportive of Beloguzov's proposal, and noted that Savitsky was remorseful and had no prior criminal record.[22] Judge Anatoly Kovin decided to drop the case.[22]
  • 11 May 2000 – On 11 May 2000, at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, an American research station located at the South Pole, Australian astrophysicist Rodney Marks had a fever, stomach pains, and nausea.[23] On 12 May, he died.[24] It was believed at the time that Marks died of natural causes.[23] It was the onset of winter, so his body could not be transported for six months.[23] His body was put into a freezer at the observatory.[23] After the six months were over, Marks' body was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, for an autopsy.[23] The autopsy concluded that he had died from methanol poisoning.[23] How the poisoning occurred remains a mystery.[23]

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Princess Elizabeth Land

Princess Elizabeth Land

Princess Elizabeth Land is the sector of Antarctica between longitude 73° east and Cape Penck. The sector is claimed by Australia as part of the Australian Antarctic Territory, although this claim is not widely recognized.

Ice axe

Ice axe

An ice axe is a multi-purpose hiking and climbing tool used by mountaineers in both the ascent and descent of routes that involve snow, ice, or frozen conditions. Its use depends on the terrain: in its simplest role it is used like a walking stick, with the mountaineer holding the head in the center of their uphill hand. On steep terrain it is swung by its handle and embedded in snow or ice for security and an aid to traction. It can also be buried pick down, the rope tied around the shaft to form a secure anchor on which to bring up a second climber, or buried vertically to form a stomp belay. The adze is used to cut footholds, as well as scoop out compacted snow to bury the axe as a belay anchor.

KGB

KGB

The KGB was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 13 March 1954 until 3 December 1991. As a direct successor of preceding agencies such as the Cheka, GPU, OGPU, NKGB, NKVD and MGB, it was attached to the Council of Ministers. It was the chief government agency of "union-republican jurisdiction", carrying out internal security, foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence and secret-police functions. Similar agencies operated in each of the republics of the Soviet Union aside from the Russian SFSR, with many associated ministries, state committees and state commissions.

Brown Station

Brown Station

Brown Station is an Argentine Antarctic base and scientific research station named after Admiral William Brown, the father of the Argentine Navy. It is located on Sanavirón Peninsula along Paradise Harbor, Danco Coast, in Graham Land, Antarctic Peninsula.

Coughtrey Peninsula

Coughtrey Peninsula

Coughtrey Peninsula is a small hook-shaped peninsula at the north side of the entrance to Skontorp Cove, Paradise Harbor, on the west coast of Graham Land. It was first mapped as an island in 1913–14 by Scottish geologist David Ferguson, who named it "Coughtrey Island". The feature is, however, a peninsula and the site of the Almirante Brown Station, established by Argentina in 1949–50.

Paradise Harbour

Paradise Harbour

Paradise Harbour, also known as Paradise Bay, is a wide embayment behind Lemaire and Bryde Islands in Antarctica, indenting the west coast of Graham Land between Duthiers and Leniz Points. The name was first applied by whalers operating in the vicinity and was in use by 1920. Argentina's Almirante Brown Antarctic Base stands on the coast of the bay, as does Chile's González Videla Antarctic Base.

Palmer Station

Palmer Station

Palmer Station is a United States research station in Antarctica located on Anvers Island, the only US station located north of the Antarctic Circle. Initial construction of the station finished in 1968. The station, like the other U.S. Antarctic stations, is operated by the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) of the National Science Foundation. The base is about as distant from the equator as Fairbanks, Alaska.

Anvers Island

Anvers Island

Anvers Island or Antwerp Island or Antwerpen Island or Isla Amberes is a high, mountainous island 61 km long, the largest in the Palmer Archipelago of Antarctica. It was discovered by John Biscoe in 1832 and named in 1898 by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition under Adrien de Gerlache after the province of Antwerp in Belgium. It lies south-west of Brabant Island at the south-western end of the group. The south-western coastline of the island forms part of the Southwest Anvers Island and Palmer Basin Antarctic Specially Managed Area. Cormorant Island, an Important Bird Area, lies 1 km off the south coast.

Bellingshausen Station

Bellingshausen Station

Bellingshausen Station is a Russian Antarctic station at Collins Harbour, on King George Island of the South Shetland Islands. It was one of the first research stations founded by the Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1968. It is also the location of Trinity Church, the only permanently staffed Eastern Orthodox church in Antarctica.

King George Island (South Shetland Islands)

King George Island (South Shetland Islands)

King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, lying 120 km off the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean. The island was named after King George III.

Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station

Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station

The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is the United States scientific research station at the South Pole of the Earth. It is the southernmost point under the jurisdiction of the United States. The station is located on the high plateau of Antarctica at 2,835 metres (9,301 ft) above sea level. It is administered by the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation, specifically the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). It is named in honor of Norwegian Roald Amundsen and Briton Robert F. Scott, who led separate teams that raced to become the first to the pole in the early 1900s.

Christchurch

Christchurch

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. Christchurch lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula on Pegasus Bay. The Avon River / Ōtākaro flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park along its banks. The city's territorial authority population is 389,300 people, and includes a number of smaller urban areas as well as rural areas. The population of the urban area is 377,900 people. Christchurch is the second-largest city by urban area population in New Zealand, after Auckland. It is the major urban area of an emerging sub-region known as Greater Christchurch. Notable smaller urban areas within this sub-region include Rangiora and Kaiapoi in Waimakariri District, north of the Waimakariri River, and Rolleston and Lincoln in Selwyn District to the south.

Source: "Crime in Antarctica", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Antarctica.

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References
  1. ^ a b "Audit of NSF's Law Enforcement Program in the Antarctic" (PDF). National Science Foundation Office of the Inspector General. 30 August 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Joyner, Christopher Clayton; Chopra, Sudhir K. (28 July 1988). The Antarctic Legal Regime. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 67. ISBN 90-247-3618-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rousseau, Bryant (28 September 2016). "Cold Cases: Crime and Punishment in Antarctica". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  4. ^ Medina, Jennifer (24 September 2018). "Sexual Harassment Allegations Wipe a Name Off the Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  5. ^ Joubert, J. J., ed. (2014). Criminal Procedure Handbook (11th ed.). Cape Town: Juta. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-48510-061-4.
  6. ^ "Part III of the Antarctica Act 1994". legislation.gov.uk. The National Archives. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Legislation". Website of the Government of the British Antarctic Territory. Government of the British Antarctic Territory. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Chapter 6: Living and Working at USAP Facilities : U.S. Criminal Jurisdiction" (PDF). 2018–2020 USAP Participant Guide. United States Antarctic Program. 2018. p. 55. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Bennett, John (15 September 2016). "How Antarctic isolation affects the mind". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d Barrett, Emma; Martin, Paul (23 October 2014). Extreme: Why some people thrive at the limits. OUP Oxford. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-19-164565-5.
  11. ^ Hutchison, Kristan (3 February 2002). "Weathering the Winter" (PDF). The Antarctic Sun. pp. 9–10. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Almirante Brown Station, Antarctic Peninsula". Waymarking.com. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  13. ^ Rejcek, Peter (20 April 2015). "Passing of a Legend: Death of Capt. Pieter J. Lenie at age 91 marks the end of an era in Antarctica". The Antarctic Sun. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d e Spielmann, Peter James (14 October 1996). "FBI Agents To Visit Antarctica In Rare Investigation of Assault". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Antarctica Assault Defendant Released to Halfway House". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 22 October 1986. p. A-5.
  16. ^ "Assault subject pleads not guilty to charges". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 26 October 1996.
  17. ^ a b c d "Man faces attempted murder charge after stabbing at Russia's Antarctic outpost". The Guardian. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d Hale, Tom (26 October 2018). "A Remote Antarctic Research Station Is Now The Scene Of A Brutal Attempted Murder". IFL Science. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d Haskins, Caroline (25 October 2018). "An Attempted Murder at a Research Station Shows How Crimes Are Prosecuted in Antarctica". Motherboard. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Cold-Blooded: Scientist In Antarctica Accused Of Stabbing Colleague For Spoiling The Endings Of Books". CBS Los Angeles. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  21. ^ a b c Mandelbaum, Ryan F. (24 October 2018). "Report: Russian Researcher Charged With Attempted Murder in Stabbing of Colleague in Antarctica". Gizmodo. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d e "Суд в Петербурге прекратил дело полярника, ударившего коллегу ножом" [A court in St. Petersburg dismissed the case of a polar explorer who stabbed a colleague]. MIA Russia Today. 8 February 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Serena, Katie (17 November 2017). "The Mystery Of The South Pole's Only Murder". All That's Interesting. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  24. ^ Case 4 - The Death of Rodney Marks (Podcast). Mysterious Circumstances. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2019.

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