'REFRACTOR CARTEL' UNCOVERED; ARRESTS MADE
This week, more than a dozen people have been arrested for connections to the recently discovered "Refractor Cartel", who are accused of a market monopoly, racketeering, fraud, money laundering and of breaking at least a half-dozen competition laws.
The Cartel is more commonly known as the "Diggers' Guild", and appears to have a foothold in every aspect of Refractor excavation. People like the Guildmaster and Priest, both of which were arrested today, own land where entrances to mines and ruins can be found. They train only select people, allowing for a control on how many refractors are sold to company-controlled Junk Stores and Electronic Shops, who price-fix refractors at barely affordable prices.
An older image of the Guildmaster who was arrested today.
He has been dubbed the crime boss of the cartel.
They also harass communities and store owners that cannot pay often-weekly 'insurance' money. Various incidents include 7 years ago when the Bonnes, a 44-member family known for their greed, reckless behaviour, and mechanical genius, destroyed a poorer village on Manda island. A similar incident happened 3 days later in which Air-Pirate Glyde, a known associate to the Bonnes, hassled and kidnapped one of the few residents on the economically-dead Calbania island. Both groups are believed to be connected to the Cartel and a reward has been posted for their capture. They are to be considered armed and dangerous.
The cartel also has committed fraud on several occasions. It is believed that the bank raids by the Bonne family 11 years ago were to collect insurance funds. The banks in Gold City are said to be owned by Loath Inc., which employed Glyde before both Glyde and Loath, founder and owner of the company, were jailed for various, unspecified, crimes (although due to corrupt officials on Loath Inc's payroll, they both served little time). Another example is the Yosyonke Priest, who is believed to have scammed tens of millions of zenny out of diggers by convincing them that they are 'unpure'. Regardless of the effectiveness of his blessings, the received zenny has been traced to Loath Inc (and it's associated banks) for laundering and the financing of criminal activities.
Loath Inc., with it's assumed power over Kattelox island through the Kattelox Bank and it's economy, may also be the reason why the Bonnes were never arrested on the island 10 years ago despite a robbery and an attack on the town, in which Digger 'Megaman', who "by chance" appeared on the island no more than 30 minutes before the attacks started, "defended" against the Bonnes. Below, with our connection chart, you can see that Kattelox's "Hero" is very much connected to the Cartel, and was no more than a shill in a giant scam to rid the island of it's wealth (evidence can be found in the fact that the island's 2 known refractors were taken by MegaMan, and a 3rd one was taken by the Bonnes). A reward has also been posted for MegaMan's capture, however upon interviewing his only known family, Sister Roll and Grandfather and Guardian Barrell Caskett, he and their mother, Matilda (who was the woman who conducted the attacks on Von Bluecher's 'Sulphur Bottom' some time ago), have been missing for 7 years now and possibly dead. The disappearance of Yosyonke resident 'Joe' around the same time also sparked questions of his involvement in this scandal.
The discovery of this organization has had a devastating effect on Terra's economy...with the flood of money into the market from raided cartel safehouses, the value of zenny has dropped rapidly, and is currently worthless. Many communities have resorted to a barter system using locally produced food and goods, and various imports. KTOX-TV reports that wages in most companies are being paid in locally-caught fish and vegetables. It also means that the most to all diggers are out of a job; the number of large, unused refractors once under the Cartel's control seems like it could supply power for at least a thousand years, bringing new light to the possible source of the ongoing rumours of a 'Mother Lode'. There has been at least one incident so far where a disgruntled digger has brought reaverbots up to the surface and set them loose in a populated area.
For the sake of everyone's security and well-being, I personally hope this situation is resolved as soon as possible.
Click to enlarge