OIL KILLING: Are we about to witness an era of gang warfare in energy?

News blackout on Belgian shooting can’t disguise signs of assassination

Hazy….the facts surrounding mob-style killing of Nick Mockford (left)

I wonder how many people reading the rapidly petering-out Belgian oil ‘hit’ story realise that the incident took place fifteen days ago. Although Belgian police insist that this is normal, it isn’t. That is, news blackouts about eurodisaster may be normal, but a ban on news about this serious a hit is about as abnormal as they come.

Death scene…the Da Marcello restaurant in suburban Brussels

Thus far, a near-Stepford Wife headline has appeared almost everywhere along the lines of ‘A British oil executive gunned down in Brussels could have been the victim of a targeted assassination’.

Sorry to be obvious here, but WTF else does anyone think it might have been….a deranged waiter who thought Mockford’s derisory tip was the last straw in a life going bad?

“It could’ve been a random mugging and car-jacking attempt,” Belgian police told a prominent UK news agency yesterday. As the two assassins ran away like the clappers in bike gear carrying crash helmets – having poured four shots into the bloke – I’m scoring this minus 53 on a probability scale of ten. Yesterday, Nick’s employer Exxon came out with this belter attempting to beat that with a score of minus 97:

“We were shocked by the tragic death of Nick Mockford, one of our employees a fortnight ago in Brussels. Mr Mockford was a department manager at our office close to Brussels, but we have no indication that the incident was work-related.”

Well hell, that’s the way it is in Brussels – it’s the Wild West out there guys, Abilene has nothing on your eurocrat suburb. Here are some equally relevant clues:

This is Nick Mockford, Aussie-rules star from Melbourne Australia. Nick is half the Belgian victim’s age, not entirely caucasian, 18,000 miles from the slaying, and still alive. Belgian police have ruled him out of their enquiries at this stage.

Should we all try and get real here? A senior Exxon executive goes out for dinner with his wife in a town where the most dangerous thing about the place is that it smells of chips. On leaving – and let’s be clear about this – he was shot to death by two blokes who had clearly taken the trouble to work out what he was doing there, and waited for him to exit the eaterie. They ran off. A news blackout was then declared for fully 240 hours. Are any of us (even people like me who dismiss 90+% of all known conspiracy theories) expected to believe that, on closer examination, this appears to have been an attempt to steal the guy’s company car? I sincerely hope not, as otherwise all hope for the human species has left the theatre.

Nichlas Mockford wasn’t just some two-bit ‘departmental manager’. He was the Head of Marketing for interim technologies for Exxon. For interim technologies read ‘Green=alternatives to oil=end of Texas, Middle East, East Med undersea’…..and indeed any region whose current or future wealth might be based on black gold. For example, Russia.

Or, for interim technologies read ‘Green=eco-warriors seeing him as an ‘earth-traitor’=possibly persons of Kiwi/Hard Left/libertarian persuasion’.

The escaping motor-cyclists so clearly hell-bent on nicking Mr Mockford’s car were described by witnesses as “looking East European”.

So there we have it. I’m hoping that tomorrow’s (Sunday) papers have some intriguing leads re this one, otherwise I’d be inclined to write off MSM journalism for good.

Earlier at The Slog: Why shiny gold is to have and to hold

39 thoughts on “OIL KILLING: Are we about to witness an era of gang warfare in energy?

  1. When the press stays away, it is an assassination by serious players.

    Deja vu 2009 “suicide” of ex-ABN Amro banker Huibert Boumeester

    He took 2 shotguns with him that last day + then committed suicide by shooting himself in the neck.

    WHO takes 2 shotguns to commit suicide?

    WHO commits suicide by shooting himself in the neck with a shotgun?


  2. It was the way they said that the killer(s) fired the last shot when he has lying on the ground, into his head. As though they were making sure. Nothing random about that. In one of the msm on line papers they said he may have been involved in industrial espionage.


  3. There are a lotta other folk working in green technology, oilies or otherwise. Are they also in danger? We wait with bated breath. Once upon a time, not so long ago, the only entry requirement for being a Belgian cop was height. As a result they were never the smartest on the block. I suspect the culture continues.


  4. “Well hell, that’s the way it is in Brussels – it’s the Wild West out there guys, Abilene has nothing on your eurocrat suburb.”
    “A senior Exxon executive goes out for dinner with his wife in a town where the most dangerous thing about the place is that it smells of chips. ”

    John, you really do need to get updated on the incidence of violence in Brüssels –

    From FTD dated 13.04.2010

    “European metropolis in shock: Violence in Brussels escalates

    Europe’s capital is burning: Within 24 hours three people die on the streets after several shootings, two more may die from their wounds. Rioters conduct a battle with the police – the first citizen’s are practicing vigilantism.”

    Around the same time on PI –

    “Crime is booming in Brussels’ European quarter

    Gangster of all kinds have brought large areas of the Belgian capital under their control. In some places the police only look on. Now thieves and robbers have discovered an area that was thought to be ultra-safe: the European quarter.
    Brussels threatens to sink into anarchy and crime. In house or car burglaries, the Belgium metropolis has been topping international crime statistics for a long time. Now a new wave of violence is coursing through the capital of Europe. Ever more frequently it strikes against EU and NATO staff.”

    Things have got considerably worse since then. Recently I read a report that said the Mohammedaners in Brussels were protecting their No-Go areas with Kalashnikovs! The police don’t go into them unless mob-handed and heavily armed. In the same article, violent crime against people (muggings, etc.) was reported to be almost three times the rate of Frankfurt/Main.

    As for the Secret Squirrel angle, this a couple of weeks ago in Kopp Verlag:

    “Brussels: World metropolis of economic espionage

    Michael Brückner

    Brussels is not only the capital of Euro-bureaucracy, but also of espionage. A Belgian intelligence expert has now revealed the true extent of spying and infiltration. Particularly in demand is secret information from industry and academia. Always at the party: the secret services from the U.S., Israel, Russia and China. Even the secret services of “friendly” countries often use unfriendly methods.”

    But the general drift of your post may well be correct – wasn’t it in Brussels a few years ago that somebody called Bull got whacked by the Mossad – something to do with designing a super-gun for Saddam Hussein.

    Fortunately I’ve seen the Mannikin Pis and all the other Brussels attractions so I don’t need to go there any more.


  5. Pure speculation: could it be a extortion thing – pays us $x million (or billion) or we start shooting your top brass? Hence the news blackout while the Belgian plod try desperately to work out who’s next on the hit list, and get them protection? And this was a random target picked to show they (whoever they might be) mean business?

    Or could it be linked in any way to the al-Hilli shootings?


  6. I suppose all those egregiously overpaid Euro-crats will soon be demanding danger money as well. Can’t be all bad if we could get rid of Rumpy Pumpy and a few others. Could be a good plan for Dave, let us out or there will be more.

    Gerard Bull was the Canadian supergun inventor murdered in Brussels. Strange bod, bit of a genius who went off the rails because NASA wouldn’t give the respect he thought he deserved.


  7. Exxon is a giant with its own private armies in some locations. It has to be at least likely that somebody somewhere wants them to listen up.


  8. The papers are keen on his being an “oil executive” but it would seem that he worked for their chemicals subsidiary in a not especially senior job:

    “Nicholas P. Mockford, Marketing Technical Support Manager, Intermediates Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Europe Inc.”


  9. A professional hit. Two gun men who give their victim a double tap each and then escape on a motor bike. Conveniently we have one witness to suggest this was a robbery gone wrong. so Inspector Clouseau why didn’t the robbers take the purse and car from the widow as John says?

    This has state sanctioned assassination written all over it, and everyone else thinks so also. Someone was sending Exxon Mobil an explicit message. Now the interesting question no one seems to be asking is why kill a Brit working for an American oil company in the first place because in an election year the FBI and CIA would be all over this one like a rash if it was a Yank. Whereas as it was a Brit we can expect a couple of Scotland Yard types to appear and disappear in double quick time. Just to make sure no difficult questions were raised 15 days elapsed before going public so that the hit team could fly back to Moscow or where ever to evade capture.


  10. World’s best beer and chocolate. I knew it too good to be true, EU not withstanding.

    What is this, the Keystone Cops trained by the Australian Labor Party propaganda, sorry, “Media” unit?


  11. The wife gets a slap, the husband gets 4 bullets? Are we to believe professional hit men leave a material witness alive after not wearing their helmets and allegedly trying to snatch her bag?


  12. JW: “I’m hoping that tomorrow’s (Sunday) papers have some intriguing leads re this one, otherwise I’d be inclined to write off MSM journalism for good.”

    John, I’ll save you the bother, the MSM can be written off for good. The MSM, and their “journalists” are a huge part of the problem earth as a whole, and humankind as a species faces. Stop hoping that sooner or later they’re going to join the struggle against the rotten establishment for the good of everyone…..the MSM are the mouthpiece of that exact rotten establishment.


  13. Totally off topic.

    What was that line again from Sergio Leone’s ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ – “Pa, are we gonna be rich?”

    Well, here it is – I’ve hit the bigtime:

    “Dear Sir/Madam,

    28 oct. 2012

    Greetings. Please accept my apologies if this request does not meet your personal ethics as it is not intended to cause you any embarrassment in what ever form. I got your contact from the internet directory and decided to contact you for this benefitted transaction that is based on honesty and trust. This proposition is genuine, please do not classify it as hoax.

    I am Mathew Schneider, a barrister here in Switzerland and personal attorney to Mr. Antonio Puerta, a professional Footballer from FC Seville-Spain, and after making several searches, my mind motivated me to contact only you among others.

    My Client Mr. Antonio Puerta gets collapsed on 25. August 2007 when playing football and suddenly dead after rushed to hospital. Please for confirmation go through below websites.

    (Just put Antonio Puerta’s name into Google)

    Since almost 5 years i have his personal Money from his Salary, Sponsors and Commissions into our Accounts that we was keeping for him to Invest here in Switzerland for his future. Now is almost 5 years ago and there was nobody asking us for this Money.

    For this reason, we are searching for a reliable Partner that we can trust, and support us in receiving this Amount of $4’230’000, 00 USD (Four Million Two Hundred and Thirty thousand US Dollars only) into his Account. We want to send this Money out of Switzerland urgently and we hope that you can support us?

    If this proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apologies. However If you feel that you can handled this, Please feel free to contact me through my email address below, upon hearing from you,I will give you more details, information about these funds and the best possible way to move it out from here.

    However, we would also discuss what benefit each of us will gain from this transaction. I believe i can trust you as reliable Partner and therefore i would like to know your capability and willingness.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mathew Schneider& Chambers
    Mathew Schneider (Esq)
    Accredited Specialist
    Property Law.”

    Who’d have thunk it – the Nigerian 401 Scammers have set up shop in Swizzyland, and it looks like times are hard. All they’ve got to offer is a share in a poxy $ 4.4 Mill. Jeez, I’m more used to 8-digit numbers! At least one thing hasn’t changed – the grammar and syntax!


  14. John, forget about the MSM. The blogosphere is the only medium for free speech that matters any more. That is, until they shut it down. Now if only the disinterested could be bothered about the rug about to be pulled from under them…..


  15. Professional hit men usually hit just the one victim. Amateurs kill witnesses. If they are professional hit men, and not a random terrorist org., they are long gone from Brussels and Europe. They are psychopathic scum, but what matters is who hired them.


  16. Strange this happens to an Exxon employee just before Rosneft overtakes it as the world’s largest oil producer.

    Any links to any of the victims of the shooting in France? Particulalrly the guy on the bike?

    East european looking hitmen seem to be de rigeur these days.


  17. One obvious comment would be: would the murder of just one head of department involved in the search of oil-alternative energy production really be thought to scupper the whole green drive for the foreseeable future? That seems a large assumption. And are we sure that the killers hadn’t simply indentified a suitable motor to blag and then waited for the owner to turn up. I admit that last suggestion is a little thin. But like you I am not one for conspiracy theories as a rule. Would a public murder like that really have been the way to do it effectively. Finally, the question which we really should ask: where was Jimmy Savile and surely this whole sorry business – Italian restaurants, foreign capitals, Aussie rule football – casts an even sorrier light on the BBC? And if not, why not?


  18. Pingback: John Ward – Oil Killing : Are We About To Witness An Era Of Gang Warfare In Energy? – 28 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  19. Guess the hit in France was executed by amateurs then.
    The whole thing in Belgium smacks of amateurs. Nothing subtle about it. If it was a hit and I was investigating I think I would be looking a lot closer to home before embracing some Russian / big oil conspiracy.


  20. @ Viking Jack.
    Belgium is divided into Francophone Wallonie, Dutch speaking Flanders and a small German area near Aachen, DE. These regions have their own parliaments and taxation systems who hate each other and most of all hate Brussels. Brussels is an island in the middle, pop. just under a million, whose sole financial support comes from taxes (and local employment) raised by hosting the regional parliaments, NATO and the EU.

    Since the hot money does not flow into the Bruxelles Region Capitale tax pocket, it is actually a poor, underfunded and rather grubby city which struggles to survive.

    Politically Brussels is the only place in BE which is bilingual and supports federation.

    Every morning up to 4 million working commuters pour into Brussels to work, leaving in the evening. Most Belgians live in the regions, and most of the rich delegates live in the surrounding suburbs in Wallonie or Flanders. Mr. Mockford lived in Flanders. The only area in Brussels itself populated by the upper class are next to the Foret de Soigne / Zonienwoud, on its outer border. And secondly in Laeken, where the King’s residence is.

    The city itself has a native Bruxelloise / Brusselaer population rather like Cockneys – poor, bilingual, philosophic, funny, with their own patois. There is a high immigrant population of Moroccans, Africans, Turkish and other economic and political refugees, who occupy their own neighbourhoods and are mostly law abiding. For the last 15 years the Russian mafia has controlled the old market area of Brussels – indeed a no go zone – and there are other, competitive mafias. However, in general these do not impact on the rich unless they visit those zones. The reality is: parallel zones / parallel lives.

    John is right. It is TOTALLY unheard of for the local police and media to cover up a murder story. In the 9 years that I lived there as an architect and urbanist, running university studies on Brussels etc., EVERY murder hit the news in seconds and the local MSM did not let go for a single minute. Done to death if you will excuse the pun. Clearly there has been a blackout.


  21. O/T: GPs end Virgin partnership over conflict of interest
    Family doctors put in difficult position by government decision to force them to commission health services.
    More than 300 GPs have ended their partnership with Richard Branson’s Virgin Care to provide healthcare services after criticism that the arrangements might see doctors personally profit from sending patients to clinics they part-own under the coalition’s health reforms.


  22. Yes, the press reports have been absolutely feeble. It was the same with the murder of the Al-Hillis. These two cases were always so likely to have been government-sponsored assassinations, you wonder whether the press are deliberately playing dumb or are merely clueless. There isn’t even any effort to back up their speculation anymore, and in the Al-Hillis’ case, everyone from Mossad to his relatives have been in the frame.


  23. Inspector Clueless of the Belgian Constabulary got it so utterly wrong, because of their attempt to supress this story for two weeks…..If it had been reported the next day as a failed Carjack, it would likely have passed our careless MSM’s attention with little more than a ‘One Liner’ at the end of a breakfast bullatin and would have been totally off of the average EuroProle’s radar by now.. How high up in the Belgium (or Sprout?) Politics ordered the delay and WTF they managed to do to blackout or gag even the few Brussels based Journalists who are not yet totally brain dead, would seem to me to be two very interesting questions.

    A final bullet in the head and leaving the wife alive as a witness who had been able to see their faces, suggests to me not only a ‘very professional’ hit, but one where the culprits were ultra confident of being ‘very professionally’ spirited away and long gone to foreign parts, well before the following sunrise.


  24. Yes, they’re hitting the phones too.

    I’m the Director of a small smb and last year, I got numerous calls from a black “American” trader from “Wall St” who had a great tip on some stock that he really really really needed to share with me.

    First time I spoke with him, I smelled a rat, I was interested in “how he was going to try and scam me” so I listened, I looked at the very professional website he pointed me to (I googled the name, rather than use the web address he gave me to try and avoid any nasty downloads).

    I asked him if he was such a successful Wall St trader, he was calling random small businesses in the UK when surely if this stock was a cert, his friends and family would be first on his benefits list or why he was making expensive international calls when the American market is many times larger?

    I thanked him, said no, hung up and got at least 3 calls to our switchboard every day from this guy for the next couple of months.

    I only spoke to him one more time, to tell him, there was no way on earth anyone from our company would share any financial information or buy from him.

    Yet still, he called and we’re 100% certain he was neither a Trader or working from Wall St.

    PS, Sorry John, but Brussels isn’t as safe as it used to be. They have the same multi-ethnic gang culture there that EVERY other country in Europe seems to be suffering from. – pretty useful if you were a Elitist looking for an excuse to introduce martial law all over Europe, don’t you think?


  25. Contrarian in me has to go with Bemused. The cops have to check out all the usual suspects — family, jealous husbands/wives etc. who might be savvy enough to make it look like something from a James Bond movie or something like that. There are so many plausible reasons for not giving media coverage to certain crimes — isn’t that one of the main forms of leverage the cops have?


  26. Pingback: Watching World Energy Posts

  27. Nick was my uncle and God father. I was the relative who contacted the UK press. The rest of the family were too caught up in grief to be asking too many questions.

    We’re over a year on and surprise surprise nothing has happened and it’s just been chalked up to a failed carjacking, I guess human life is so cheap now that we are just meant to accept what we are told, forget about it and move on.


  28. Anyone who works for petroleum companies deserves the worst that can happen, and that goes for their families, too.


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