The International Enforcement Law Reporter

The International Enforcement Law Reporter is a monthly print and online journal covering news and trends in international enforcement law.

Since September 1985, the International Enforcement Law Reporter has analyzed the premier developments in both the substantive and procedural aspects of international enforcement law. Read by practitioners, academics, and politicians, the IELR is a valuable guide to the difficult and dynamic field of international law.

While DHS Calls for Cooperation with the Northern Triangle, President Trump Seeks to Cut Aid and Close the Border

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 28, 2019, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen signed, on behalf of the United States, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on border security cooperation in Central America. Almost simultaneously, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he was planning on cutting U.S. assistance to the three countries and has threatened to close the border with Mexico. HSA Secretary Nielsen met with Guatemalan Minister of Government Enrique Degenhart, Honduran Security Minister Julian Pacheco, and Salvadoran Minister of Justice and Public Security Mauricio Landaverde. The MOC – the first ever multilateral compact on border security – has the goal of improved synchronized cooperation between the countries to strengthen border security, prevent the formation of new migrant caravans, and address the root causes of the migration crisis through synchronized efforts.  It touches on the following:  human trafficking and smuggling; combating transnational criminal organizations and gangs; expanding information and intelligence sharing; and strengthening air, land, and maritime border security.

State Department Issues 2019 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of State released the 2019 edition of the annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) to Congress. This two-volume, Congressionally-mandated report assesses foreign governments’ efforts to reduce illicit drug production, trafficking, and use, as well as their work to counter drug trafficking-related money laundering. The INCSR was first published in 1986, and this edition covers calendar year 2018. This year’s INCSR stresses that the synthetic opioid-fueled drug crisis still gripping the United States represents a crisis across the globe. It also points to the continued growth in overseas production of cocaine as a problem that requires urgent international action. The report highlights not only increases in trafficking and abuse of fentanyl and other deadly synthetic ethamphetamine, but rampant heroin production in Afghanistan as well.

Arrested and Awaiting Potential Extradition, Julian Assange Set to Face Judgement

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Author: 
Alex Psilakis and Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 11, 2019 WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Upon Ecuador’s invitation, British authorities entered the embassy and detained Assange, charging him with failure to surrender to the court in a previous case. Yet British authorities eventually commented that they arrested Assange on the United States’ behalf. The U.S., who unsealed an indictment against Assange the same day that he was arrested in the UK, is pursuing his extradition for his efforts to disclose classified information that the government believes would have injured the U.S. But even this potential outcome faces complications. Prior to confirming Assange’s exit from the embassy, President Moreno of Ecuador insisted that the UK refuse to extradite Assange to a country in which he could face torture or the death penalty as a form of punishment. The UK confirmed this agreement in writing. Although Assange would only face a maximum sentence of five years if convicted of the U.S. charges against him, this condition nevertheless complicates a case that already crosses multiple borders and fosters intense emotional polarization.

ICC Rejects Prosecutor Request to Investigate War Crimes in Afghanistan

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 12, 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously rejected the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, on the territory of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. On November 20, 2017, the Prosecutor submitted the “Request for authorization of an investigation pursuant to Article 15” (the 'Request'), together with 14 annexes, in which the Pre-Trial Chamber is requested to authorize the commencement of an investigation into the Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in relation to alleged crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan in the period since May 1, 2003. The Request also extended to other alleged crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan, are sufficiently linked to the situation, and were committed on the territory of other States Parties in the period since July 1, 2002.

Council of Europe Adopts Resolution and Recommendation Against Global Money Laundering Schemes

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

At its 17th sitting held on April 11, 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted Resolution and Recommendation on the international fight against organized crime, corruption, and money laundering. The debate as well as the Resolution and Recommendation were based on a comprehensive Report prepared by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.The action undertaken by the Assembly and its organs was prompted by the “Global Laundromat” money laundering scheme, exposed by investigative journalists working for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and used to transfer at least US$21 billion between 2010 and 2014 from shell companies in the Russian Federation to banks in 96 countries around the world.Another triggering mechanism was what has since become known as the “Azerbaijani Laundromat”, also exposed by the OCCRP (and others), which describe it as a “a complex money-laundering operation and slush fund that handled $2.9 billion over a two-year period through four shell companies registered in the UK.”

U.S. Department of Justice Publishes White Paper on the Cloud Act

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 10, 2019 the U.S. Department of Justice announced the public release of a white paper on the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act). Enacted in March 2018, the Act updates the legal framework for how law enforcement authorities may request electronic evidence required to protect public safety from service providers while respecting privacy and foreign sovereignty. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein promises the DOJ will be proactive in working, both in the U.S. and abroad, to promote greater understanding and appreciation of what the CLOUD Act does. The CLOUD Act has two distinct parts.  First, the Act authorizes the U.S. to enter into bilateral agreements to facilitate the ability of trusted foreign partners to obtain the electronic evidence they required to fight serious crime. To qualify under the Act, a partner country must adhere to baseline rule-of-law, privacy, and civil liberties protections.  Through bilateral agreements, each country would agree to lower the legal barriers that prevent their communication service providers from complying with qualifying lawful orders for electronic data issued by the other country.  By lowering legal barriers, each country could serve its legal process, such as search warrants, directly on the providers of the other country, significantly increasing the speed and efficiency compared with existing methods of transferring electronic evidence.

The Mediterranean Migration Crisis: Highlighting the Gaps Between International Law and Justice

Friday, April 19, 2019
Author: 
Evan Schliecher
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

The European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) was established as part of an “EU comprehensive response to the migration issue. In March, “the Operation Commander [was] instructed to suspend…the deployment of the Operation's naval assets [until September 2019].” This move has been roundly criticized as an abdication of Europe’s responsibilities under international law to protect vulnerable peoples. While the EUNAVFOR MED mission does more than just search and rescue operations, this article will focus on that aspect of the mission, attempting to parse out the legality of European actions surrounding the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. It seems, based upon the evidence, that the suspension of the Operation’s naval assets will reduce its potential liability under international law while also, somewhat paradoxically, leading to more abuses and hardships for migrants. The gaps in international law which allow this paradox to exist must be addressed if the migrant crisis is to be resolved and human rights under international law are to be effectively upheld.

Former White House Counsel Indicted for FARA Violations Relating to Ukraine and Manafort

Friday, April 19, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 11, 2019, a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia returned an indictment charging Gregory B. Craig, a Washington-based lawyer, with making false statements and concealing material information about his activities on behalf of Ukraine during the Presidency of Viktor Yanukovych from the Department of Justice, National Security Division’s Foreign Agents Registration Act Unit (FARA Unit). Craig, 74, of Washington, D.C., was indicted for willfully falsifying and concealing material facts from the FARA Unit, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(1), and for making false and misleading statements to the FARA Unit, in violation Title 22, United States Code, Section 618(a)(2). The maximum penalties for the charged offenses are, respectively, five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, and five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. The indictment details various emails allegedly sent by Craig prior to his firm’s engagement, in which Craig indicated he was aware of the FARA registration requirements and that Ukraine requested public relations help, but did not want to register as an agent for the Government of Ukraine, in part because he believed doing so could prevent him or others at the law firm from taking positions in the federal government in the future.

In Targeting Venezuela, the Trump Administration Targets Cuba

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Author: 
Alex Psilakis
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 5, 2019, the Trump administration announced its decision to issue sanctions against 34 ships owned or operated by Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the state-run oil company. The administration also levied sanctions against two international companies that ship Venezuelan oil to Cuba. Days later, on April 8, the Trump administration issued another ruling against Cuba, prohibiting Cuban athletes from playing in Major League Baseball (MLB) unless they defected. Although MLB officials asserted that they worked closely alongside the Treasury Department in 2018 before signing any sort of agreement with Cuba, the Trump administration displayed no hesitancy in striking down such a deal. Both of these decisions, which took place within a week of each other, reveal a new, serious strategy of the Trump administration: to pressure Venezuela and Cuba. While the Trump administration has unquestionably issued these sanctions to further tighten the financial stranglehold on Venezuela, one primary objective of these levies is to cut off the oil trade to Cuba. On average, Venezuela ships Cuba 20,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil a day. In response, Cuba shares intelligence and counterintelligence services with them.

Standard Chartered Bank Extends DPA for Violating Iran Sanctions and Agrees to More than $1 Billion in Penalties

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 9, 2019, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), which is headquartered in London, England, agreed to pay more than $1 billion in penalties (including forfeiture of $240 million and a fine of $480 million) as well as to amend and extend its deferred prosecution agreement (PA) with the Justice Department for an additional two years for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). From 2007 to 2011, SCB participated in a criminal conspiracy, resulting in SCB processing approximately 9,500 financial transactions worth approximately $240 million through U.S. financial institutions for the benefit of Iranian entities. On April 9, 2019, the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) also announced that SCB has agreed to amend its DPA with DNAY and extend it for two additional years, and to pay an additional financial penalty of $292,210,160.  In the amended DPA with DANY, SCB admits it violated New York State law by, inter alia, falsifying the records of New York financial institutions.  SCB has also entered into separate settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Federal Reserve), the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under which SCB must pay additional penalties totaling more than $477 million.  The Justice Department has agreed to credit a portion of these related payments.  After crediting, the DOJ will collect $52,210,160 of the fine, in addition to SCB’s $240 million forfeiture.

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