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.

US Trade Representative Blocks Illegal Timber Imports from Peru, Again

Friday, August 2, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 26, 2019, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer directed the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to block future timber imports from Inversiones WCA E.I.R.L. (WCA), a Peruvian exporter, based on illegally harvested timber in its supply chain.  Twice, the Trump administration has brought enforcement action under the United States – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement’s (PTPA) Annex on Forest Sector Governance (Forest Annex), showing its increased efforts to prevent illegal timber from entering the United States.[1]

U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Contempt Order Against 3 Chinese Banks for Subpoena Noncompliance

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 30, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously affirmed a contempt order against three Chinese banks that failed to comply with subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).[1] On April 30, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit unsealed an opinion issued on March 18, 2019, by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell enforcing grand jury subpoenas and an administrative subpoena against three Chinese banks for records of transactions for a now-defunct Hong Kong-based front company for North Korea’s state-operated company

Flynn Intel Group Founder Convicted of FARA Violations after Trial

Saturday, August 3, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 23, 2019, a federal jury in Alexandria, VA convicted Bijan Rafiekian, 67, of San Juan Capistrano, CA of conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, making false statements to the Justice Department, and acting as a foreign agent.[1] Court records and evidence presented at the trial showed that Rafiekian, along with his co-conspirator, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 42, of Istanbul, a Turkish national with close links to the highest levels of the Government of Turkey, participated in a conspiracy to covertly influence United States politicians and public opinion against a Turkish national, Fethullah Gulen, who is living in Pennsylvania.  The Turkish government filed two extradition requests for Gulen, and has tried to persuade the Department of Justice to extradite Gulen to Turkey since 2015.  The conspiracy involved using the Flynn Intel Group (FIG), a company Rafiekian and Michael T. Flynn founded.  It provided services based upon Flynn’s national security expertise.

Dutch Supreme Court Reduces Responsibility of the Netherlands In 1995 Srebrenica Massacre

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 18, 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court delivered a judgment that confirmed the Netherlands was partly liable for the deaths in 1995 of 350 Muslim males who were expelled from a Dutch U.N. base after the surrounding area was overrun by Bosnian Serb troops. Contrarily, from the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court reduced the state’s liability for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war, saying peacekeepers (also known as Dutchbat) only had a “slim” chance of preventing the deaths of hundreds of Muslim men. Judges reduced the Dutch state’s responsibility from 30 percent to 10 percent for compensation to the families of the 350 victims killed by Bosnian Serb forces who overran the safe haven.

IRS To Warn Former Offshore Voluntary Tax Compliance Applicants to Keep in Compliance

Friday, August 2, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 19, 2019, the IRS Large Business and International Division (LB&I) announced the approval of additional compliance campaigns, including ones on taxpayers who participated in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and United States taxpayers who expatriated. With respect to Post-OVDP Compliance, John Cardone, director of Withholding & International Individual Compliance, is in charge.  The campaign observes that U.S. persons are subject to tax on worldwide income. This campaign addresses tax noncompliance related to former OVDP taxpayers’ failure to remain compliant with their foreign income and asset reporting requirements. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a list of all the participants in the OVDP.  The IRS will address tax noncompliance through soft letters and examinations. 

European Commission Proposes Enhanced Implementation of AML/CFT Framework

Saturday, August 3, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 24, 2019, the European Commission adopted a Communication and four reports to support European and national authorities in strengthening their responses to money laundering and terrorist financing risks.[1] The report by the Commission toward better implementation of the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism framework provides an overview of the four reports.  The supranational risk assessment report gives an update of sectoral risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing.  The assessment of recent high-profile money laundering cases in the financial sector, the Financial Intelligence Units, and the interconnection of central bank account registries’ reports analyze the shortcomings in current anti-money laundering supervision and cooperation and identifies ways to address them.

Pennsylvania Missionary Indicted for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Children at Kenyan Orphanage

Friday, July 26, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 12, 2019, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, William M. McSwain, announced that Gregory Dow, 60, of Lancaster, PA was arrested and charged by Indictment with four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. The Indictment alleges that from on or about October 14, 2013, until on or about September 13, 2017, Dow engaged in, and attempted to engage in, illicit sexual conduct with four different minor victims in Kenya. The defendant allegedly traveled from Lancaster County to Kenya in 2008 and started what came to be known as the Dow Family Children’s Home.  He carried out the activities with the financial support of his church and other organizations.  Dow purported to be a Christian missionary who would care for these orphans, who called him “Dad.”   Instead of being a father figure to them, he allegedly preyed on their youth and vulnerability.  In September 2017, the orphanage closed.  The indictment accuses the defendant of sexually abusing at least four minor girls who lived there during that time.

The Deja Case Shows the Important Roles of NGOs and Data Analytics in Stopping Forest Crime

Friday, July 26, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

In the aftermath of the Environmental Investigation Agency’s (EIA)  report and video on illegal logging and export of wood covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Dejia has denied wrongdoing.  The EIA has responded. This blog post also notes the various enforcement actions brought in the U.S. to prevent the importation of wood imported in contravention of CITES and the Lacey Act, some with the help of environmental non-governmental organizations, using data analytics, another action with the help of the bilateral customs enforcement agreement. It also describes a recent call for consultation requested by the United States Trade Representative to raise with Peru the apparent violation of the United States – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) by compromising the independence of the agency charged with policing illegal logging and export of illegally harvested wood.  Finally, the blog post mentions the role of environmental protection and enforcement in free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

International Court of Justice Finds Violation of the Diplomatic Convention by Pakistan in a Death Sentence Case

Friday, July 26, 2019
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 17, 2019, the International Court of Justice (the Court) delivered a judgment in a very contentious case of a dispute between India and Pakistan, with a clear political overtone, finding, among other things, that Pakistan breached its obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1, of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (the Convention). The proceedings started on May 8, 2017 when the Government of India filed in the Registry of the Court an application instituting proceedings against Pakistan alleging violations of the Convention in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan. On the same day, India submitted a request for the indication of provisional measures, referring to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and to Articles 73, 74, and 75 of the Rules of Court. By an Order of May 18, 2017, the Court indicated the following provisional measures: “Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr. Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the Court of all the measures taken in implementation of the present Order”.

U.S. Court of Appeals Reverses Dismissal of Tort Case against BNP Paribas for Harms due to Sudanese Sanctions Violations

Friday, July 26, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On May 22, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and remanded the dismissal of claims by victims of Sudanese genocide and ethnic cleansing brought against BNP Paribas for allegedly illegally transacting with sanctioned entities and actively trying to evade U.S. detention, thereby providing the regime access to U.S. financial markets. BNP Paribas and its subsidiaries (BNPP) were convicted of federal and state felonies arising from their evasion of U.S. sanctions on Sudan.  In pleading guilty, BNPP admitted their knowledge of the genocide and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Sudanese regime, as well as the consequences of providing the regime access to additional financial resources, which could be used to escalate the commission of the atrocities. Plaintiffs, victims of the Sudanese regime’s atrocities, sued BNPP under New York tort law, alleging that BNPP conspired with and aided and abetted the Sudanese regime in its commission of widespread atrocities.

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