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.

Mexican Drug Cartels Team with Chinese Trafficking Networks to Traffic in Endangered Species

Friday, April 22, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

Increasingly Mexican drug cartels are participating in the harvest, transport, and sale of marine wildlife species, including endangered species.  They often collaborate with Chinese wildlife trafficking networks. [1]



[1]    Mexican drug cartels increasingly influential in marine wildlife trafficking, use legitimate businesses as cover, Taskforce Alert, United for Wildlife TaskForce Bulletin, April 4, 202.

 

U.S. Court Dismisses Efforts to Halt U.S. Government’s Efforts to Extradite Ukrainian from Holland

Friday, April 22, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 12, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper granted the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the suit of a Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr Morgunov, seeking to stop the U.S. government’s efforts to extradite him from the Netherlands on criminal charges pending in the Southern District of Florida.[1]      



[1]    In Re: Extradition Application to the Kingdom of the Netherlands of September 10, 2021,  Oleksandr Morgunov v. Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. District Court for D.C., Case No. 21-mc-158 (CRC), Memorandum Opinion, April 12, 2022.

 

U.S. and Europol Seize One of World’s Largest Hacker Forums and Arrest Administrator

Friday, April 15, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 12, 2022, the United States Department of Justice and Europol announced the seizure of the RaidForums website, a popular marketplace for cybercriminals to buy and sell hacked data, and unsealed criminal charges against Diogo Santos Coelho, 21, of Portugal, the RaidForums’ founder and chief administrator.  British authorities arrested Coelho in the United Kingdom at the request of the U.S.  He remains in custody pending the resolution of his extradition proceedings.[1]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, United States Leads Seizure of One of the World’s Largest hacker Forums and Arrests Administrator, Press Release 22-360, April 12, 2022.

 

Turkish court Transfers Khashoggi Assasination Trial to Saudi Arabia

Friday, April 15, 2022
Author: 
Alex Mostaghimi
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 7, 2022, a Turkish court decided to transfer the trial of 26 Saudi suspects accused of the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia.   The decision came after a panel of judges granted a request last week by the prosecutor in the trial to transfer the case because none of the suspects were in Turkish custody and that the case would be inconclusive.  Soon after, Turkey’s justice minister, Bekir Bozdag, recommended that the Istanbul court close the trial in absentia and resume the case in Saudi Arabia.[1]   While endorsing the case’s transfer, Bozdag stated that if the Saudi authorities convict the defendants, the Turkish court would drop the case, but if they are acquitted, the Turkish court may resume the trial.[2]



[1] Jonathan Spicer, Transfer of Khashoggi case to Saudi Arabia not political, Turkish Bureaucrat says, Reuters, April 8, 2022.

[2] Ali Kucukgocmen, Turkish Ministry to approve request to transfer Khashoggi case to S. Arabia, Reuters, April 1, 2022.

 

Australia and The Netherlands Take Action Against Russia in the MH17 Case Before the ICAO

Friday, April 15, 2022
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 14, 2022, the Dutch and Australian governments launched a legal case against Russia at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) seeking to hold Moscow accountable for its alleged role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.[1]



* Professor Plachta specializes in criminal law and international criminal law. He has authored numerous publication on a wide range of problems concerning law enforcement and international cooperation in criminal matters. He currently teaches criminal law and European criminal law at the University of Security in Poznan, Poland.

[1] Kirsty Needham and Toby Sterling, Australia, Netherlands start UN action against Russia over MH17, Reuters, March 14, 2022.

 

EU Starts Infringement Action against Malta “Golden Passport” law

Friday, April 15, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 6, 2022, the European Commission sent Malta a reasoned opinion concerning its investor citizenship program, also referred to as “golden passport” scheme. The Commission informed Malta that conferring EU citizenship in return for pre-determined payments or investments, without any genuine link to the Member States, violates EU law.[1]



[1]    European Commission, ‘Golden passport’ schemes: Commission proceeds with infringement case against Malta, Press release, Apr. 6, 2022.

 

Spain Seizes $90 Million Yacht of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch at U.S. Request While U.S. Unseals Indictment against Russian Oligarch

Friday, April 15, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On April 4, 2022, Spanish law enforcement executed a Spanish court order freezing the Motor Yacht (M/Y) Tango (the Tango), a 255-foot luxury yacht owned by Viktor Vekselberg, a sanctioned Russian oligarch.  Spanish authorities acted at the request from the U.S. Department of Justice for assistance after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a seizure warrant.  The warrant alleges that the Tango was subject to forfeiture based on violation of U.S. bank fraud, money laundering, and sanction statutes.  In addition, seizure warrants obtained in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia target approximately $625,000 associated with sanctioned parties held at nine U.S. financial institutions.  The seizures are based on sanctions violations by several Russian specially designated nationals.[1]  Meanwhile, on April 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed in the Southern District of New York an indictment charging a Russian oligarch with violating U.S. sanctions arising from the 2014 Russian take-over of Crimea.[2]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, $90 Million Yacht of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg Seized by Spain at Request of United States, Apr. 4, 2022.

[2]    U.S. Department of Justice, Russian Oligarch Charged with Violating U.S. Sanctions, Press Rel. 22-333, Apr. 6, 2022.

 

Russian Oligarchs Using Colombian Bank Accounts to Avoid Sanctions

Friday, April 1, 2022
Author: 
Luz E. Nagle
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

Several news outlets recently reported that wealthy Russian nationals and crime organizations are paying private individuals a commission to use their personal checking and savings accounts in order to launder money through Colombian banks.  This illegal money transfer, known as “smurfing,” involves depositing money into the banking accounts of “humble and middle-class” people.  The accounts are then accessed through ATMs in Bogotá[1] and Medellín.  The small transactions do not require the completion of banking control documents and are difficult to detect.[2]  Moving money in this manner gives wealthy Russians with ties to organized crime a work-around to the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) banking communication network[3] after the United States, Canada, the EU and the UK removed Russian banks from SWIFT on February 26, 2022, in retaliation for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of The Ukraine.



[1] Videos dejan en evidencia cómo rusos están ingresando dinero a Colombia a través del ‘pitufeo’, NoticiasRCN.com, Mar. 27, 2022, https://www.noticiasrcn.com/colombia/rusos-estan-ingresando-dinero-a-colombia-a-traves-del-pitufeo-414067.

[2] See Tipología de Lavado de Activos, para. 10. ESTRUCTURAR, O HACER “TRABAJO DE PITUFO” O “TRABAJO DE HORMIGA” Delitos de Lavado de Activos (Perú), Socios, June 24, 2014, https://www.monografias.com/trabajos107/delitos-lavado-activos/delitos-lavado-activos.

[3] Katherine Underwood, The SWIFT Banking System and Why It Matters to Russia, MarketRealist.com, Feb. 24, 2022, What Is the SWIFT Banking System? Russia Might Get Cut Off (marketrealist.com).

 

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