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.

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).

 

INTERPOL Suspends Russia’s Ability to Make Diffusion Notices Directly and Deploys Team to Moldova While Ukraine Disconnects from INTERPOL Network

Friday, April 1, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

The conflict in Ukraine has had significant consequences in INTERPOL.  Ukraine has disconnected from the INTERPOL network due to its fear of Russia’s misuse of INTERPOL’s channels.  On March 10, INTERPOL announced that the Russian National Central Bureau (NCB) can no longer send diffusions directly.  On March 25, 2022, INTERPOL announced that it deployed an Operational Support Team to Moldova in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

 

U.S. and Canada Law Enforcement Meet and Reestablish the Cross-Border Crime Forum

Friday, April 1, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 22, 2022, the United States and Canada high-level law enforcement officials met in Washington, D.C. to implement the commitment set forth in President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau’s February 2021 Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership to re-establish the Cross-Border Crime Forum (CBCF).  The meeting included the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  Representing Canada were its Minister of Justice and Attorney General, David Lametti, and Minister of Public Safety, Marco Medicino.  The meeting discussed how to increase collaboration between the two countries to counter transnational crime and make their respective communities safer.[1]   



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, The U.S. and Canada Reestablish the Cross-Border Crime Forum, Press Rel.,  Mar. 22, 2022.

 

DOJ Unseals Indictments Against Four Russian Malware Hackers

Friday, April 1, 2022
Author: 
Alex Mostaghimi
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 24, 2022, the Department of Justice unsealed two indictments against four Russian nationals, working in conjunction with the Russian government, with attempting, supporting, and conducting computer intrusions that targeted the global energy sector between 2012 and 2018.  In total, these hacking campaigns targeted thousands of computers at hundreds of companies and organizations across approximately 135 countries.

Eurojust Helps 3 EU Countries Freeze € 120 Million of Lebanese Assets in Bank Accounts

Friday, April 1, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 25, 2022, law enforcement authorities froze € 120 million worth of assets connected to the investigation of a money laundering case in Lebanon.  The authorities seized five properties in Germany and France as well as bank accounts.  The EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) supported the judicial cooperation by establishing a joint investigation team (JIT) and organizing three coordination meetings.[1]



[1]    Eurojust, Action against money laundering freezes EUR 120 million worth of Lebanese assets, seizing bank accounts, Press Rel., Mar. 28, 2022.

 

Miami Grand Jury Indicts Former Ecuadorian Comptroller General for Corruption-Based Laundering

Friday, April 1, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 29, 2022, Carlos Roman Polit Faggioni (Polit) made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court in Miami, on charges he allegedly engaged in a scheme to use the U.S. financial system to launder money to promote and conceal an alleged illegal bribery scheme in Ecuador.[1]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, Former Comptroller General of Ecuador Indicted for Alleged Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme, Press Rel. No. 22-298, Mar. 29, 2022.

 

Council of Europe Terminates Membership of the Russian Federation

Friday, March 25, 2022
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 16, 2022, at an  extraordinary meeting, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution CM/Res (2022)2  deciding, in the context of the procedure launched under Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, that the Russian Federation ceases to be a member of the Council of Europe as of that day.[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] https://search.coe.int/cm/pages/result_details.aspx?objectid=0900001680a....

 

OECD Announces Public Consultation on Tax Transparency for Crypto-Assets

Thursday, March 24, 2022
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

On March 22, 2022, the OECD issued a public consultation document involving a new world tax transparency framework to furnish the reporting and exchange of information with regard to crypto-assets and proposed amendments to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for the automatic exchange of financial account information between countries.  The consultation has the goal to inform the decisions of policy makers on the potential adoption of any such framework and its related components.

 

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