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.

Disgraced Art Dealer Charged with Operating $145 Million Smuggling Ring

Friday, July 19, 2019
Author: 
Alex Psilakis
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 8, 2019, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Subhash Kapoor, an art dealer – once based in New York – accusing him of running an art smuggling ring valued at $145 million. The complaint filed argues that Kapoor garnered rare, exquisite pieces from countries including India, Afghanistan, and Thailand. In acquiring these items, Kapoor created fake paper trails to make his efforts appear legitimate, crafting documents like fraudulent invoices and import forms. Finally, he would sell these pieces to buyers from around the world, which typically involved collectors, art dealers, and museums. In one case, for example, the complaint details how the smuggling ring – which included Kapoor and seven conspirators – stole a statue of the goddess Uma Parameshvari from a religious temple in India. The ring smuggled it to Hong Kong, then London, where it underwent restoration, to ultimately be sold for $2.5 million in New York.

Egmont Group of FIUs Plenary Focuses on Engaging Public-Public Cooperation

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 5, 2019, during the 26th Plenary of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) in the Hague, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (USGSA), her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, opened the plenary meeting alongside the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security, Mr. Ferdinand Grapperhaus.  Both focused on the crucial role FIUs play in protecting global financial stability, and the necessity of public-public collaboration in the AML/CFT environment, as well as the importance of financial inclusion as a key factor in the prevention of ML/TF risks.  The UNSGSA underscored that financial inclusion, financial integrity, and financial stability are not only complementary, but also mutually reinforce each other. Mrs. Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, the Head of FIU- the Netherlands and Egmont Group, Chair, presided over the plenary alongside the newly elected Egmont Group Chair, Mariano Federici, President of UIF Argentina.

FATF Plenary Unveils Guidance on Virtual Assets, Starts Strategic Review of AML/CFT Measures, Review of Assessment Processes, and Strengthens Proliferation Financing Standards

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On June 19-21, 2019, FATF President Marshall Billingslea of the United States chaired the third and last Plenary meeting under the U.S. Presidency in Orlando, Florida. The delegates discussed the following issues, including FATF initiatives under the U.S. Presidency of the FATF. In October 2018, in response to the increasing use of virtual assets for money laundering and terrorist financing, the FATF amended Recommendation 15 and the glossary to clarify to which businesses and activities the FATF requirements apply in the case of virtual assets. In its Resolution 2462 of March 28, 2019, the UN Security Council welcomed these and other continuing efforts by FAFT to address the regulation and supervision of virtual asset activities and virtual asset service providers. After a public consultation on the measures applicable to virtual asset transfers, the FATF has issued the Interpretative Note to Recommendation (INR) 15, which applies in detail the FATF Standards and binding measures for the regulation and supervision of virtual asset activities and service providers. INR 15 sets binding measures relevant for both countries and virtual asset service providers and other obliged entities that engage in or provide virtual asset products and services in order to establish a more level playing field across the virtual asset ecosystem.

Rio’s Ex-Governor Testifies about Bribery in Rio 2016 Olympic Bid While IPACS Establishes New Task Force

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

In court testimony on July 4, 2019, Sergio Cabral, the former governor of Rio de Janeiro, said he paid $2 million to buy votes so that Rio would be chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Cabral told Judge Marcelo Bretas that Carlos Nuzman, then the chair of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, was in charge of the negotiations.  In 2017, Brazilian authorities arrested Nuzman during an investigation into the alleged bribery scheme.  He denies wrongdoing. Cabral testified the payment produced a promise that between six and nine members of the International Olympic Committee would vote in favor of holding the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Cabral testified that Lamine Diack, former chief of the International Association of Athletics Federations, and his son Papa asked for payments of $1.5 million and $500,000 respectively.  Papa Diack has characterized the allegations as “the biggest lie in the history of world sport.” French authorities arrested Lamine Diack in 2015, accusing him of receiving payments for deferring sanctions against Russian Olympic performers who used drugs to enhance their performances.  He has denied wrongdoing.

U.S. and Argentine Seize Arms Targeting Mainly Brazil

Friday, July 12, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On June 28, 2019, Matthew T. Albence, deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, (HSI) Miami, announced the results of international operation targeting weapons traffickers, mainly directed at criminal organizations in Brazil. The operation resulted in a total of 25 arrests and 53 search warrants executed in the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil.  Over the course of the operation, law enforcement seized 5,300 firearms and components, 167 explosive/ordinances, and 15 silencers from the transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). HSI Miami started the investigation into the TCO smuggling large amounts of weapons parts and accessories from the U.S. to Argentina and Brazil.  The TCO exploited the U.S. Postal Service by illegally exporting weapon parts and ammunition regulated by the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations without the proper State Department licenses.  During the investigation several HSI offices, as well as Argentinian and Brazilian authorities, have conducted multiple search warrants and arrests resulting in the seizure of significant quantities of firearms, firearms parts, and more than $100,000 cash.

Frustration Grows over Execution of ECtHR Judgments in the CIA Extraordinary Rendition Cases

Friday, July 12, 2019
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On June 4-6, 2019, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe met at their 1348th session to debate the state of execution of judgments under enhanced supervision. They included four rulings delivered in the CIA extraordinary rendition cases against Lithuania, Poland, and Romania. In their decisions concerning each of these states, the Ministers expressed their frustration that despite both the Committee’s and each of the three countries not much progress has been achieved and in one respect – that is, the assurances from the U.S. government – the state of the matter has not changed at all. The Ministers have been desperately trying to move the matter forward for several years, despite the fact that on February 26, 2016, Pedro Agramunt, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), announced that the inquiry under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights has fulfilled its purpose and declare it closed.

INTERPOL's Power to Prevent Diffusion Abuse: Legal, Political and Technological Considerations (in response to Dr. Theodore Bromund's 'INTERPOL's Lack of Power to Act Preemptively in Fighting Government Abuse of the Diffusion System')

Friday, July 12, 2019
Author: 
Yuriy Nemets
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files is an independent body with the exclusive power to adjudicate complaints from individuals seeking the deletion of information about them from INTERPOL's files. In its 2017 annual report (its most recent) published this year, the Commission acknowledges that some governments have succeeded in disseminating diffusions against the same individuals whom the Commission has already found to be victims of their INTERPOL abuse, and INTERPOL lacks a comprehensive mechanism to stop the unlawful practice. Even before the Commission published its report, I had been calling upon INTERPOL to monitor and block all incoming red notices and diffusions to ensure that no such request entered its channels if it concerned an individual already found to be a victim of INTERPOL abuse from the same government.  I have suggested that the organization should implement reliable software to conduct such monitoring. In his recent publication 'INTERPOL CCF's Latest Annual Report Highlights Fundamental Flaw in the System,' Dr. Theodore Bromund disagrees with my suggestion and argues that INTERPOL cannot simply introduce a new technology to fix the problem. According to Dr. Bromund, stopping the unlawful practice “would require both changing the diffusion system at a technical level and making appropriate changes in INTERPOL's Rules on the Processing of Data,” which “in turn would require a good deal of time and a vote in favor of the changes in INTERPOL's one-nation, one-vote General Assembly -- where it is far from clear that the nations wanting reform would be in the majority.”

Council of Europe Calls on Russia to Re-open and Continue Investigation Into the Murder of Boris Nemtsov

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

At its 26th sitting held on June 27, 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted Resolution 2297 (2019) calling on the Russian authorities to “re-open and continue” their investigation into the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, listing a number of “serious concerns” over its independence and effectiveness. The debate and the resolution were based on a comprehensive Report prepared by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.The Assembly, unanimously approving the report, concluded that “not all relevant aspects of the case have been examined and the full truth has not been revealed.” Boris Nemtsov, an internationally renowned leader and figurehead of the political opposition, former deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, former Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, former Regional Governor of Nizhny Novgorod and a member of the Yaroslavskaya regional parliament, was shot dead in Moscow on February 27, 2015 on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge, right next to the Kremlin, one of the most heavily protected and monitored locations in the country. 

UN Report on the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi Reveals Fissures in the International Community

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Author: 
Alex Psilakis
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On June 19, 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a report on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi national and Washington Post reporter killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. The report not only analyzes the killing of Khashoggi, but considers factors including responsibility, prosecution, and international accountability. It holds no punches, as it blatantly calls out the state of Saudi Arabia for ordering the extrajudicial killing of Khashoggi. It also calls on other states that have a direct stake in the situation, such as the U.S., to launch a criminal investigation into the case. Politics, however, makes this outcome highly unlikely, limiting international enforcement efforts while eroding the perceived protection of fundamental freedoms around the world.

 

Sudan and the ICC: Time for a New Approach

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Author: 
Evan Schleicher
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On April 11, Omar al-Bashir was deposed from the seat of the presidency by the army after almost five months of popular protests against his regime. A day later, the head of the Transitional Military Council’s political committee publicly stated that Bashir would be tried for his “crimes” in Sudan, but that he would not extradited to face international justice. Despite this stance, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has been persistent in calling for Bashir to be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face justice for masterminding atrocities in the western Darfur region. Her argument centers on the fact that, “although Sudan is not a party to the Rome Statute, Darfur fell under ICC jurisdiction in March 2005 after the UN Security Council referred the situation to the ICC prosecutor.”

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