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 President Publicly Reveals U.S. Request for Evidence in Criminal Investigation against Governor

Thursday, May 27, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
6
Abstract: 

On May 20, 2021, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)  publicized a request from the U.S. Embassy’s legal attaché requesting information on Garcia Cabeza de Vaca as part of a U.S. money laundering investigation.[1]



[1]    Mark Stevenson, Mexican president draws US into dispute over governor, Associated Press, Wash. Post, May 20, 2021.

 

Interpol Operation Targets Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

Saturday, May 22, 2021
Author: 
Emma Byrne
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

From March 28 to April 2, 2021, more than 195 arrests occurred as a result of Operation Weka, or “Stop” in Swahili.[1] Operation Weka was an effort to crackdown on human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Africa and Europe and helped rescue more than 500 human trafficking victims. The effort was cross-continental and involved police from 24 different countries as well as information from multiple international organizations and their intelligence sources.[2] As a result, there have been 195 arrests.[3] Crimes have varied from human trafficking and people smuggling to environmental crimes and fraud.



[1] 500 rescued and 195 arrested following INTERPOL human trafficking and migrant smuggling operation. Accessed May 19, 2021, https://www.interpol.int/en/News-and-Events/News/2021/Operation-Weka-mob....

[2] Christine Murray, Dozens Arrested in Global Human Trafficking Raids Led by Interpol. Reuters., April 9, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trafficking-arrests/dozens-arrested-i....

[3] Id.I.

 

INTERPOL’s Expanding Reach, Use, and Consequences: A Global Survey of Abuse Techniques by Some INTERPOL member countries and Effective Response Strategies

Saturday, May 22, 2021
Author: 
By Michelle Estlund* and Adriana Obeso**
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

The International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, is an international organization dedicated in large part to aiding its 194 member countries in detecting and extraditing fugitives to face criminal charges or serve sentences. Its member countries each have access to INTERPOL’s databases as needed to assist in finding criminal suspects and convicts. INTERPOL accepts, maintains, and circulates the personal data of a wanted person until he or she is captured.[1]

            Rather than addressing the basic functioning of INTERPOL and its databases,[2] the aim of this article is to focus on cases wherein INTERPOL’s member countries have abused their access to those databases; the most common types of charges alleged in abusive cases; and strategies that practitioners can utilize to increase their likelihood of success in cases of INTERPOL abuse.



 

*Michelle Estlund is the founder and principal attorney of Estlund Law, P.A., located in Miami, Florida. Her practice focuses exclusively on criminal and INTERPOL defense cases, with an emphasis on the exposure of human rights violations and politically motivated and corrupt prosecutions. The majority of the charges faced by her clients are “white collar,” or financial crimes.

 

**Adriana Obeso is a BA candidate at the University of Chicago double majoring in Economics with a focus in Business, and Public Policy Studies.

 

[1] Data in INTERPOL’s databases is subject to an expiration date that is relatively easily renewed.

[2] The fundamental characteristics and workings of INTERPOL have been well-presented in other articles such as the

AILA Law Journal article by Theodore Bromund and Sandra Grossman on "Challenging a Red Notice: What Immigration Attorneys Need to Know About Interpol.” The article is available online at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nKGnp54xJSgWWFtvyAfd5jHqtGOXIf-s/view?u....

 

Cayman AML Regulator Cracks Down After FATF Greylisting

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

The Cayman Islands financial services sector is experiencing significant tension after the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) putting the jurisdiction on its greylist, in part for lack of enforcing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) regulations.  The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) imposed a fine of more than CI$4.2 million on one of its largest financial services providers for breaches of its AML regulations. Meanwhile, one of its gold star financial services providers has obtained a judicial review of how CIMA interprets and applies certain provisions of the AML regulations after the provider has accused CIMA of changing without prior notice the way it applies certain provisions of the AML regulations.

UN Investigation Team Concludes ISIL Crimes against the Yazidis Constitutes Genocide

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

On May 10, 2021, the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability Against Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) found that the crimes committed by ISIL against the Yazidis, a religious minority in northern Iraq, constitutes genocide. In a briefing to ambassadors, the head of UNITAD and soon-to-be head International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Karim Khan, said there is “clear and convincing evidence that the crimes against the Yazidi people clearly constituted genocide.”[1] Evidence showed that ISIL committed a range of inhuman acts, including extermination, rape, murder, torture, enslavement, persecution, and other war crimes against the Yazidis. The crimes that ISIL committed “shocked the conscience of humanity,” said Khan.[2] The UN report is crucial because it identified and preserves evidence of the atrocities that will help prosecute ISIL perpetrators. [3]



[1] “Special Adviser Khan Briefs the Security Council on UNITAD Investigations” Investigative Team to promote accountability for crimes committed by Da’esh / ISIL (UNITAD), May 10, 2021, https://www.unitad.un.org/news/special-adviser-khan-briefs-security-council-unitad-investigations.
[2] Id.
[3] U.N. Report, the Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant addressed to the President of the Security Council, May 3, 2021, https://www.unitad.un.org/sites/www.unitad.un.org/files/general/s.2021.419_-_sixth_unitad_report_en.pdf.

EU Advocate General Rules German Telecom Cannot Cancel Contract with Iranian Bank without Showing Cancellation Was Not Due to U.S. Sanctions

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

On May 12, 2021, The European Union Advocate General opined that a decision by a German telecom company to cancel a contract with an Iranian bank, subject to U.S. primary sanctions, should be regarded as invalid if the German company cannot justify it on any basis, other than the desire to comply with U.S. legislation providing for secondary sanctions against non-U.S. undertakings trading with an Iranian person, which falls under the EU blocking statute.  The opinion puts the German telecom company in a real dilemma.[1]



[1]    European Court of Justice, Advocate General Hogan: Iranian undertakings may invoke EU law blocking US secondary sanctions before the courts of the Member States, Press Rel. No. 78/21, May 12, 2021.

 

Largest Swiss Insurance Company Settles Tax Crimes Case with the U.S.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

On May 14, 2021, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a criminal information charging Swiss Life Holding AG (Swiss Life Holding, Swiss Life (Liechtenstein) AG (Swiss Life Liechtenstein), Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Swiss Life Singapore), and Swiss Life (Luxembourg) S.A. (Swiss Life Luxembourg), collectively the “Swiss Life Entities,” with conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and others to hide from the IRS more than $1.452 billion in offshore insurance policies, including more than 1,600 insurance wrapper policies, and related policy investment accounts in banks around the world and the income generated in these accounts.[1]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, Switzerland’s Largest Insurance Company and Three Subsidiaries Admit to Conspiring with U.S. Taxpayers to Hide Assets and Income to Offshore Accounts, Press Rel. 21-441, May 14, 2021.

 

Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 Brings New Opportunities for Acting on International Money Laundering

Friday, May 14, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

The enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AMLA) has brought new opportunities for foreign governments and stakeholders interested in stopping international money laundering.  Until now, foreign governments have had difficulty maintaining civil actions in the United States to hold accountable persons participating in criminal activity, such as corruption, tax crimes, fraud, drug trafficking, trafficking of persons, etc. This article discusses some of the opportunities as a result of the AMLA: namely the Kleptocracy Recovery Rewards Act (KARRA); and the whistleblower provisions of the AMLA.

Italian Police Arrest Suspected Black Axe Members

Friday, May 14, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 

The Black Axe, a Nigerian fraternity organization turned mafia, has been a target of law enforcement in both the U.S. and abroad. Recently, the Italian police arrested several members of the Black Axe for fraud and other serious crimes. A few years ago, the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom similarly charged members of the Black Axe. The Black Axe’s crimes reach far beyond borders and thus should promote the collaboration of law enforcement across nations to combat organized crime. 

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