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.

The UBS Conviction: The Dawn of a New Era in France?

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Author: 
Frederick T. Davis
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 20, 2019, the Tribunal de Grande Instance sitting in Paris, France, convicted Swiss banking giant UBS AG and its French subsidiary UBS France, as well as five of their officers, of crimes relating to evasion of French taxes. Weighing in at 217 pages, the criminal judgment is a blockbuster in several respects: The total corporate fines and civil damages imposed, of over 4 billion Euros, are by far the largest ever imposed in France on a corporation.  The conviction may signal a new era of corporate criminal prosecution in France with far-reaching consequences for transnational law enforcement.  And along the way, the Court addressed several procedural issues of interest in France and elsewhere.

UN Report Urges ICC to Consider Charging Israeli Personnel with Crimes Against Humanity

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Author: 
Alex Psilakis
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 28, 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a scathing report against Israeli security forces, condemning them for their deliberate use of excessive force against Palestinian protestors. The report focuses on the “Great March of Return” – a series of protests held throughout 2018 in the Gaza region, referencing territory that Israel currently holds, but many Palestinians believe their own. Israeli security forces intentionally shot at – and in some cases, killed – children, medical personnel, and journalists, according to the report. Between the ten months of Palestinian protests, Israeli security forces killed 189 Palestinians and injured over 9,000. The report’s authors have urged the UNHCR’s High Commissioner to provide information to the International Criminal Court (ICC), who may charge relevant Israeli personnel with crimes against humanity. Israeli officials have condemned the report, but that has done little to stop international actors from closing in on them.

Effectiveness of Asset Recovery in the European Union

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Author: 
Michael Plachta
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 12, 2019, Eurojust, the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit, released its report on asset recovery. The report takes an in-depth look at the EU’s experience on the ground in cross-border asset recovery investigations between January 2014 and March 2018. The report is a practical guide for prosecutors and investigative judges around the EU working on criminal financial investigations, explaining how to follow the money and subsequently freeze it, as well as confiscate and recover the assets. The report presents an overview of the main legal and practical issues that Eurojust encountered in its casework in asset recovery, the support provided by Eurojust at any given stage of the asset recovery process, the main judicial cooperation instruments and tools used, and the best practice identified.

U.S. Repatriates Stolen Assets to the Kyrgyz Republic

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 26, 2019, the United States and Kyrgyz Republic announced the repatriation of $4,560,700 of stolen assets to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic arising from the corruption and theft of government funds by the prior regime of Kurmanbe Bakiyev and his son Maksim Bakiyev.  The U.S. government identified these funds in the United States in the criminal prosecution of Eugene Gourevitch, who faced charges for insider trading in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. A $6 million forfeiture order was subsequently entered by the court. After Gourevitch’s conviction, the Kyrgyz Republic, through its counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, filed a Petition for Remission with the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming that the funds subject to the forfeiture order traced back to monies stolen by Maxim Bakiyev from Kyrgyz state authorities and banking institutions. On October 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice granted the Remission Petition.

More Sanctions Targeting Venezuela’s Maduro Regime

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Author: 
Benjamin H. Flowe, Jr., John A. Ordway, Daniel Fisher-Owens, Babak Hoghooghi, Perry S. Bechky, Ray Gold, Jason A. McClurg and Michelle Turner Roberts
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On January 25, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13857, yet again escalating economic sanctions targeting the regime of Nicolas Maduro.  This is the latest in a string of sanctions against Venezuela, following just days after Juan Guaidó, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, declared himself Interim President of Venezuela, with support from the United States and numerous other nations.  The Executive Order expands the scope of the definition of the “Government of Venezuela” to include “any person who has acted or purported to act directly or indirectly for or on behalf of” the Government of Venezuela, “including as a member of the Maduro regime,” thus paving the way toward new sanctions against any individual members of the Maduro regime.  This action raises the stakes for Maduro’s supporters even higher, as the Trump Administration threatens sanctions to encourage defections.

Controversy over US Dismantling of War Crimes Unit

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Author: 
Linda Friedman Ramirez
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 15, 2019, the Center for Investigative Reporting shared news that the United States Justice Department is currently in the process of dismantling the FBI’s highly specialized International Human Rights Unit (IHRU). The IHRU’s mission has been “to mitigate the most significant threats posed by international human rights violators through effective intelligence collection and targeted enforcement action in collaboration with both domestic and international accountability efforts.” Human rights experts have raised alarm over the fact that such a move will dilute, if not eliminate, the FBI’s ability to pursue complex international human rights investigations. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigations Press Office responded to this author’s request for additional information, “International Human Rights (IHR) violations fall under the FBI’s Civil Rights Program, as such, a decision was made to merge the IHR Unit with the Civil Rights Unit to create the Civil Rights and International Human Rights Unit to more effectively utilize these FBI resources. This re-organization in no way reflects a reduced commitment by the FBI to work the IHR threat or diminish established relationships with government and non-government partners. This shift will increase the number of personnel available to oversee the IHR threat as the FBI continues its important work on these violations under the newly created unit.”

Canada Proceeds with Extradition of Huawei CFO While She Sues Canada and China Accuses Canadian Former Diplomat of Espionage

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On March 1, 2019, Canada’s Justice Department authorized an extradition hearing for Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, the Chinese telecom and electronics company, on 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud, and obstruction.  The extradition hearing will start on March 6 at the British Columbia’s Supreme Court.  On that day the court will set a date for the start of her extradition hearing. Meanwhile, Ms. Meng has sued the Canadian government for violating her constitutional rights when she was detained, as authorities seized and reviewed her electronic devices. Additionally, the Chinese government has recently charged two Canadians – one a former diplomat – of espionage and violating state secrets.

U.S. Indicts Former President and Former Chief Legal Officer of High-Tech Firm for Alleged Corrupt Activities in India

Friday, March 1, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On  February 15, 2019, a grand jury in New Jersey returned an indictment against the former president and the former chief legal officer of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, a publicly trade Fortune 200 technology services company based in Teaneck, New Jersey, in connection with an alleged foreign bribery scheme. The 12-count indictment charges Gordon Coburn, 55, of Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Steven Schwartz, 51, of Greenwich, Connecticut with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), three counts of violating the FCPA, seven counts of falsifying books and records, and one count of circumventing and failing to implement internal accounting controls. The charges arise out of an alleged scheme to bribe one or more government officials in India to secure a construction permit required to complete the development of an office campus.

Estonia Orders Danske Bank to Close Operations and Investigates Allegations Linking Swedbank with Dankse Transactions

Friday, March 1, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 19, 2019, the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (FSA) gave Danske Bank 20 days to submit an action plan to close its local branch within eight months. In December, Estonian authorities detained 10 former Danske Bank employees on suspicion they had facilitated money laundering through non-resident clients, including many Russians.  On February 20, 2019, Estonia’s state prosecution said it is investigating allegations linking Swedbank to suspicious transactions in the country involving Danske Bank.

Stripping Citizenship, States Struggle to Confront Foreign Fighters

Friday, March 1, 2019
Author: 
Alex Psilakis
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 

On February 19, 2019, Shamima Begum heard the news. While nursing her newborn son at a Syrian refugee camp, her family – contacting her from the UK – informed her that they had received a letter from the Home Office. The government, Begum’s family told her, planned to strip her of her British citizenship for joining the Islamic State (IS) in 2015. On February 20, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a similar statement to Hoda Muthana – an American that joined IS in 2014. Disqualifying any claim that Muthana may return to the US, Secretary Pompeo stated that, “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.

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