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.

Money Laundering Prosecution of Motsepe-Radebe in Botswana

Friday, August 20, 2021
Author: 
Jamie Jang
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
9
Abstract: 

In 2020, allegations of money laundering and fraud were brought against Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe, a South African businesswoman,. Motsepe-Radebe is the wife of former justice minister, Jeff Radebe and a sister-in-law to the South African President, Cyril Ramphosa.[1] The allegations against Motsepe-Radebe stem from the 2019 “Butterfly” spy case in which former intelligence officer, Welheminah Maswabi, was accused of funneling  money from the Botswana government to finance terrorism.[2] Motsepe-Radebe and Maswabi have been linked to the alleged $10.1 billion stolen from Botswana through South African bank accounts.[3] According to the prosecution, Motsepe-Radebe has been “identified as a co-signatory of at least two bank accounts holding some of the more than $10 billion allegedly stolen from the Botswana government to finance a ‘coup’ before the national election in this country.”[4] Motsepe-Radebe has also been accused of aiding Botswana’s former president, Ian Khama, in attempting to dislodge the standing president, Mokgweetsi Masisi.[5] Motsepe-Radebe has repeatedly denied all allegations.[6]



[1] Siviwe Feketha, Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe threatens to sue after Botswana hires Gerrie Nel in $10bn graft case, Independent Online. June 24, 2020.

[2] Chris Bishop,. Anger from former President Ian Khama as Botswana’s butterfly spy case takes another turn, CNBC Africa. August 20, 2020.

[3] Carien Du Plessis,. Botswana’s Butterfly spy case in legal jeopardy after South Africa accused of protecting Bridgette Motsepe. Daily Maverick. August 5, 2021.

[4] Peter. Fabricius, Botswana hires Gerrie Nel to pursue money laundering case against Motsepe-Radebe, All Africa. June 23, 2020.

[5] Feketha, supra note 2.

[6] Feketha, supra note 2.

 

British High Court Allows U.S. to Expand Grounds to Appeal Denial of Assange Extradition

Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On August 11, 2021, Britain’s High Court allowed the United States government to expand the bases for appealing a district court decision to deny extradition of WikiLeaks found Julian Assange, a 50 -year-old Australian national, on hacking into military databases and disclosing classified information.[1]



[1]    Sylvia Hui, Associated Press, US granted more grounds to appeal on Assange extradition, Wash. Post, Aug. 11, 2021; Hazel Shearing, Julian Assange: US extradition bid gets a legal boost, BBC News, Aug. 11, 2021.

 

Council of Europe’s Committee on Crime Problems Progresses on Several Cooperation Issues

Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On June 30, 2012, the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)  published its decisions following its 79th Plenary Session on  June 28-30, 2021, which occurred remotely due to the pandemic.[1]



[1]    Council of Europe, European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), List of Decisions 79th Plenary Session,   Strasbourg, June 28-30, 2021 chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Frm.coe.int%2Fcdpc-2021-8-list-of-decisions-cdpc-june-2021-web%2F1680a322f1&clen=716020.

 

Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform, BitMEX, Settles Lawsuit and Agrees to Pay $100 Million for Violating U.S. trading laws

Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

 

            On August 10, 2021, BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, agreed to pay $100 million for not abiding by U.S. laws while permitting U.S. residents to use the platform and not implementing an anti-money laundering program.[1]



[1] CFTC, Federal Court Orders BitMEX to Pay $100 Million for Illegally Operating a Cryptocurrency Trading Platform and Anti-Money Laundering Violations, Press Rel. 8412-21.

 

The Xizhi Li Case: An Application of Money Laundering Techniques and Combatting Money Laundering Strategies

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Author: 
Austin Max Scherer
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

 

                Xizhi Li, a Chinese national and naturalized United States citizen, pleaded guilty yesterday to his involvement in a conspiracy to launder at least $30 million in drug proceeds on behalf of foreign drug-trafficking organizations.[1]  Li played a leadership role within a years-long conspiracy to use a foreign casino, foreign and domestic front companies, foreign and domestic bank accounts, false passports, and other false identification documents to launder money on behalf of transnational drug-trafficking organizations.[2]



[1] Leader of Transnational Money-Laundering Network Pleads Guilty to Aiding Drug-Trafficking Organizations, While Co-Conspirator is Sentenced, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/leader-transnational-money-laundering-network-pleads-guilty-aiding-drug-trafficking, Aug. 3, 2021.

[2] Id.

 

U.S. Returns Additional $452 Million in Forfeited 1MDB Funds to Malaysia

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On August 5, 2021, the United States Department of Justice announced it has returned an additional $452 million in embezzled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds it has forfeited to the people of Malaysia.  The U.S. has now returned over $1.2 billion in forfeited 1MDB funds.[1]

Court documents show the funds from 1MDB, formerly Malaysia’s investment development fund, were laundered through major financial institutions worldwide, including in the U.S., Switzerland, Singapore, and Luxembourg.



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, Over $1 Billion in Misappropriated 1MDB Funds Now Repatriated to Malaysia, Press Rel. 21-740, Aug. 5, 2021.

 

Nigerian Government Starts Voluntary Offshore Assets London Declaration Facilities

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 26, 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced its Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme of Nigeria (VOARS) London Declaration Facilities. [1]



[1]   Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Government of Nigeria Unveils is VOARS London Declaration Facilities, Press Release, July 26, 2021 chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.voars-nigeria.org%2Fpdf%2FVOARS%2520London%2520Declaration%2520Facil....

 

Global Financial Integrity Publishes a Critique of U.S. AML Application to Real Estate

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On August 2, 2021, the Global Financial Integrity published an incisive report showing serious gaps in the application of money laundering laws in the United States with respect to real estate and making a number of recommendations.[1]  The report compares U.S. anti-money laundering laws concerning real estate to international and comparative law standards.  Normally, a report by a civil society organization would not be so influential.  However, the quality of the research, analysis, the credentials of the authors, and the insights of the report are quite formidable.



[1]    Lakshmi Kumar & Kaisa de Bel, Acres of Money Laundering:  Why U.S. Real Estate is a Kleptocrat’s Dream (Global Financial Integrity Aug. 2021) https://gfintegrity.org/report/acres-of-money-laundering-why-u-s-real-estate-is-a-kleptocrats-dream.

 

 

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