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.

U.S. District Court Approves John Doe Summons for Panamanian Law Firm Dealing with U.S. Clients

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 28, 2021, U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of New York Gregory Wood entered a revised order authorizing the IRS to serve Internal Revenue Service “John Doe” summonses to several U.S. couriers and financial institutions to produce information about U.S. taxpayers who may have use the Panamanian law firm to evade federal income taxes.[1]



[1]    In the Matter of the Tax Liabilities of: John Does, U.S. Dist. Court S.D.N.Y., Case No. 21 Misc. 424, Order, July 15, 2021.

 

Syrian Military Doctor Indicted in Germany for Crimes Against Humanity in the Arab Republic

Thursday, August 5, 2021
Author: 
Sara Kaufman
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

Alaa Mousa, a former Syrian military doctor now living in Germany, was indicted on July 28, 2021, on charges of crimes against humanity by the German federal prosecutor.[1]  Dr. Mousa has been accused of torturing opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in military facilities in Syria.  One of the several allegations against him is that he doused the testicles of a teenage boy with alcohol before lighting them on fire in the emergency room at a military hospital in Syria.  He is also alleged to have kicked and punched other prisoners, as well as carried out procedures without sufficient anesthetic.[2]  After fleeing Syria in 2015, Dr. Mousa began working at a hospital in central Germany.  He was recognized by other Syrians who alerted the German authorities, leading to his arrest in June 2020.[3]



[1] Christopher F. Schuetze, Syrian Doctor Indicted in Germany for Crimes Against Humanity, The New York Times,  July 28, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/28/world/europe/syria-doctor-indicted-germany.html.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

 

Indian Tax Authority Takes Action against Undeclared Assets in Swiss Banks

Thursday, August 5, 2021
Author: 
Austin Max Scherer
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

The Indian government has filed over 107 prosecution complaints and raised about $1.1 billion from assessment orders in its efforts to uncover undisclosed foreign assets.  In a July 26 press release, the Ministry of Finance said that the government filed the complaints and issued assessment orders in 166 cases under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 (the Black Money Act).  This stemmed from an HSBC data leak that contained names of Indians suspected to have parked untaxed wealth in the foreign bank.[1]  The Black Money Act aimed to abolish undisclosed foreign income and assets.[2]  The government is just starting to reap the benefits as the government raised a demand of 8,216 crore, a crore is the equivalent of ten million rupees, and the government filed 107 prosecution complaints in relation to black money.[3]  While the act has yielded positive news, the Indian government is still facing a major headwind, Swiss banks.  Swiss National Bank (SNB) data shows that the Swiss bank deposits by Indians increased by 286% in 2020 compared to 2019.[4]  To make matters worse for the Indian government, a lot of the data from SNB omitted vital information for the Indian government.  This article will further discuss the HSBC data leak, India’s Black Money Act and explore private Indian citizens’ activity within Swiss Banks.



[1] HSBC leak: India to probe new ‘black money list’ list, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-31282677, Feb. 9, 2015 (last visited Aug. 3, 2021).

[2] Zara Atoinette Kennedy, Govt’s Black Money Act Yields Results, Brings Undisclosed Income of Rs 8,465 Cr To Tax, THELOGICALINDIAN.COM, https://thelogicalindian.com/good-governance/black-money-act-bjp-swiss-bank-income-tax-29933, Jul. 29, 2021 (last visited Jul. 29, 2021).

[3] Id.

[4] Bharat Hiteshi, Trailing Black Money by Indians in Swiss Banks, TEHELKA, http://tehelka.com/trailing-black-money-by-indians-in-swiss-banks/, Jun. 28, 2021 (last visited Jul. 29, 2021).

 

Alleged Rhino-horn and Hunter Arrested & Granted Bail for Illegal Possession of Rhino Horns

Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, a rhino kingpin and a game hunter were arrested while illegally transporting rhino horns valued over R2.6-million. South African law enforcement charged the duo with illegally possessing and selling horns and granted them bail later that week.[1]



[1] Eunice Stolz, Alleged rhino kingpin and an Mpumalanga businessman arrested for possession of 19 rhino horns, Mail & Guardian, July 23, 2021, https://mg.co.za/environment/2021-07-23-alleged-rhino-kingpin-and-an-mpu....

 

Spanish Court Advises Banco de Chile to Set Aside $103M for Money Laundering from Pinochet Expropriations

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 29, 2021, the Seventh Court of Guarantee of Santiago (El Séptimo Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago) reopened an investigation into whether the Banco de Chile helped the former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, launder money.  It notified the Supreme Court of Chile of the reopening of the case and advised the bank, whose ownership is related to the Pinochet family, to set aside $103 million.[1]



[1]     Raphael Minder, Spain Reopens Pinochet Inquiry Into Tax Evasion and Laundering, N.Y. Times, July 31, 2021, at A7, col.1.

 

Conviction of Liberian Warlord Puts Spotlight on Universal Jurisdiction and Liberian Accountability

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Author: 
Theodore David
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On June 18, 2021, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court convicted Liberian warlord Alieu Kosiah, 46, of crimes against humanity committed during the country’s first civil war, fought from 1989 to 1996. The decision has raised issues of a lack of accountability in Liberia and the use of universal jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes outside of the jurisdiction in which they were committed.

Nigerian High Court Sentenced 10 Pirates for the Hijack of Chinese Vessel

Friday, July 30, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 23, 2021, a Nigerian Federal High Court sentenced 10 Pirates for their involvement in hijacking a Chinese Vessel merchant vessel FV HAILUFENG II in 2020. The pirates each received a 12-year prison sentence and a N250,000 fine on each count.[1]



[1] Nigerian court sentences 10 men to prison for 2020 Chinese ship hijacking, Reuters, July 23, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/nigerian-court-sentences-10-men-prison-2020-chinese-ship-hijacking-2021-07-23/.

 

Charges against Professionals Illustrate the Shifting Legal Landscape for Professional Enablers

Thursday, July 29, 2021
Author: 
Austin Max Scherer
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

Two recent cases show efforts of tax authorities to hold professional enablers accountable.  The first concerns the Danish tax authority’s civil fraud charges against U.S. lawyer Michael Ben-Jacob.  The second involves the German government’s criminal tax fraud charges against Hanno Berger. Over the last decade, the world has witnessed increasingly sophisticated financial crimes occurring across borders.  Due to these crimes, the public interest on these issues has grown; this is due to the large coverage given to these financial crimes like the Panama Papers.  The small segment of professionals that generate opportunities to facilitate the commission and/or concealment of such crimes undermine not only the rule of law, but their own profession, public confidence in the legal and financial system, as well as the level playing field between compliant and non-compliant taxpayers.[1]  This article will explain the role of professional enablers, highlight an example of the professional enabler in practice, and raise strategies to deter future professional enablers. 

 



[1] Ending the Shell Game: Cracking down on the Professionals who enable Tax and White Collar Crimes, OECD, https://www.oecd.org/tax/crime/ending-the-shell-game-cracking-down-on-the-professionals-who-enable-tax-and-white-collar-crime.pdf, Feb. 25, 2021 (last visited Jul. 26, 2021).

 

U.S. Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictment against 9 Chinese Persons for Illegally Exercising Law Enforcement Activities

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York announced the filing by a federal grand jury of a superseding indictment charging nine defendants with acting and conspiring to act in the United States as illegal agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) without prior notification to the Attorney General, and participating and conspiring to participate in interstate and international stalking.  The indictment charged two of the nine defendants also with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.[1]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Nine Individuals Charged in Superseding Indictment with Conspiring to Act as Illegal Agents of the People’s Republic of China, Press Rel. 21-683, July 22, 2021; United States v. Hi Ju, U.S. District Court E.D.N.Y.,  Cr. No. 21-CR-265 (PKC)(S-1), Superseding Indictment, July 22, 2021.

 

EU Commission Proposes Major Revisions for Countering Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 20, 2021, the European Commission presented a significant set of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules.  The proposal will establish a new EU authority to combat money laundering.  The proposals aim to improve the detection of suspicious transactions and activities, and to eliminate the loopholes that criminals use to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities through the financial system. 

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