We at the IELR send you the best wishes for a new year. 2022 was momentous for the international enforcement community, and we are grateful to have had you following along with our coverage during our 38th year of discussing international enforcement developments.
We are grateful for the continuing long partnership with Professor Michael Plachta and for contributions from practitioners and professors, including Kateryna Boguslavska, Dr. Ted Bromund, Frederick T. Davis, Uttam Dhillon, Luz E. Nagle, Dennis Boyle, Konstantinos Magliveras, Gino Naldi, Kayla de Alto, and Linda Friedman Ramirez, and Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith. Marwah Adhoob finished her tenure as assistant editor in January. Alexander Mostaghimi has capably served as assistant editor and has already been offered admission into law school. Other Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP interns, John Kennamer, Mirrah Papovsky, and Kenneth Boggess, as well as legal assistants, such as Savannah Telfer, Sara Kaufman, Narisa Chowdhury contributed articles.
The following is a highlight of only some of the articles we covered.
Crimes against humanity and international human rights abuses had several articles. Kaufman discussed the allowance of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to run for the Libyan presidency despite a war crimes conviction. Mostaghimi covered the issuance of U.S. sanctions against Bangladesh’s paramilitary force for human rights abuses. Zagaris discussed the Bosnian Appeals Chamber affirmance of a conviction of a Serb ex-policeman’s crime against humanity. Mostaghimi covered Gambia’s efforts to prosecute former President Jammeh for crimes against humanity. DeAlto covered the arrest of a Serbian man in Budapest for crimes charged by the Kosovo Special Prosecution. Mostaghimi covered a prosecution by a German court of a German ISIS returnee for abusing a Yazdi woman in Syria as well as the Swedish court’s conviction of an Iranian under universal jurisdiction..
Concerning Genocide and War Crimes, Naldi and Magliveras covered the ICJ’s dismissal of objections to its jurisdiction in the Rohingya genocide case. Plachta discusses a special court in Colombia’s conviction of 22 perpetrators for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
With respect to international human rights enforcement, Plachta discussed the Council of Europe’s resolution concerning the poisoning of Alexi Navalny. Mostaghimi covered the State Department release of 2021 country reports on human rights practices. Plachta discussed the Council of Europe’s termination of membership of Russia. Mostaghimi discussed the OAS’s suspension of Russia as a permanent observer. A story by Zagaris discussed the issuance by President Biden of an executive order to deter wrong detention of Americans abroad. Plachta wrote about a report by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, alleging crimes against humanity by China against the Uyghurs. Mostaghimi discussed an OCCRP report showing Rwanda lying to U.S. law enforcement and abusing Interpol Red Notices. Zagaris wrote about a report of Global Financial Integrity on PRC and transnational crime as well as U.S. charges against 13 persons in 3 cases for participating in malign schemes in the U.S. on behalf of the PRC.
International tax enforcement was prominent. B. Zagaris wrote about the proposal by the European Commission to end abuse of shell entities for tax and criminal purposes in the EU. Zagaris discussed the English Appellate Court’s decision in favor of the Danish tax authority in a cum-ex dividend case. Zagaris covered the OECD announcement of a public consultation on tax transparency for crypto-assets. Efforts by DOJ to enforce an IRS John Doe summons against the U.S. firm helping U.S. persons establish foreign financial accounts was discussed by Zagaris. An article by Zagaris discussed the decision of the CJEU that DAC6 intermediary reporting rules violate the legal professional privilege. Zagaris covered a webinar and book of the StAR and World Bank on Taxing Crime: A Whole of Government Approach to Fighting Corruption, Money Laundering, and Tax Crime.
International securities enforcement continue to receive attention. B. Zagaris covered the guilty plea of NatWest Markets Plc to spoofing on the U.S. markets. Zagaris discussed the issuance by IOSCO of good practices on the use of global supervisory colleges in securities markets. The Allianz Global Investors US guilty plea to securities fraud was discussed by Zagaris.
Transnational corruption, transparency and international asset forfeiture loomed large in coverage. Zagaris discussed the first ever U.S. strategy on countering corruption issued by the White House. Zagaris covered the U.S. placement of the former Honduras President on the list of corrupt officials. Zagaris covered the recovery of over $11 billion of stolen/embezzled assets by the Angolan government and the U.S. sanctioning of 3 Angolans for corruption. Davis discussed the end of U.S. v. Hoskins and the potential end of an era (referring to extraterritorial U.S. jurisdiction). Zagaris wrote articles about DOJ’s lawsuit against Steven Wynn for not registering as an agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and the court’s dismissal of the suit. An article by Zagaris discussed the Brazilian Airline GOL agreeing to a DPA in a joint settlement with the U.S. and Brazil over bribery charges. Plachta discussed the announcement by the European Parliament of major reforms amid the Qatar corruption scandal. Zagaris covered the issuance of an Interpol Red Notice against Isabel dos Santos.
Human trafficking remained important. Boggess covered the extradition by Kenya of a Dutch citizen to the Netherlands to face migrant smuggling charges. Mostaghimi discussed Operation Storm Makers coordinated with Interpol, triggering 121 arrests of persons for migrant smuggling and human trafficking. An article by Telfer discussed the guilty plea by Dominican drug lord “El Abusador” to trafficking multi-tons of cocaine into the U.S.
On Counterterrorism and International Human Rights, Mostaghimi wrote about the former Kansas school teacher facing prosecution in U.S. courts for supporting ISIS. Plachta discussed the EU’s controversial proposal for Egypt as the joint president of the global counter-terrorism forum. Plachta discussed the European Commission’s report on the 2017 EU terrorism directive. Zagaris covered the guilty plea by Lafarge in the U.S. to giving material support to foreign terrorist organizations. Plachta wrote about Australia and the Netherlands taking action against Russia in the MH17 case before the ICAO as well as the judgment of the District Court in the Hague, convicting three for the 2014 downing of MH17 over Ukraine. A story by Mostaghimi discussed ICAO’s release of a fact-finding report on Ryanair Flight 4978 that was diverted by a bomb threat to land in Minsk.
Cybercrime was on the rise. Mostaghimi covered the GAO’s release of recommendations to combat human and drug trafficking in cryptocurrency markets. Zagaris covered the seizure by the U.S. and Europol of one of the world’s largest hacker forums and arrest of the administrator. Mostaghimi discussed DOJ’s unsealing an indictment against four Russian malware hackers. Zagaris discussed Russia’s arrest of 14 alleged members of the REvil ransomware gang as Ukraine experienced hacks and malware. Zagaris reported on the OAS REMJA Working Group recommendations on cybercrime.
Concerning Child Sexual Exploitation, Plachta covered the EU’s issuance of operational actional plan 2022 on child sexual exploitation.
On the Recovery and Return of Stolen Cultural Property, Zagaris reported that a collector of Cambodian antiquities decided to relinquish them in a forfeiture action. He also discussed the U.S. repatriation of 200 stolen antiquities to Italy. Mostaghimi covered the Smithsonian Institute’s plans to return Benin bronzes to Nigeria.
On International Environmental Enforcement and Illicit Financial Flows, Zagaris discussed a S. African study on illicit financial flows associated with international wildlife trafficking. He also discussed a report recommending the UK close gaps in illegal wildlife trade and illicit finance. Zagaris covered the U.S. suspension and then lifting of a ban on avocados and Mexican fishing boats from the U.S. under the environmental chapter of the USMCA. A story by Zagaris discussed Colombia’s arrest 3 persons on a U.S. extradition warrant for wildlife trafficking.
Zagaris discussed under International Intellectual Property Enforcement and the DOJ China Initiative, that Harvard Professor Lieber was convicted of false statements and tax offenses for his China links. Zagaris also discussed the U.S. indictment charging a PRC-based telecom company with conspiracy to steal technology from Motorola. Zagaris reported on the U.S. Justice Department’s end of its China Initiative.
Concerning Conflict Minerals, Mostaghimi wrote about the new Swiss ordinance on child labor and conflict mining in the Supply chain.
With respect to Transnational Organized Crime (TOC), Fraud, and International Sports, Plachta discussed the adoption by the European Parliament of two resolutions on various aspects of transnational organized crime. Zagaris discussed President Biden’s executive order creating a U.S. Council on Transnational Organized Crime. A story by Zagaris discussed how a bloodhound snagged Caro Quintero, wanted by the U.S. for the 1985 murder of a DEA agent. Mostaghimi and Boyle covered the initial appearance of former Honduran President Hernandez on TOC and narcotics conspiracy charges.
On Money Laundering, Zagaris discussed the IBA’s issuance of a report on the legal professional privilege, highlighting a growing controversy about its potential abuse. Mostaghimi covered the U.S. Treasury Department’s new study on money laundering and terrorist financing in the art world. Zagaris discussed the FATF plenary’s agreement to revise beneficial ownership rules and issuance of guidance for real estate. Plachta report on Swiss secrets: Credit Suisse’s massive leak reveals accounts held by politicians, criminals and suspects. Zagaris discussed the UK enactment of a law establishing a register of overseas entities to combat laundering. Kennamer discussed the Global Witness report showing laundering of conflict minerals. A story by Zagaris discussed the Cape Verdean Central Bank’s order of administrative liquidation of the offshore bank owned by Angolan Isabel dos Santos. Boguslavska covered the 11th Basel AML Index, providing a snapshot of money laundering trends and concerns. An article by Zagaris covered the U.S. Treasury’s final rule on reporting beneficial ownership information. Zagaris discussed the CJEU decision that the beneficial ownership registry information violates EU privacy obligations as well as the suit by the National Small Business Association against U.S. Treasury, challenging the Corporate Transparency Act.
With respect to Economic Sanctions, Magliveras discussed the regulation of autonomous sanctions in Australia. Nagle discussed Russian oligarchs using Colombian bank accounts to avoid sanctions. Zagaris reported on the Justice Department’s start of a task force to enforce sanctions against Russian oligarchs and the first indictment for violations of those sanctions as well as on Fiji’s seizure of a $300m yacht of a sanctioned Russian oligarch and Italy’s seizure of a$700m yacht linked to Putin..
Concerning Maritime and Aircraft Piracy, Mostaghimi reported on the UN commending Nigeria for prosecuting piracy. Zagaris discussed the indictment in New York, charging Belarusian government officials with aircraft piracy. Plachta discussed the submission of reports by the UN Secretary-General on piracy and armed robbery at sea.
There were multiple articles on Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine. Plachta discussed the ICJ indication of provisional measures against Russia in the context of military aggression against Ukraine. Plachta discussed efforts to create special tribunals for the aggression committed by Russia against Ukraine. An article by Papovsky discusses the draft law for a Ukrainian High War Crimes Court. Plachta covered the ECtHR’s adoption of Ukraine’s request for interim measures against Russia. Plachta discussed the OSCE report finding crimes committed by the Russian military during its aggression against Ukraine. An article by Plachta discusses the report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, finding an arrest of war crimes. Plachta discussed the report by the UN Human Rights Office, finding war crimes of willful killing of civilians by the Russian forces in Ukraine. An article by Mostaghimi discusses the selection of the Georgetown Law Center for National Security to head a War Crimes Advisory Group. An article by Plachta discussed the designation by the EU Parliament of Russia as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”.
With respect to International Narcotics Enforcement Mostaghimi reported on the arrest of 45 persons in a large scale cocaine bust in Belgium and Spain. Plachta discussed the issuance by Europol and the DEA of a joint report on the connection between the Mexican cartels and the EU market.
On Transfer of Criminal Proceedings, Mostaghimi discussed the transfer of the trial on the Khashoggi assassination from Turkey to Saudi Arabia.
Extradition saw many articles. Zagaris and Mostaghimi wrote articles about the efforts of the U.S. to charge and obtain custody over persons involved in the assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moise on July 7, 2021. Zagaris wrote multiple articles on decisions by U.K. courts on the U.S. efforts to extradite Julian Assange. An article by Ramirez discusses a French national arrested in Morocco arguing against extradition to the U.S. Zagaris wrote a couple of articles about Honduras’ extradition of its former president Juan Orlando Hernandez to the U.S. on charges of participating in a “violent drug-trafficking conspiracy”. Mostaghimi discussed the Mozambique challenge to the ruling to extradite its former finance minister to the U.S. An article by Zagaris covers the decision by the ECtHR blocking extradition to China. Ramirez discussed a Russian national extradited to the U.S. from Greece in an alleged crypto money laundering case while the French counsel seeks clients to be included in a prisoner swap. An article by Zagaris discussed the Privy Council upholding the extradition of the ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner from Trinidad & Tobago to the U.S.
On International Intelligence Sharing, Evidence Gathering, and Data Privacy, Zagaris reported on the European Data Protection Supervisor’s orders to Europol to change data processing. A story by Plachta discussed the establishment by the EU and U.S. of an “informal export group” on MLA and extradition. Zagaris discussed a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals that foreign governments can use letters rogatory or MLAT requests in gathering evidence in Nigeria for a U.S. criminal case.
With respect to Illegal Firearms Trafficking, Zagaris wrote articles about a U.S. court in Arkansas sentencing a man for trafficking firearm parts to Mexican cartels. An article by Zagaris discussed the dismissal of the Mexican government’s lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers in the U.S. Court in Massachusetts and a new suit filed by Mexico in the U.S. District Court in Arizona against gun distributors.
Concerning Interpol Accountability, Uttam Dhillon and Dr. Ted R. Bromund discussed the FY 2022 NDAA provisions on transnational repression accountability and prevention provision on Interpol abuse.
On Bilateral Enforcement Cooperation, Zagaris covered U.S. and Canada law enforcement meeting to reestablish the cross-border crime forum.
Concerning the International Criminal Court, Mostaghimi covered the Central African Republic’s alleged war criminal facing an initial hearing at the ICC. Chowdhury covered the ICC Prosecutor’s visit to Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh concerning the investigation of crimes committed against the refugees from Myanmar.
With respect to Jurisdiction, Immunities, International Organizations, and Diplomatic Immunities, Davis covered the Fifth Circuit’s consideration of arguments on the dismissal “for lack of jurisdiction” of an indictment against two European citizens. Kennamer discussed the U.S. appellate court’s decision upholding Interpol immunity on a suit for potential Red Notice abuse. Mostaghimi covered a German diplomat’s flight from Brazil one day before his indictment for murder.
On Comparative prison Law and Prisoner Transfer Agreements, Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith discussed a conference on penal reform, highlighting harsh prison realities in the Caribbean. Zagaris discussed Belgian ratification of a prisoner transfer treaty with Iran despite widespread criticism.
Concerning Migration Enforcement, Telfer discussed an agreement by the Unitary Platform and Maduro government in Venezuela to request the release of billions of frozen Venezuelan funds for humanitarian relief as refugee migration from Venezuela reaches new records.