“FBI, Interpol Host Critical Infrastructure Symposium”

July 8, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 8, 2014 released the following:

Director Comey Addresses the Importance of Partnerships

07/08/14

FBI Director James Comey was in Miami yesterday, where he spoke at the opening of the four-day International Law Enforcement Critical Infrastructure Symposium. The event, co-hosted by the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate and Interpol, has drawn senior law enforcement officials from more than 90 countries to explore and share best practices for managing WMD and counterterrorism threats targeted against critical infrastructure and to identify common approaches to protect infrastructure and key resources.

Also participating in the symposium are domestic first responders, corporate security officers, and other U.S. federal partners.

“Today, critical infrastructure is all encompassing,” said Director Comey. “It is everything to our country and our world—our dams, our bridges, our highways, our networks,” he added, explaining that the threats we face to our interconnected systems—such as bioterrorism, agroterrorism, and sabotage—are as diverse as our infrastructure itself.

Comey cited examples of threats to infrastructure, to include the armed assault last April on a California power station, the 2008 attack in Mumbai in which gunmen opened fire at a number of locations, and last year’s deadly shootings at a Kenyan shopping mall. He also noted the ninth anniversary of the July 7, 2013 strikes by terrorists who bombed the London Underground and a double-decker bus in a series of coordinated suicide attacks.

“We know these threats are real,” Comey told the audience. “We must together figure out ways to protect our infrastructure, to work together to strengthen our response to a terrorist attack, a tragic accident, or a natural disaster.”

While touching on topics ranging from terrorism, cyber, and WMD threats to training, partnerships, and intelligence, Comey’s theme throughout underscored the importance of open communication and information sharing with our partners in the U.S. and abroad.

Interpol, as an international police organization, is an important partner on which the Bureau relies heavily to help combat threats of all types. The FBI, through its liaison with Interpol, is able to leverage 190 member countries to address challenges around the globe—a very important ability in a constantly evolving global threat environment.

Comey also highlighted the work of our WMD Directorate, each FBI field office’s WMD coordinator, and our two regional WMD assistant legal attachés in Tbilisi and Singapore. “They integrate our counterterrorism, intelligence, counterintelligence, scientific, and technological components and provide timely analysis of the threat and response,” Comey said. “The goal is to shrink the world to respond to the threat.”

The symposium provides the opportunity for participants to help work toward that goal. Through networking and discussions on how to coordinate and cooperate on critical infrastructure preparedness and protection efforts, attendees will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones. By rallying the international community around defeating a common threat, our collective chances of success increase.

Director Comey said that our greatest weapon in this fight is unity, which is developed through intelligence sharing and interagency cooperation. “It is built on the idea that standing together, we are smarter and stronger than when we are standing alone,” he said. “Because no one person—no FBI agent, no police officer, no agency, and no country—can prevent or respond to an attack on critical infrastructure alone.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


The FBI with INTERPOL’s help are Investigating an Alleged Fraudulent Scheme

January 16, 2012

Belfast Telegraph on January 16, 2012 released the following:

“Forged Irish passport linked to gold scam in Africa

By Ralph Riegel and Tom Brady

A forged Irish passport is at the centre of a €100m gold scam in West Africa being investigated by the FBI and Interpol.

The passport — in the name of a John Recketts — was used in an elaborate ruse to dupe US investors out of millions of dollars in a fraud which ran for almost 12 months.

The scam is believed to have been masterminded in Lagos, Nigeria, by a Nigerian gang, but the passport was forged from data obtained in Dublin.

The number on the passport was the same as that of a valid travel document of an elderly woman resident in Dublin, but all other details were professionally forged.

The elderly woman is understood to have been unaware of the fact her passport details had been stolen.

The scam revolved around US investors being able to purchase unprocessed gold directly from a mine in west Africa.

The gold was in mined form but the investors were told they could purchase it without any fees, charges or taxes being applied to it.

The sum involved was more than €10m, but the investors stood to make up to €100m if the gold was successfully transported to Europe or the Middle East and processed.

The US investors, all industrialists, had invested ?3m in setting up the export and security operation. But the scam was discovered when an Irish security team was hired to escort the gold out of Africa last autumn on their behalf.

The security team became suspicious when it was unable to make direct contact with the shipment organiser — John Recketts — despite spending more than three months in West Africa.

When the group reported their suspicions to the US investors, the businessmen immediately withdrew and abandoned the Irish team in West Africa.

Members of the security team — one of whom confirmed the details to the Irish Independent — only arrived back in Ireland last month having had to fund their own trip home.

“We were cut loose — the minute they (the investors) realised what was going on they walked away. We had to pay all our own expenses and even our flights home,” he said.

The Irish team, which has done extensive contract security work in Europe and the Middle East, had been in West Africa from August to early December.

The US investors have now complained to the FBI about the fraud. No John Recketts exists — and corporate addresses supplied to the investors for firms in Benin, London, Burkina Faso and Togo are also fake.

Last night, the Republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “We don’t publicly comment on individual investigations of fraud or related matters.”

However, it is understood the Irish government has not yet been formally contacted by either the FBI or Interpol.

It is not the first time forged Irish passports have been used as part of international criminal activity.

Last year, a Russian diplomat was expelled from Dublin after a garda investigation found its intelligence service was behind the forgery of six Irish passports.

The details from six genuine Irish passports were used on fake documents supplied to a Russian spy ring based in the United States.

The agents had worked undercover in the US for a decade before being caught in an FBI operation involving intercepted phone calls in June 2010.

And in early 2010 an Israeli diplomat was expelled in retaliation for abuses of Irish passports by its agents.

It followed revelations that forged passports had been used by Israelis, who were alleged to have murdered Hamas activist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel in Dubai.

In both the Russian and Israeli cases, the passports were those produced before the introduction of new design and security standards in 2005.

The new biometric passport is regarded as one of the best in the world and includes a more secure personal details page.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Judge considers extradition of woman accused of Bosnian war crimes

November 8, 2011

Kentucky.com on November 8, 2011 released the following:

“By Jennifer Hewlett

For three hours Monday, a federal judge in Lexington heard testimony on whether a Croatian-born woman accused of murdering and torturing civilians during the Bosnian civil war in the 1990s should be extradited from Kentucky to face charges in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Azra Basic, 52, a former Croatian soldier, is accused of murdering and torturing ethnic Serbians at prison camps from April to June 1992. She’d lived in Kentucky for several years when she was taken into custody in March by federal authorities.

Patrick Nash, Basic’s attorney, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier that Basic was in two Croatian army brigades, but not the two brigades that authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina cite in documents. Basic, Nash said, did not serve in a military police unit or as a guard or commander of a prison camp.

Nash said that a prisoner Basic is alleged to have fatally stabbed in the neck, Blagoje Djuras, is clearly identified as a soldier and not a civilian in documents supplied to the U.S. government. And Nash said there were indications that at least some alleged witnesses to atrocities alleged to have been committed by Basic were also soldiers and not civilians.

Nash also said there were two Azras that overseas witnesses in the case talk about.

The “great big hole” in the case is how witnesses get from the Azra who did these things to the Azra in the U.S., Nash said. He questioned the validity of a six-photo lineup in which Basic was the only non-Serbian.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Arehart said several people positively identified Basic as the person being sought from the photos. He said he didn’t think there is any evidence contradicting assertions that the witnesses were civilians at the time of the alleged crimes.

“I think Mr. Nash makes a good argument for acquittal beyond a reasonable doubt,” Arehart said. But he added that that was not at issue in an extradition hearing.

The attorneys also argued Monday over whether a required warrant for Basic’s arrest had been produced. Nash said a warrant has never been produced, while government attorneys maintained that a notice issued by Interpol after that agency received a letter from a Bosnian prosecutor is the warrant.

More than 100,000 people were killed in the war that followed the collapse of Yugoslovia. Muslim Bosnians, Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs were pitted against one another in the war.

Nash said records show that Basic’s father was a Muslim and her mother was a Croatian Catholic, and that Basic had citizenship in both Croatia and Bosnia. Basic and her then-husband entered the United States as refugees in 1994, Nash said.

“In 2007, she became a U.S. citizen, right here in this courthouse,” he said.

Three people testified at Monday’s extradition hearing, including Karen Mingst, a University of Kentucky professor, who discussed the history of the former Yugoslovia and the cultural differences there. Also testifying were Lucille Loman of Stanton, with whom Basic was living when she was taken in by federal marshals, and Edith Fultz of Cynthiana, Loman’s sister-in-law, who also had come to know Basic. Nash indicated that he called the latter two witnesses to show that Basic was not trying to hide from anyone or hide her past while living in Kentucky.

Loman said she first met Basic about eight or nine years ago, when she and Basic worked together at Tanbark Health Care Center in Lexington. Basic was a nurse’s aide; Loman was a private sitter. At the time, Basic lived in an apartment in Jessamine County, she said.

Loman said people knew Basic by the names “Isabelle” and “Azra.” Some people called Basic “Easy” because they could not pronounce Azra, she said.

“She just became one of our family,” Loman said. “She don’t have no family, you know. I wanted her to live with us because she didn’t have no family in the United States.”

Loman said Basic lived with her and her family in Lexington for about a year, paying her share of the bills. When Loman’s family decided to move to Powell County, she invited Basic to move there with them, and she did, Loman said. Basic worked at a nursing home in Stanton for a time. She was working at a Nestle’s food plant in Mount Sterling at the time of her arrest.

Loman said Basic told her “some” about her military service. Basic told her she became sick to her stomach when she killed a man while in the military, she said.

“It was her or him to be killed,” Loman said.

Basic also told Loman she had been taken prisoner by Serbs, and was beaten and raped by Serbs, Loman said.

Wier gave attorneys about two weeks to file post-hearing briefs and said he would rule on the extradition issue as soon as possible.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Bosnia and Herzegovina here.

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Alleged Iran plot may have violated UN treaty

October 13, 2011

The Jerusalem Post on October 13, 2011 released the following:

“By REUTERS

Treaty forbids attacking diplomats; US, Saudi Arabia can bring case before Security Council, International Criminal Court, Interpol.

An alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States may have violated a UN treaty protecting diplomats and could escalate the crisis to an international court.

US authorities have arrested Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar for the alleged plot and accused a second Iranian man, Gholam Shakuri, who is believed to be at large in Iran and a member of the country’s elite Quds Force.

If they were involved in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, that would likely violate the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons.

The treaty, which Iran signed in 1978, would require Tehran to consider prosecuting Shakuri in its court system or extradite him to a requesting country, potentially the United States or Saudi Arabia, both longtime foes.

An important sticking point to any prosecution or extradition is that Iran has fiercely denied the allegations and is unlikely to turn Shakuri over to any country.

“This is one of those areas where there’s not really too much fuzziness. It’s very clear that these kind of people (diplomats), these kind of officials, they’re immune from attack,” said David Kaye, executive director of the UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Law Program.

Jubeir was named Saudi ambassador to the United States in early 2007 after serving in the embassy in Washington. He is considered a close adviser to Saudi King Abdullah, a key US ally in the volatile and oil-rich Middle East region.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a point on Wednesday of noting that Iran had agreed to the UN treaty.

“This kind of reckless act undermines international norms and the international system. Iran must be held accountable for its actions,” she said.

Two options

The United States has two options if Iran officially rejects the case, including pursuing action at the UN Security Council. That was done when Libya refused to hand over two men accused of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The United States or Saudi Arabia could bring it to the United Nations and argue that “these are very obvious violations and for the Security Council to do nothing in light of this major attempted violation cheapens the words” of the treaty, Kaye said.

Another option, if there is a dispute under the UN treaty for protected persons, is that one side can seek an arbitration and ultimately a ruling from the Court of International Justice, located in the Netherlands.

“Basically it’s asking the court to interpret whether the convention has in fact been violated,” said Sean Murphy, a professor at George Washington University Law School who has argued several cases before the court.

After lengthy legal wrangling in the Lockerbie case and an eventual thawing of relations between Washington and Tripoli, the suspects in that case were handed over to a Scottish court that was convened in the Netherlands.

The United States could also turn the matter over to Interpol, the global police organization, which could order an international arrest warrant for Shakuri, thus making it difficult for him to travel outside of Iran, the experts said.

The legal proceedings against Arbabsiar will proceed in US District Court in New York where he will appear on Oct. 25 for a preliminary hearing.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Fugitive David Britto may be out of reach of American authorities forever

September 9, 2011

Sun Sentinel on September 8, 2011 released the following:

“Fugitive cop who fled to Brazil likely to avoid extradition

By Megan O’Matz and Jerome Burdi, Sun Sentinel

BOYNTON BEACH— Fugitive David Britto may be out of reach of American authorities forever.

This city’s former Police Officer of the Year was under house arrest, awaiting trial on drug trafficking charges, when he cut the electronic monitoring bracelet from his ankle Aug. 24 and hopped on a plane in Miami, bound for his native country, Brazil, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Brazil’s constitution prohibits the extradition of Brazilian nationals.

“Basically he’s gone unless the Brazilian government, through political pressure, allows U.S. agents to pick him up,” said attorney David Rowe, an adjunct law professor at the University of Miami and an extradition expert.

Britto, 28, appears to have successfully gambled on a high-stakes escape, rather than risk facing years in prison. He is to stand trial beginning Tuesday.

The daring run, however, raises questions about how he pulled it off and who, if anyone, helped him.

On Thursday, the U.S. Marshals Service, which is spearheading the hunt for Britto, said federal agents are looking at every possible way of getting Britto back to Miami, where he faces one count of conspiring to possess and traffic 500 grams of methamphetamine.

“We’re still pursuing him,” Marshals Service spokesman Barry Golden said. “He’s one of the big cases that are on the top of our list … We’re still tracking down every lead. We’re trying to get him back into custody at all costs.”

Attempts to get Britto back are sure to be challenging, if not downright impossible.

A 1964 treaty between the United States and Brazil allows for the extradition of anyone accused or convicted of a crime carrying a sentence of a year or more.

But in 1988, Brazil amended its constitution, expressly stating that “no Brazilian shall be extradited.”

People born elsewhere who become Brazilian citizens, however, can be handed over if they’re charged with certain drug-related crimes. Foreigners who find safe harbor in Brazil and are accused of political crimes elsewhere are not extradited.

The strict policy has strained Brazil’s diplomatic relations.

Earlier this summer Italy denounced Brazil for refusing to turn over political refugee Cesare Battisti, a former Italian militant, convicted in absentia of killing four people in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s refusal to extradite an Ohio woman, Claudia Hoerig, charged in the 2007 murder of her husband, has outraged an Ohio congressman.

U.S. Rep. Timothy Ryan, a Democrat, introduced legislation in June to withhold $14 million a year in aid to Brazil until it reverses its ban on extraditing nationals. The bill is in a House committee.

Ryan has gone so far as to post an ever-changing clock on his website, showing the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds that Hoerig “has escaped justice.” On Thursday, it registered 1,641 days.

“It’s been a nightmare experience on our end up here,” Trumbull County, Ohio, Prosecuting Attorney Dennis Wilkins said of efforts to extradite Hoerig. “I’ve dealt with President [George W.] Bush, Condoleezza Rice, the attorney general and now with [President Barack] Obama and Hillary Clinton, and we’ve not gotten satisfactory action.”

In Florida, the tamper alert on Britto’s ankle bracelet went off the night of Aug. 24, notifying a federal probation officer, according to court records. But U.S. Marshals were not told until the next morning. Only then was a warrant was issued for his arrest, authorities said.

That gave Britto a window of time to escape.

“You cannot respond the next morning. That’s a major security breach,” said Rowe, the University of Miami law professor.

Court documents say Britto, who speaks Portuguese, boarded a plane Aug. 24 in Miami bound for Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

It is unclear what documentation he used to board the international flight.

As a standard condition of bond, Britto had to relinquish “all passports and travel documents” to the Pretrial Services Office.

“Mr. Britto’s Brazilian passport was revoked as a standard condition of release by the court,” said Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington.

Britto was free on a $100,000 bond. He and his mother signed for half the bond and the other half was guaranteed by bailbonds.com, a Miami company.

Britto may be able to live out his days in Brazil, but he likely is landlocked, said Douglas McNabb, whose Washington, D.C., firm specializes in international extradition law.

Federal authorities likely will file a lifetime “red notice” with Interpol’s 188 member countries that will trigger Britto’s arrest if he leaves Brazil.

“He may leave Brazil a month from now or 30 years from now and go to Costa Rica,” McNabb said. “And when he goes through customs, his red notice [shows up].”

That’s what happened to director Roman Polanski, who was arrested in 2009 in Switzerland after being wanted by the United States since 1978 on a statutory-rape conviction. He hid in France, avoiding extradition countries, until he was captured. Polanski was freed by Swiss authorities on a legal technicality the following year.

It’s unknown if someone helped Britto reach Brazil.

According to his website, http://www.blessedwarrior.com, he was born in Brazil and moved to Queens, N.Y., when he was 7.

He joined the Boynton Beach police in 2006.

The Police Department still has an open internal investigation into Britto’s escape, but he’s likely to be fired soon, police said Thursday.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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