Bureau for International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs
The end of the Cold War presents new opportunities for criminals. Transparent national borders, fewer trade restrictions, and truly global financial and telecommunications systems provide significant opportunities for criminal organizations to expand operations beyond national boundaries. The global reach of organized crime makes it more difficult for industrialized countries and emerging democracies to detect, investigate and prosecute criminals. Crime groups take advantage of emerging democracies who sometimes lack the resources, laws and skills to meet their challenge. Organized crime groups from the former Soviet Union, Asia and South-East Europe are forming partnerships among themselves as well as with the drug barons of Latin America. Their activities pose major challenges to U.S. national interests abroad and to the security of Americans at home.
In response to the threat posed by transnational organized crime, the Department of State expanded INL's mandate in 1994 to include programs that combat international crime and support our law enforcement interests overseas. The President announced in May 1998 the first U.S. International Crime Control Strategy, developed by INL and other concerned U.S. Government law enforcement agencies as a roadmap for a coordinated, effective, long-term attack on international crime.
The Department of State is actively engaged in working with other concerned governments through extradition treaties, mutual legal assistance agreements, information exchanges, law enforcement training and technical assistance to combat transnational crime. INL's global training and technical assistance programs address criminal activities including money laundering and related financial frauds, illegal trafficking in persons, vehicle and aircraft theft, small arms trafficking, tax fraud, public corruption, and intellectual property rights. INL concludes agreements with U.S. law enforcement agencies to carry out the anti-crime training and developmental programs.
A substantial portion of INL's anti-crime assistance program has been devoted to helping regions develop a system based on internationally recognized free market principles and the rule of law. The program seeks to develop partnerships to control organized crime and specific major crime problems negatively affecting the growth of free market and democracy; and assure that through international law enforcement cooperation, U.S. agencies succeed in rolling back international organized crime's move into the United States.
Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), U.S. Customs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Coast Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), are working with law enforcement officials and others through education, personnel exchanges, investigative cooperation and technical assistance activities to combat the activities of international organized criminal groups. The major components of this program include providing the tools and skills to executives, managers, and supervisors enabling them to discharge their responsibilities, specialized information concerning the skills and knowledge used by the FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies to combat organized crime, including its involvement in drug trafficking and financial crimes; and investigative training and forensics training and equipment.
Typical course within the international organized crime curriculum includes:
- Organized Crime
- White Collar Crime
- Nuclear Smuggling Conference
- Internal Investigations
- Post Blast Investigation Seminar
- International Auto Theft, etc.
Department of Treasury's Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Customs Service (USCS), U.S Secret Service (USSS), the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (FRB), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) are providing mutual assistance to federal agencies in Central Europe and the NIS through development of a regional training program keying in on financial investigative techniques, industry oversight measures, and criminal analysis methods based on U.S. and host country requirements especially in the areas of border controls, importation of firearms, counterfeiting, computer and telecommunications fraud, revenue and tax fraud, Central Branch Supervision, and export controls.
The major components of this program include providing expert guidance to:
Typical courses in the financial/economic crimes curriculum include:
- Prevent, detect, analyze and investigate civil and criminal abuse within the financial and commercial sectors;
- Enhance Customs and inland revenue administration, compliance, recordkeeping laws and regulation;
- Develop executives, investigators, and trainers; and
- Provide liaison and technical assistance programs relating to the investigation of financial crimes internationally.
- Central Bank Training Programs.
Intellectual Property Theft
- Financial Crime Seminar,
- Combating Economic Crime,
- Criminal Income Tax Investigation,
- International Financial Fraud Training program,
- Financial Institution Fraud.
INL has recently launched a new program dedicated to combating intellectual property theft worldwide, with the addition of a Special Advisor for Intellectual Property and a budget devoted to technical assistance in this area. INL assists countries in formulating effective and comprehensive enforcement regimes. This includes not only ensuring that each country's intellectual property (patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret) laws meet international standards, but also that an institutional structure and trained personnel are in place to implement these laws.
The goal of this program is to greatly reduce, if not one day eliminate, piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft worldwide in all mediums, ranging from traditional CD an video tape piracy to the Internet. To this end, INL works closely with other US agencies to create predictable legal and economic environments worldwide so that American business may prosper.
The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEAS)
On December 5, 1994 President Clinton, Hungarian President Goncz and Prime Minister Horn reached agreement that Hungary would host in Budapest a law enforcement training academy to train law enforcement officers from Central Europe and the New Independent States. The Department of State funded, Interagency Law Enforcement Academy offers two different programs: an 8-week core course and specialized short-term courses. The 8-week personal and professional development program focus on leadership, personnel and financial management issues, ethics, the rule of law and management of the investigative process. (Approximately 250-300 mid-level police officers and managers receive professional level training annually from various U.S. federal agencies and our Hungarian and Western European law enforcement partners). The short-term courses provide instructions for law enforcement officers on combating organized crime, financial crime, corruption, nuclear smuggling: illegal migration and prosecuting criminal cases. (Approximately 500 police, prosecutors, immigration specialists, and others participate annually in the specialized training programs.)
ILEA Southeast Asia opened in March 1999, in Bangkok, Thailand. The curriculum and structure of this Academy is similar to Budapest, except for the duration of the Core course (6 weeks) and an added emphasis in narcotics matters. Three specialized courses have been completed and the first redition of the Core course began early June 1999. Approximately 150 officials from 10 Southeast Asian nations have attended these courses.
ILEA Western Hemisphere offers a Core course similar to Bangkok's -- tailored to regional needs -- for officials from Central America and the Dominican Republic. Two pilot courses have been conducted in Panama at a temporary site. Sixty-four participants attended these courses. All activities of this Academy have been temporarily suspended, pending a review to determine its permanent location.
Plans are underway to establish an ILEA to serve the Southern Africa region. The overall format for this new Academy will be similar to the other three, adjusted to suit the needs of the region. The interagency group responsible for the ILEA's is currently in the process of identifying a host country in the region, capable and willing to share costs and responsibilities in the establishment and operation of an ILEA for Southern Africa.
Prosecutor Training and Resident Legal Advisors
INL supports the Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) to provide training for criminal justice officials in Central Europe and the NIS with the INL support, OPDAT also placed Resident Legal Advisors (RLAs) in Bosnia, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. The RLAs assist with prosecutor training and provide legal advice to legislators and executive branch officials responsible for criminal legislation and implementing regulations.
Community Oriented Policing
INL provided grant funding to state and local universities and non-governmental organizations to develop training for NIS and Central European criminal justice agencies in the areas of community policing. The University of Louisville, KY and the Southern Police Institute work with Romanian and Hungarian officials on policing with minority ethnic communities. Project Harmony of Vermont conducts training for law enforcement officials in Russia and Ukraine that features exchanges and home stays. Florida State University Criminology Department is working with the Czech Republic on developing continuing higher education programs for police and prosecutors. The University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are introducing the Moscow police leadership to American community oriented policing through a combination of classroom instruction and joint patrolling and case work with the South Carolina state police. FLETC is providing policy and program guidance for the state and local initiative.
INL programs increasingly have the global reach needed to meet the challenges posed by transnational criminals. The programs described above for the NIS and Central Europe are also being carried out globally. Moreover, the following special emphasis programs have been developed to address specific criminal activities.
Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Fraud
Within INL, the financial Crimes Group, in cooperation with a number of U.S. law enforcement and regulatory agencies, provides training on financial crimes, money laundering countermeasures and financial investigations to law enforcement, financial regulatory and prosecutorial officials around the globe. These courses are designed to give financial investigators, banks regulators and prosecute money laundering and financial crimes. INL has determined that the multiagency approach to training is often the effective. Thus, other federal agencies -- including the Department of Justice, FinCEN, U.S. Customs Service, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and others -- work with INL in developing courses, with INL funding. Basic and advanced training is given in all aspects of financial criminal activity. INL has designated funding for approximately 75 courses, covering 40 countries and jurisdictions, during the current fiscal year.
In addition, INL is active in conducting money laundering assessments of a sizable number of nations. These generally involve sending a multi-agency team to a nation to do three things: determine the types and extent of financial crimes present in the country in question, ascertain the extent of money laundering, and determine how the U.S. Government can assist the country to combat these crimes through training and technical assistance. During a typical assessment, the team meets with a wide range of foreign counterpart officials in the nation being assessed to discuss money laundering in general and obtain their views on possible training needs and, resources permitting, offer training opportunities to foreign governments if interest is expressed.
Regional Law Enforcement Training
INL is spearheading US government efforts to open an additional International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in the Americas and in Southern Africa, along the model of ILEA, Budapest. INL funded two regional law enforcement training programs in Africa, one for Francophone African countries and one for the Southern African Development Community. The regional programs provide exposure to various transnational crime problems and contemporary law enforcement and criminal justice remedies.
The U.S. Government recognizes the need to focus attention on the increasing number of territorial disputes, ethnic conflicts and civil wars and on the associated problems of proliferation, illicit trafficking and criminal misuse of small arms and light weapons. Effective action toward resolving small arms issues must blend security, humanitarian, cultural, law enforcement, intelligence, economic development, and arms control concerns. To address these issues and to prepare for completion of the firearms protocol to the UN Crime Convention, which we are striving to accomplish by the end of 1999. INL is chairing an Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Small Arms and Light Weapons. In addition to coordinating activities among U.S. Government agencies, the IWG meets regularly with concerned non-governmental organizations and with representatives of the firearms industry and firearms interest groups.
The U.S. is particularly concerned about the continuing violence in Africa's Great Lakes region, to which small arms trafficking has been a contributing factor. In recent months, Secretary Albright has spoken to the UN Security Council Ministerial on Africa and to the International Rescue Committee, proposing a series of measures to stem the flow of small arms into regions of conflict. One of these initiatives is the establishment of a regional small arms center or centers in Africa. The IWG is striving to implement the proposed measures and to develop and promote a inified US position on Small Arms. Initially, INL funds will be used to support small arms project through existing regional institutions such as the UN Africa Center for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) and the South Africa Regional Police Commissioners Coordinating Organization (SARPCCO).
Conferences and information exchanges continue in such multinational for a as the UN Crime Commission, the UN Disarmament Commission, and the Organization of American States. The U.S. is working closely with the Lyon group (law enforcement representatives of the G-8), the European Union, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, and the Wassenaar Agreement, and bilaterally with several countries (e.g. Canada, Norway) that share similar concerns about small arms and light weapons.
Alien Smuggling/Trafficking in Persons
INL is responsible for promoting international cooperation to halt illegal smuggling and trafficking in human lives. INL chairs the interagency group that responds to off-shore interdiction of alien smuggling vessels bound for the United States. INL funds Border and Immigration training in Central America, Central Europe, South East-Asia and NIS, and the U.S. Information Agency, and Harvard University of Minnesota to carry out public information and research activities.
INL is involved in initiatives to combat violence and trafficking in women and children such as negotiating a U.S. -- proposed United Nations protocol on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and developing the September 1999 United States-European Union conference in Austria to combat Internet child pornography. INL also funds anti-domestic violence and trafficking programs, and information campaigns to alert young women abroad to the dangers of trafficking in women. INL has the lead in negotiating two international interments regarding the smuggling migrants and trafficking in persons. These two instruments are attachments to a broader Organized Crime Convention which now under discussion in the Center for International Crime Prevention, United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. Both protocols call upon signatory countries to ciminalize the smuggling and trafficking of person, to share information, to assist each other in the prompt of their return of their citizens or nationals, and to improve their international travel documents. The trafficking protocol asks signatory states to take appropriate steps to prevent the trafficking of persons, especially women and children and to assist and protect the victims of this crime. This is the first time there will be international instruments covering these two subject.
Stolen Cars and Aircraft
Industry and law enforcement agencies estimate the value of vehicles and aircraft stolen in the U.S. and exported abroad at about $4 billion annually. INL works closely with the FBI, the U.S. Services, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau to curtail this costly criminal enterprise. INL funding supports programs to improve the capabilities of foreign law enforcement agencies to investigate illicit vehicle trafficking through training and technical assistance in the identification of stolen vehicles, recognition of fraudulent documents, and related techniques. Another INL-funded program provides foreign police agencies with more rapid access to U.S. law enforcement information about stolen U.S. vehicles. INL takes the lead in negotiating bilateral treaties to facilitate the repatriation of stolen and aircraft recovered abroad. A treaty with Mexico is in effect. Treaties have been signed with Belize, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic but not yet ratified. Negotiations are ongoing with Poland, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Panama, and have been initiated with Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
International and Multilateral Organizations
INL provides general support and project funding to the UN Crime Commission, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). These organizations promote international cooperation and public education on issues ranging from money laundering to public corruption.