THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
INTERNATIONAL CRIME CONTROL ACT OF 1996
"Nowhere is cooperation more vital than in fighting the increasingly interconnected groups that traffic in terror, organized crime, drug smuggling and the spread of weapons of mass destruction...These forces jeopardize the global trend toward peace and freedom, undermine fragile democracies, sap the strength from developing countries, threaten our efforts to build a safer, more prosperous world." President Clinton, United Nations General Assembly, October 22, 1995
In his speech to the United Nations last fall, President Clinton directed that a comprehensive piece of legislation be prepared to address the growing threat posed by international organized crime. The "International Crime Control Act of 1996" will respond to the President's directive. The International Crime Control Act of 1996 (ICCA) focuses on five essential areas to improve the U.S. government's ability to prevent, investigate and punish international criminal activity.
Law enforcement officials around the globe have witnessed an explosion in the volume and seriousness of international criminal activity. This dramatic increase can be traced to several factors. Advances in technology that have made international communications and travel commonplace have created unprecedented opportunities for international criminals. Second, the profound economic and political changes since the end of the Cold War, especially in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, have provided fertile new ground for international criminal syndicates. Third, criminal organizations have begun to cooperate across national boundaries - drug dealers with terrorists, fraud artists with money launderers, creating a nexus of evil that poses our next great national security evil. The International Crime Control Act of 1996 addresses this growing phenomena. It will enhance our government's efforts to go after violent international criminals -- including terrorists -- by rigorously investigating and prosecuting them, taking their money and depriving them of their ability to cross our borders and strike at our domestic institutions.
Expands the definition of "financial institution" to include foreign banks, closing a loophole by covering offenses involving criminally derived funds which involve foreign banks but occur at least in part in the United States. 3. PUNISHES ACTS OF VIOLENCE COMMITTED AGAINST US CITIZENS ABROAD Broadens U.S. criminal law to authorize the investigation and punishment of organized criminal groups who commit serious criminal acts against U.S. citizens abroad. Eliminates the statute of limitations for all federal criminal offenses committed outside the U.S. This change will ensure that international criminals are not shielded from prosecution due to delays in gathering evidence and other information from abroad. 4. RESPONDS TO EMERGING INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME PROBLEMS Responds to the increasing problem of alien smuggling by authorizing the forfeiture of the instrumentalities and proceeds of alien smuggling. Cracks down on the international shipment of "precursor chemicals," which are used to manufacture methamphetamine -- a drug that is emerging as a major threat in the United States. Provides extraterritorial jurisdiction for fraud involving ATM cards and other "access devices." U.S. financial institutions loose hundreds of millions of dollars every year to such international fraud schemes. Moreover, the money derived from such fraud schemes is used to finance drug trafficking and other international criminal activities. 5. FOSTERS MULTILATERAL COOPERATION AGAINST INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY Authorizes U.S. law enforcement agencies to more effectively share the seized assets of international criminals with foreign law enforcement agencies that participate in the investigation and prosecution. Provides new authority to train foreign law enforcement personnel, an essential component of U.S. efforts to improved cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies. Establishes a new fund to defray translation and other costs of state and local law enforcement agencies in cases involving fugitives or evidence overseas.
In addition, the ICCA would strengthen control over U.S.-international borders, streamline court rules to make it easier to introduce evidence collected overseas, and authorize international communications services to report suspicious money flows to law enforcement authorities.