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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 9, 1998


I am transmitting for immediate consideration and enactment the "International Crime Control Act of 1998" (ICCA). The ICCA is one of the foremost initiatives highlighted in my Administration's International Crime Control Strategy, which I announced on May 12, 1998. The proposed legislation would substantially improve the ability of U.S. law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute international criminals, seize their money and assets, intercept them at our borders, and prevent them from striking at our people and institutions.

Advances in technology, the resurgence of democracy, and the lowering of global political and economic barriers have brought increased freedom and higher living standards to countries around the world, including our own. However, these changes have also provided new opportunities for international criminals trafficking in drugs, firearms, weapons of mass destruction, and human beings, and engaging in fraud, theft, extortion, and terrorism.

In response to these formidable threats to the American people, I have directed the Departments of Justice, State, and the Treasury, as well as the Federal law enforcement and intelligence communities, to intensify their ongoing efforts to combat international crime. In order to carry out this mandate most effectively, the many departments and agencies involved need the additional tools in the proposed ICCA that will enhance Federal law enforcement authority in several key areas, close gaps in existing laws, and facilitate global cooperation against international crime.

The ICCA's provisions focus on seven essential areas to improve the Federal Government's ability to prevent, investigate, and punish international crimes and criminals:

     (1)  Investigating and Punishing Acts of Violence Committed
          Against Americans Abroad

           Broadens existing criminal law to authorize the
          investigation and punishment of organized crime
          groups who commit serious criminal acts against Americans
          abroad.  (Current law generally requires a link to
          terrorist activity.)

           Provides jurisdiction in the United States over violent
          acts committed abroad against State and local officials
          while in other countries on official Federal business.

     (2)  Strengthening U.S. Air, Land, and Sea Borders

           Increases penalties for smugglers who endanger Federal
          law enforcement officials seeking to interdict their
          activities, introducing the Federal criminal offense of
          "portrunning" (i.e., evading border inspections, often
          through the use of force).

           Addresses gaps in current law relating to maritime drug
          interdiction operations, introducing the criminal offense
          of failing to stop ("heave to") a vessel at the direction
          of a Coast Guard or other Federal law enforcement official
          seeking to board that vessel.

           Provides clear authority to search international,
          outbound letter-class mail if there is reasonable cause to
          suspect that the mail contains monetary instruments,
          drugs, weapons of mass destruction, or merchandise mailed
          in violation of several enumerated statutes (including
          obscenity and export control laws).

           Broadens the ability to prosecute criminals smuggling
          goods out of the United States.

     (3)  Denying Safe Haven to International Fugitives

           Authorizes the extradition, in certain circumstances, of
          suspected criminals to foreign nations in two separate
          cases not covered by a treaty:  (1) when the United States
          has an extradition treaty with the nation, but the
          applicable treaty is an outdated "list" treaty that does
          not cover the offense for which extradition is sought; and
          (2) when the United States does not have an extradition
          treaty with the requesting nation.

           Provides for exclusion from the United States of drug
          traffickers and their immediate family members and of
          persons who attempt to enter the United States in order to
          avoid prosecution in another country.

     (4)  Seizing and Forfeiting the Assets of International

           Expands the list of money laundering "predicate crimes"
          to include certain violent crimes, international
          terrorism, and bribery of public officials, thus
          increasing the availability of money laundering
          enforcement tools.

           Broadens the definition of "financial institution" to
          include foreign banks, thereby closing a loophole
          involving criminally derived funds laundered through
          foreign banks doing business here.

           Provides new tools to crack down on businesses illegally
          transmitting money, and to investigate money laundering
          under the Bank Secrecy Act.

           Toughens penalties for violations of the International
          Emergency Economic Powers Act.

           Criminalizes attempted violations of the Trading With the
          Enemy Act.

     (5)  Responding to Emerging International Crime Problems

           Enhances enforcement tools for combating arms
          trafficking, including requiring "instant checks" of the
          criminal history of those acquiring explosive materials
          from Federal licensees and clarifying Federal authority to
          conduct undercover transactions subject to the Arms Export
          Control Act for investigative purposes.

           Addresses the increasing problem of alien smuggling by
          authorizing the forfeiture of the proceeds and all
          instrumentalities of alien smuggling.

           Cracks down on the international shipment of "precursor
          chemicals" used to manufacture illicit drugs, primarily by
          authorizing the Drug Enforcement Administration to require
          additional "end-use" verification.

           Provides extraterritorial jurisdiction for fraud
          involving credit cards and other "access devices," which
          cost U.S. businesses hundreds of millions of dollars every

           Authorizes wiretapping for investigations of felony
          computer crime offenses.

     (6)  Promoting Global Cooperation

           Expands the authority of U.S. law enforcement agencies to
          share the seized assets of international criminals with
          foreign law enforcement agencies.

           Provides new authority, applicable in cases where there
          is no mutual legal assistance treaty provision, to
          transfer a person in United States Government custody to a
          requesting country temporarily for purposes of a criminal

     (7)  Streamlining the Investigation and Prosecution of
          International Crime in U.S. Courts

           Authorizes the Attorney General to use funds to defray
          translation, transportation, and other costs of State and
          local law enforcement agencies in cases involving
          fugitives or evidence overseas.

           Facilitates the admission into evidence in U.S. court
          proceedings of certain foreign government records.

The details of this proposal are described in the enclosed section-by-section analysis. I urge the prompt and favorable consideration of this legislative proposal by the Congress.


                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,  
                                   June 9, 1998.

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