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中国时间: 05:01 2016年12月09日星期五

何清涟: 独裁者的财富为何最后化为泡影?(2)


编者按:这是何清涟为美国之音撰写的评论文章。这篇特约评论不代表美国之音的观点。转载者请注明来自美国之音或者VOA。

在“独裁者的财富为何化为泡影(一)”里,我介绍了瑞士《独裁者资产法》的来龙去脉。本文将介绍英美等西方国家冻结中东北非等国独裁者资产的法律依据。

英美等西方国家在这一轮冻结独裁者资产的行动中,所依据的是联合国安理会第1970、1973号协议,这两项协议的合法性源自《联合国宪章》第41条“安理会为了维持国际和平与安全,可以采取武力以外的行动”,冻结独裁者资产当然属于武力之外的行动。今年2月26日通过的联合国安理会《第1970号决议》规定,所有会员国都应该毫不拖延地冻结决议附件所列的个人或者实体在其境内直接、间接拥有或控制的资金、金融资产和经济资源。而在联合国第1973号协议中,又对这些个人和实体进行了追加。以本轮被冻结财产最多的利比亚独裁者卡扎菲为例,除他本人之外,他的几位子女、对外安全局局长等和他关系密切的人都在名单之中。此外,利比亚中央银行、利比亚投资管理局、利比亚外国人银行、利比亚非洲投资局与利比亚国家投资公司等五家受卡扎菲及其家族控制的经济实体也包括在内。1973号决议承诺,这些被冻结的资产和收益都将用于利比亚人民的福祉。

其实联合国安理会曾有过多次冻结某国资产的决议。伊拉克、伊朗、索马里、苏丹、朝鲜等国家近20年内都曾经出现或者正列在名单上。而英美等国则都有冻结外国资产的法律,其中美国早在多年前就形成了冻结外国资产(含政府、机构与个人在内)的完整机制。这一点经常被中国官方媒体加以抨击,认为这一招成为“美国强行在全球推广自由民主价值观的工具”。

美国有个The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury(中文译名为“美国财政部海外资产控制办公室”,简称OFAC),直接隶属于美国总统战时和国家紧急情况委员会。该机构正式成立于1950年12月,其时,正值中国志愿军进入朝鲜半岛作战之际,美国总统杜鲁门宣布国家进入紧急状态并借助OFAC冻结了中国和朝鲜在美国的所有财产。当然这一机构并非横空出世,它的前身是美国于1940年纳粹德国入侵挪威后设立的the Office of Foreign Funds Control(简称为FFC,中文译名是“海外资金控制办公室”)。FFC由美国财政部长直接领导,在美国正式参加第二次世界大战以前,该机构在美国反对轴心国的经济和贸易制裁中起着相当重要的作用。

OFAC 的经济与贸易制裁范围共分成6大部分,分别是:Specially Designated Nationals Sanctions(特殊指定国家和个人的制裁),Anti-terrorism Sanctions(反恐怖主义制裁 ) , Non-Proliferation Sanctions(反大规模杀伤性武器制裁) ,Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions(反毒品和麻醉品交易制裁 ) ,Cuba Sanctions(古巴制裁) ,Other OFAC Sanctions Programmes(其他项目制裁)。每一个制裁范围都有完整严密的美国联邦法律或行政法规予以支持, OFAC获得授权,许可其对可疑财产予以扣押或 冻结。这6个独立但又相互联系的制裁范围组成了一个涉及行业众多、惩罚力度极强、跨越全球的美国经济和贸易制裁网络,影响力极强。

如何执行制裁?美国财政部海外资产控制办公室有一个《特列国外机构清单》,其法律效力适用于居住在美国和世界各地的所有美国公民、在美国拥有永久居住权的外国人和美国公司的海外机构。这个清单经常更新,美国金融机构接到新的清单后,必须将自己的客户名单和这份清单加以对照,一旦发现本机构客户榜上有名,就必须马上冻结其资产,并在10个工作日内向OFAC提交冻结报告,内容包括本机构如何与清单对照、采取的冻结行动、联系方式等等。根据涉嫌迫害人权、破坏民主制度等理由,迄今为止,OFAC规定,美国的企业和个人不得与下列国家的政府(或某些个人)有资金往来,这些国家(含某些个人被列名禁止与之往来的所属国家)包括北韩、古巴、白俄罗斯、缅甸、利比亚、伊拉克、伊朗、苏丹、索马里、津巴布韦、叙利亚、前利比利亚当局、刚果民主共和国、巴尔干国家、科特迪瓦、黎巴嫩。 该网站名单的最近更新日期是2011年3月31日。

这些被冻结的资产一般情况下有几个去向:一是解冻后还给事主。2004 年9月,美国总统布什宣布解冻被美国政府冻结了20年的10亿美元利比亚资产。利比亚资产被解冻的原因是卡扎菲政府于2003年宣布放弃大规模杀伤性武器计划,并答应支付27亿美元赔偿1988年的洛克比空难遇难者。美国政府为了以资鼓励,于是把10亿美元物归原主。

二是根据法律用于补偿那些受到过被冻结事方伤害者。美国法律规定,政府不得动用被冻结资产,但如果司法机构有相关判决,政府要执行。海湾战争前,美国冻结了伊拉克的大量资金。2002年,海 湾战争期间17名曾被伊军俘虏的美国老兵上诉成功,美国法院判决动用被美方冻结的伊拉克资产赔偿他们9亿多美元。

三是继续封存。有些国家、政府和个人被冻结的资产长久处于被冻结状态,比如美国冻结的古巴政府的资产已长达几十年,其间历经9位美国总统,直到如今这笔钱还未解冻。

直到目前为止,独裁者贪污腐败化公为私掠夺来的财产,还不是OFAC的工作重点。但联合国毒品和犯罪问题办公室和世界银行为了帮助发展中国家追回被腐败的领导人和官员所窃取的国家资产,曾于2007年联合发起《追回被窃资产倡议:挑战、机会和行动计划》,促使了瑞士《独裁者资产法》在2010年出台并生效,当然也会促使美国OFAC调整工作重点。这一结合美国的国家安全和外交政策而发布的制裁名单《特列国外机构清单》,使许多可能被列名者感到威胁。

最后一个问题是:既然美国这么早就形成了冻结外国政府、机构或者个人资产的法律,这些国家的独裁者与恐怖分子为什么还要前赴后继地选择美国银行作为藏金之地?比如卡扎菲就是被冻结之后还继续藏金美国的人之一。除了美国拥有世界上最好的金融体系以及与世界各国最多的经济来往之外,剩下的理由就只能由这些被冻结资产者来回答了。

Why would the wealth of dictators end up evaporated? (Two)

Written by He Qinglian on August 29, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

http://hqlenglish.blogspot.com/2011/09/dictator-wealth-evaporated-2.html

In “Why would the wealth of dictators end up evaporated? (One)” I went through the background of the Swiss Dictator Assets Law. In this article I would write about the legal basis for Britain, the United States and other countries to freeze assets of MENA dictators.

This round of actions by Western countries like Britain and the United States to freeze assets of dictators based on UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, which drew their legitimacy from Article 41 of the UN Charter: “The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force…” so that international peace and security can be maintained. The freezing of assets belonging to the dictator is of course a measure that does not involve the use of armed force.

Passed on February 26 this year, the UN Security Council resolution 1970 decided that “all Member States shall freeze without delay all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the individuals or entities listed in Annex II of this resolution”.

Addenda to the listed individuals and entities were included in the UN Security Council resolution 1973. Take for example Libyan dictator Gaddafi, who has the largest amount of assets frozen in this round of action: apart from Gaddafi himself, names of persons closely related to him, such as his children and the secretary for external security also appeared on the list. That list contained in addition five economic entities that were controlled by Gaddafi and his family: Libyan Central Bank, Libyan Investment authority, Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Arab African Investment Company, and Libyan National Investment Company.

The UN Security Council resolution 1973 affirmed the Security Council’s determination to ensure that the frozen assets “[shall] be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.”

In fact, the UN Security Council has passed many resolutions to freeze assets of certain countries. In the past two decades, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and North Korea have been on the list. In countries like Britain and the United States there are laws that [allow] freezing of foreign assets. Many years ago, the United States had formulated a complete mechanism to freeze assets belonging to governments, organizations, and individuals of foreign countries; a mechanism that China’s state media often criticize as “a tool that the United States uses to forcefully promote the values of freedom and democracy”.

And in the United States there is an Office of Foreign Assets Control (the OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury that directly reports to the Presidential Wartime and National Emergency Committee. The OFAC was formally established in December 1950, the time when the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army entered North Korea for battles. U.S. President of the time Truman declared that the country had entered a state of emergency and announced a freeze on all assets of China and North Korea in United States through the OFAC.

The OFAC did not come out of nowhere. Its predecessor was the Office of Foreign Funds Control (the FFC), set up in 1940 after Nazi Germany invaded Norway. Directly under the U.S. Treasury Secretary, The FFC played an important role in U.S. economic and trade sanctions against the Axis powers before the United States formally entered World War II.

The scope of economic and trade sanction of the OFAC is broken down into six segments, namely: Specially Designated Nationals Sanctions, Anti-terrorism Sanctions, Non-Proliferation Sanctions, Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions, Cuba Sanctions, and Other OFAC Sanctions Programs.
Each of these is backed by complete and thorough U.S. Federal laws or administrative regulations. The OFAC is authorized to seize or freeze property it deems suspicious. These six independent and yet interconnected segments form a highly influential U.S. economic and trade sanction network that touches a host of industries across the globe and with formidable punishing powers.

How [then] are the acts of sanction carried out? The OFAC has a Specially Designated Nationals List which legal effect is applicable to all U.S. citizens living in the United States and around the world, foreigners with right of permanent residence in the United States, as well as overseas branches of U.S. corporations.

The Specially Designated Nationals List is updated regularly. Whenever U.S. financial institutions receive an updated version of the list, they would have to run a check against their own customers. If any of their customers are spotted on that list, the assets of these persons would have to be frozen immediately. These institutions are required to submit to the OFAC a report that contains the method employed to check their customers against the list, the actions taken to freeze assets, contact information and so on.

By reason of alleged persecution of human rights, or destruction of the democratic system, the OFAC has to this date rules that American enterprises and individuals must not have financial transactions with the governments, or certain individuals, of the following countries: North Korea, Cuba, Belarus, Burma, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Syria, the former Libyan authorities, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Balkan States, Côte d’Ivoire, and Lebanon.

The Specially Designated Nationals List on the OFAC website was last updated on March 31, 2011.
In general, frozen assets would in the end be handled in one of the following ways.

First, they would be returned to the owners after they are thawed.

In September 2004, President Bush announced that the [more than] one billion U.S. dollars worth of Libyan assets that had been frozen for twenty years would be released. These assets were thawed because Gaddafi government announced in 2003 its decision to abandon plan to produce weapons of mass destruction and pledged to pay 2.7 billion in damages to victims of Lockerbie bombing in 1988. In recognition of these actions, the U.S. government returned those assets to the owner.

Second, they would be used to repay victims of the parties whose assets are frozen.

U.S. law provides that the government do not use frozen assets; yet if there is relevant judicial ruling, the government would have to execute accordingly.

Prior to the Gulf war, the U.S. government froze huge amount of Iraqi money. In 2002, veterans who were held captives by the Iraqi military during the Gulf war won their appeal, and U.S. court ruled to use Iraqi assets frozen by the United States to pay them a compensation of more than 900 million U.S. dollars.

Third, the assets would remain frozen.
There are countries, governments and individuals whose assets are frozen for an extended period. For example, it’s been decades since Cuban government’s assets were frozen, nine presidents had assumed office and to this date the assets have yet to be thawed.

Up to this moment, it is not yet a main task of the OFAC to tackle properties dictators plunder by means of corruption. But in order to help developing countries to retrieve state assets corrupt leaders and officials had stolen, the UNODC and the World Bank had in 2007 jointly launched the Stolen Assets (StAR) Initiative: Challenges, Opportunities, and Action Plan, and made Switzerland legislate its Dictator Assets Law in 2010 ; [in time] they would undoubtedly urge OFAC to adjust its priorities. This [potential] makes the Specially Designated Nationals List, published by the United States in view of its national security and foreign policy, a threat to individuals who may be included in that list of sanction.

So here comes my last question: given that the United States has so long ago passed the laws to freeze assets belonging to foreign governments, organizations or individuals, why would dictators and terrorists keep choosing to deposit their fortune with American Banks nonetheless? Gaddafi for one continues to place his assets in American banks where his fortune has been frozen.

Answers to this question, apart from the fact that the United States has the world’s best financial system and economic ties with most countries in the world, are something that only these individuals with frozen assets can provide.
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