WASHINGTON – At a ceremony Monday at the Treasury Department, the Isle of Jersey in the British Isles shared nearly $3.6 million in confiscated assets from a long-term drug trafficking investigation with the United States. This is the first accomplishment under the permanent bilateral forfeited assets sharing agreement that the Isle of Jersey and the United States entered April 24, 2015. The investigation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“The $3.6 million in assets forfeited are the fruits of the cooperation between the U.S. and the Jersey in fighting illicit activity, and keeping drug smugglers from benefiting from their crimes. This case is testament to the hard work of the men and women of law enforcement both in the United States and Jersey,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker. “Effective international cooperation to combat financial crime is making it more difficult for criminals to hide and reap the rewards of their ill-gotten gains. The Treasury Department commends the Attorney General from the Isle of Jersey for their tremendous partnership in combatting transnational financial crime.”
The $3,567,537.98 that was shared with the United States was confiscated as a result of joint cooperation in the case of notorious drug trafficker Paul Hindelang, who, with the help of his partners in crime, had managed to hide millions of dollars of tainted assets even while he was imprisoned for his drug offenses.
Dubbed “Operation Cash Extraction,” the investigation was led by HSI and spanned more than 15 years – from approximately 2000 to 2015. It resulted in the confiscation of various assets and forfeiture orders entered in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Isle of Jersey authorities assisted the United States greatly by gathering documentary evidence, restraining the illegal assets located in Jersey, and successfully handling numerous complex legal challenges brought by the violators.
“This case demonstrates clearly the determination of law enforcement authorities successfully to conclude a case even when it may take many years to do so,” said Jersey Attorney General Robert MacRae QC. “It is a truly excellent example of International co-operation which once again demonstrates that the use of nominees and complex trust structures will not defeat the efforts of law enforcement. Jersey is no hiding place for the proceeds of crime.”
As a result of this cooperation, more than $7 million USD was forfeited in this matter. The United States has shared significant amounts with various state and local law enforcement and foreign governments in this investigation. This case is an extraordinary example of joint cooperative efforts of law enforcement partners in the United States and abroad.