Today, the possibility of a quick return to poverty is quite real. With the end of banking secrecy under the supposed idea of combating terrorism, drug and arms trafficking most especially mafias and criminal organizations, we have seen that in many cases, embargo measures on accounts leads to bank death/bankruptcy, the inability to defend oneself in a just process and the economic breakdown of people, businesses and even states. An embargo is a withholding of assets under a law, but what happens if the law is improperly enforced? What if, we find ourselves in poverty, without money to pay lawyers or to support the family? Thus, in the worst case scenario, if a government can’t pay its debts?
Bank accounts are the first among the assets that a creditor will attack when trying to recover the sums owed to him/her.
Table of Contents
Are Cryptocurrencies capitals and reserve assets?
The risk of seizing one’s money, company and even a state can lead to "economic death" and many cases of abuse and injustice have been documented worldwide. This makes us to think of this, how can I keep capital and reserve assets?
Real estate, gold and other precious metals, precious stones and even artistic goods are easily seized; But the latter isn’t the case with the Cryptocurrency. Volatility is a double-edged sword for Cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, it’s one of the main advantages that investors identify and at the same time, one of the strongest risks because the interest in Cryptoactive assets declines because of the fall in prices.
The enormous growth experienced by the Bitcoin price at the end of 2017 made quite a few of them to quickly become millionaires and from there many individual investors decided it was worth putting money in that Cryptocurrency, whose value fell to 1/ 5 of its maximum value. According to several experts, the high volatility of the Cryptocurrencies was as a result of investor’s confidence in the so-called "adoption syndrome", in which the perception of the value of an asset is primarily based on expectations about its adoption by the community.
Perceptions are often much more volatile for a digital asset than traditional assets such as gold, real estate, corporate earnings, or central bank-backed currencies.
A detail that should be clear on this subject: If people and companies enters the world of Cryptocurrencies when the market is at its highest point, to use that upward volatility, then they must also be prepared to withstand the fall when the market faces a bearish tendency/trend.
Volatility causes fear in some investors, so to avoid any scare with their assets, they prefer to place their money in more stable assets, such as gold, government bonds and even cash. As for gold, it usually takes opposite paths to Cryptocurrencies. As the Cryptoactive plummet, gold sales are multiplying.
Government bonds are often seen as shelters, as countries are often financially safer than companies and more stable than Cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, investors flock to cash when the prices of Cryptoactive falls, as it’s easier to sell the digital currency for cash, which can be used in everyday life.
Unfortunately, gold, bonds, cash and other securities are easily seized because they are generally kept in a well-known place.
Why do many people continue to invest in the Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are difficult to be seized and generally, they aren’t subjected to controls of the authorities or of the governments. In addition, they allow economic operations without having to use the banks that are controlled by great powers. At investment level, on the one hand, there are short-term speculators; But, particularly, there are those who believes that, in the long run, Cryptocurrencies will be a universal means of exchange and the deposits of value replacing traditional currencies.
All this leads us to the conclusion that, the international banking system, controlled by the great powers, is unsafe and is leading people, companies and even some states to think that it’s better to maintain liquidity with Cryptocurrencies, so much so that nine countries have plans to launch state/national Cryptocurrencies.
It’s no coincidence that in the list of countries that drives the launching of their own Cryptocurrency, those who have had strong clashes with those who control the financial markets, with the United States at the forefront, appear.
The aim of state Cryptocurrency is mainly to evade international sanctions, although they are also used to replace the use of cash and promote the massive adoption of Cryptocurrencies.
The most notorious case is that of Venezuela under the government of Nicolás Maduro (not recognized by Washington and other countries in the region). One of the measures promoted by Caracas was the creation of the Cryptocurrency called "Petro", associated with the total value of Venezuelan oil reserves and whose exchange rate is same as the Venezuelan oil barrel.
Iran is another country that has opted for a crypto-currency. Tehran seeks to facilitate the transfer of money from all over the world and to evade the sanctions imposed by the United States. Russia said that it’s working on its CryptoRuble, although it hasn’t reached the market yet. The idea of CryptoRuble is that Moscow can make transfers with its business partners around the world, regardless of the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.
Sweden is one of the countries with the least cash in circulation. Here, the Central bank wants to create a national Cryptocurrency, called e-krona that would be equivalent to the current currency of the country, but to be used for small transactions between consumers, companies and authorities. Since Sweden isn’t part of the Eurozone, it has no problem with the European Central bank, which prohibits the Eurozone states from issuing Cryptocurrencies that will compete with the euro.
In Switzerland, they are also studying the creation of the Cryptohurricane (Cryptophane). As this country is outside the Eurozone, so there wouldn’t be any conflict with the European Central Bank either. Marshall Islands is a small country located in the South Pacific that launched its Cryptocurrency, called Sovereign. This Cryptoactive can be used as well as the United States dollar throughout this island.
The Israeli government is also considering issuing a local Cryptocurrency that has the same value as its traditional currency, the shekel. Transfers and payments with the Cryptocurrency would be made directly between two citizens, without the intervention of third parties.
In Dubai, they want to implement a new payment mechanism for government and non-governmental services through a local Cryptocurrency, called EmCash. The goal is to leverage blockchain technology to enable financial transactions to be cheaper, faster and safer.
China is the world's second largest economy, and although its Central bank and government have shown positions against the adoption of Cryptocurrency, the country has shown interest in issuing its own Cryptocurrency, which combines the main features of a cryptoactive with the existing monetary system in the country.
These are not the only countries that have shown interest in having theirs Cryptocurrencies, but the ones that have taken the most steps in that direction. Others, such as Japan, Kazakhstan and Cambodia, are still assessing whether they are feasible to make an initial currency offer for their new cryptoactive system.
Some Cryptocurrencies have been creed in order to avoid market fluctuations and have been anchored to internationally used currencies, such as, the Tether with its EUR and USD versions. These coins are called Stablecoins. For each digital unit, you have a dollar, a peso or even an ounce of some precious metal. In this Cryptocurrency-type, there is an immediate future to be able to replace bank notes that are no longer supported and are printed at the discretion of countries to cover their debts.
A European case of bank account embargo: So I was ruined!
European tax authorities takes advantage of any opportunity to seize money. There are diverse examples and on the other hand, citizens suffers from bank account embargo, goods and unfair securities that even specialized lawyers can’t solve, because the fiscal bureaucracy seems well organized to the detriment of the citizens.
One of the cases in which a European tax authority destroyed the reputation and led to a ruin occurred to the Italian Francesco.
This entrepreneur decided to apply for a loan of EUR 23.000 and four months later, he discovered that the second part of the said loan had been confiscated by a European tax authority, without prior notice of the alleged debt to the Treasury. His nightmare continued as he continued to see new taxes that increased his debt in an incredible way to 15 000 euros.
This entrepreneur turned to the help of an accountant to present the necessary documentation showing that he had not incurred any crime and that the embargo on the money was unfair; But officials of the tax authority ignored his request. The problem worsened when, in the eyes of the bank, Francesco had become a big debtor and had entered the credit blacklist. Therefore, the bank demanded that this entrepreneur should return all the loan received immediately with the interest.
In desperation, Francesco went to specialized lawyers who found serious procedural errors in his case, among them that they had not given him the 60 days agreed so that a citizen could claim an embargo on the money. Francesco's wife also lost her job and her family life fell apart. Then, this entrepreneur decided that they should look for other means and chosed not to pay taxes. He said, he feels at peace in his conscience and that the state will never see a single penny of his pockets again.
"The problem," said lawyer Giovanni Caporaso Gottlieb of Caporaso & Partners, "is that bureaucracy is slow meanwhile the affected can starve because the executing judges do not take action in defense of the taxpayer. I have a similar case of a client who closed his activity in 1997 (22 years ago!), In 2005, a new law reformed Social security and activated a new registration system the Sipe, which mistakenly migrated in 2012, my client's company, did not know how and why it was billed to pay some contributions for 2012 and 2013, meanwhile the company was not operational, besides that my client is currently a public sector employee. In October 2018, the executing court notified (to the address that the company had not existed 22 years ago) confiscating and embargoed the bank account for 20000 USD and forwarded the file to the criminal court dealing with (allegedly appropriation of employer's dues). Now, my client has an embargoed account, at risks of a criminal procedure that we have fortunately been able to stop temporarily, and he has to prove that the mistake was of the state. Obviously, to prove this, he has to present state documents certifying and proving the error. I've been in this for four months and I think it'll take another six months. Now I wonder: Is this justice?, and what happens if the 20 000 dollars were to be consumed? ".
The Panamanian newspaper La Prensa, published an article on Sipe – "Investing in technology means people do things in a more simplified, safe and economical way. In the case of Panama, in less than a decade, more than USD 14 million have been allocated to launch the Social Security Fund (CSS) platform for the income and economic benefits system (SIPE). Redundant in a secure installation or method to perform a procedure. Rather it has become a fragility. The case, though arid, serious. Time, money and wasted effort. This is what employers are talking about using the technology tool. "
Through this system, there was the embezzlement of 300 million dollars, but the executives of the CSS defended the SIPE and said that institutions exist in the system, but those who committed the robbery, are the personnel. SIPE was acquired and installed in 2008. It’s a system that, in theory, would make the payroll process easier for employers. The officials abused the permits they had with the system and since 2015, this theft is under audit.
In both cases, if they had used Cryptocurrencies to keep the money instead of a bank, none of this would have happened to the taxpayers, because it would not have been possible for them to embezzle their money.
How do I avoid embargo on bank accounts and securities?
1. Make daily withdrawals leaving bank accounts with a minimum balance or by placing bank accounts in the name of a relative or friend. But you have to be careful! It’s always good to sign a private document to ensure the return of the deposited sums. If you need assistance in drafting a legally valid contract, you can contact the Caporaso & Partners law firm at [email protected].
However, this stratagem can safeguard what is already present in the account at the moment, but not the sums that will be paid later to the embargo, unless requested a different method of payment.
2. Co-Administer the account with a family member. This saves you 50% of what is present in the account at the time of the embargo and equally saves you 50% of an embargo of the tax authority that cannot resort to the sequestration of 100% of the amounts without the court’s intervention.
3. Leave only the salary or pension in the bank account. The salary in general can be seized of only 20% of its total value. Pension can’t be seized until the vital minimum and the rest can be sequestered only within a 1/5 limit. If the debtor can prove that only the salary or pension is paid into the account, it may limit the embargo to the aforementioned measure.
4. Open other bank accounts, abroad, where you can receive payments that are not easy to seize.
Obviously we are analyzing the most striking international cases, but how many minor cases, of which no one speaks, have led to the economic death/fall of a person, family or company?
Foreign intervention, monetary colonization and control of economic groups
The economic war consist of tariff measures, market protection and the financing of domestic firms. In recent decades, the United States and other colonizing countries of the European Union (EU-colonizers) have created a new economic war with sanctions, economic blockades and embargoes on bank accounts, values, assets and governments properties whose policies are not favorable. This war-type is much more effective than that of bombs and missiles and often leaves more victims. We have already seen the case of sanctions before and how some governments intend to react by creating a Cryptocurrency that can be evaded from the controls of the colonial powers. Now let’s analyze the cases of blacklists and the monetary neocolonialism. These are two lethal/deadly weapons developed to control the economy of the colonizers’ areas of interest. I know it seems archaic/outmoded to use the term colonialism in this century, but unfortunately, neo-colonialism is developing and nurturing a new cold war involving the United States, European Union, Russia and China.
In theory, blacklists have been created to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, drug trafficking most especially criminal activities. In practice, blacklists are used as a means of political pressure and are often the prelude to sanctions, embargoes and blockades. Monetary colonialism is, instead, a stealth weapon, which gradually penetrates a territory and allows those who control the currency to exert the political pressures they want.
What’s the Clinton list?
The greatest example of international abuse, i.e. unbounded on the border of a country, is a state that leaves one in misery is the Clinton list, the only blacklist that includes people, businesses, and governments.
The Clinton list was created in October 1995 and is still active, pursuant to Decree 12978 issued by President Bill Clinton as part of a series of anti-drug and money laundering measures.
The list is issued by the Office of Foreign Goods Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department. Natural or legal persons appearing on this blacklist may not carry out financial transactions or maintain business relations with the United States and the companies in this country related to them incur a crime
Currently, the list is made up of hundreds of natural and legal people from all over the world who have had direct or indirect contact with drug trafficking, terrorism and money laundering among other crimes. Unfortunately, dozens of innocent people who have lost their reputation, inheritance and who have been marked as pariahs have also been listed.
One of the persons who managed to get off the Clinton’s list was the Colombian businessman Carlos Andrés Palacio, who was initially accused of drug trafficking; But the US Government later recognized that it was a mistake. In November 2014, his company, Colombian biofuel, was associated with drug trafficking and money laundering. Palacio gathered money, went to specialized lawyers and after a two years fight, in February 2017, the United States took his company off the blacklist, although the employer claims that the damage he suffered for his reputation is irreparable.
Another example showing that anyone is exposed to be unfairly included to the Clinton list is that of the Colombian Rosa Amelia Giraldo Arango. This woman had a small shop, located in an area called Calle Vieja, in Bello, Medellín, Colombia. Her nightmare began on August 26, 2009, when she went to collect her family allowance in action. That day, she was referred to the Agrarian Bank manager's office (Banco Agrario), who assured her that the subsidy account had been blocked because her name and ID appeared on the Clinton list. Giraldo had never heard about this blacklist in her entire life, but from that date she knew, in the worst possible way, everything that meant to be included in that list.
Rosa went through several offices, in search for a possible explanation; But she always had the same words: The Colombian State did not have the authority to get her off the list, not even when it was very evident that an injustice was being committed to her. The ID number was blacklisted, but her second surname did not correspond to that of the woman who, in the United States, was related to the drug-trafficker, Élmer Pacho Herrera and brothers Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela.
Rosa stopped receiving the subsidy and her shop fell into ostracism. The Colombian bureaucracy also fulfilled its role, because they told the 40-year-old woman that, for claim, she should "initiate the process before the Office of External Assets Control (OFAC), attached to the Department of the American Treasury."
Desperate, Rosa received help from where I least expected her. A journalist took her story on television and a few hours later, the Constitutional Court revoked the sentence of the Medellín Court, so Rosa was able to receive the state's aid again; But her name remained on Clinton’s list and the damage to her person was totally irreparable.
One of the most commented cases and still being debated in courts is that of the Panamanian Abdul waked, of the Wisa group. The problems for the majority owner of duty-free shops began on May 5, 2016. This day was included in the Clinton list, because the OFAC qualified waked and the Wisa Group, Vida Panama (Free Zone) and Balboa Bank & Trust as organizations dedicated to drug money laundering.
According to the OFAC, the organization used trade-based money laundering schemes, such as false commercial billing, bulk cash smuggling, and other methods of drug laundering in the name of drug traffickers.
Waked never received a formal criminal indictment in the United States, but the administrative sanctions imposed by the OFAC stifled his business.
This businessman decided to counter and for that, he used specialized legal law firms, with which he made a lawsuit demanding the Panamanian state and the Central Bank of Panama the payment of more than 1.26 billion dollars, for damages and prejudices received when being unjustly included in Washington’s blacklist.
In his lawsuit, waked claims compensation for lost profits, consequential and moral damages, suffered by the conditions under which he was forced to detach himself from the Soho Mall shopping center. His legal battle isn’t over yet.
How do I get out of Clinton's list?
Is there any way out of Clinton’s list? The answer is yes, but before that, the natural or legal person must have sufficient evidence to prove that he/she does not have a direct relationship with criminals, whether they are drug-traffickers, terrorists, etc.
If you have any doubts as to whether or not your company is included in the Clinton list, then it’s better to check so as to take legal action and clear your name, your business and also avoid criminal and economic sanctions for the same. Remember that being on the Clinton list not only damages a good name, but also means a commercial death with the United States and other countries, as well as risking criminal prosecutions and, therefore, economic and prison sanctions.
The Caporaso & Partners Law Firm can help you with the Clinton List review and subsequent legal proceedings required to exit the Clinton list. Contact us at Email: [email protected]
Dollarization as economic colonization
Today, the US dollar continues to maintain its status as a major international currency far from its strongest competitors (Euro, Yen, and Yuan). This persistent hegemony as a reference currency places the United States at the centre of the global economic and financial system.
Currently, eight countries of the world uses dollar as their official currency: Marshall Islands, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Panama, Palau, East Timor, Zimbabwe, however, there are indications that the dollar's supremacy might be in danger, as many and more nations seeks alternative financial solutions, including the growing use of Cryptocurrencies. Moreover, analysts agreed that bilateral and multilateral trade pacts will prove to be the main factors leading to the weakening of the dollar in international trade.
But, the experts also pointed out that it will not be easy to end the dollar's dominance, as it still has considerable influence on the global economy.
The colonial franc: another example of economic colonization
Another key currency in modern economic colonization is the franc CFA. Since 1945, following the Bretton Woods agreements, France has controlled the currency used by 155 million people in 15 African countries. At present, the CFA maintains parity with the euro (1 euro equals 655 CFA francs). This gives it a stability that other currencies do not have. In return, these 15 nations have an obligation to deposit half of their reserves in the French Central bank. Through the CFA franc, French investment in Africa, the repatriation of capital as well as the importation of raw materials by France, is guaranteed, but the Inter-African trade is blocked.
The free income transferability has made Africa a financier of Europe in general and France in particular. According to the Senegalese economist Demba Moussa Dembélé, the flight of African capitals to Europe can be set at 850 billion between 1970 and 2008.
Critics of this pact consider it as a "monetary Nazism" and said African politicians are servile who do not want to detach themselves from the metropolis to continue increasing their personal fortunes. Faced with this complex reality, the use of Cryptocurrencies, independent of the will of Paris, arouses a growing interest in certain sectors in Africa. This step could help to improve the impoverished African economies.
How can a government fight against bank account embargo or securities?
Embargoes on bank accounts and securities do not only affect people and societies but also, in some cases, governments. These actions constitute a threat to a country-designed strategy with respect to its external debt if the creditor seizes or distorts the trade of the defendant country
If foreign central banks were concerned that their assets in the United States are subject to embargo by private litigants, they could withdraw their assets in dollars from this country, thus destabilizing the dollar and the international monetary system.
A total embargo is one of the measures tabled by the Trump’s administration to topple the government of Nicolás Maduro, since the United States is one of the principal buyers of Venezuelan crude and the embargo could affect even more the already weakened Economy of Caracas. Trump ordered the freezing of Venezuela's bank accounts in the United States and gave control of those funds to the self-proclaimed President Juan Guaidó. It wouldn’t be the first time in history that Washington applied a similar measure.
Since 1962, the United States has maintained a rigid economic, financial and commercial embargo on Cuba. The continuous sanctions and the inability to access the American market have been pointed out by Havana as one of the causes of the bad state of the economy and finances in this Caribbean island. The damages was estimated to be several million dollars and the United Nations General Assembly has demanded cessation of the Embargo for more than two decades, but Washington believes it’s a bilateral issue and the Trump’s administration has hardened sanctions policies against Cuba.
North Korea is another "axis of evil" countries that has received economic sanctions from the United States since the 1960s. These sanctions have been softened on several occasions, coinciding with periods of detente between both governments. In 2013, after the Koreans’ nuclear program expansion, sanctions against the supply of weapons and the financial system returned, and the tension in the peninsula grew again. However, the Trump’s administration agreed to converse with leader Kim Jung-Un and for the first time in more than 60 years the presidents of both countries met at a summit. Among the agreements of the historic Singapore meeting was the progress in the denuclearization process, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions; But experts doubts the end result of this negotiation.
The Iran-US conflict dates back to 1979, when the Islamic Revolution deposed the Shah of Iran. Washington immediately imposed sanctions. The pulse between the two countries has etended for almost four decades. In recent times, Iran has seen how, unilaterally, the United States suspended the Obama-signed treaty and re-imposed a series of sanctions such as the prohibition of inter-bank activity, the loss of export licenses and the export of equipment to the United States. All this because Washington, unlike its European allies, believes that Tehran continues to advance in the production of nuclear weapon.
Russia has also entered the group of countries economically sanctioned by Washington and the European Union, in this case by the annexation of the Crimean region, since Moscow allegedly violated Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Sanctions have been against Russian companies and officials.
Iraq is a country that suffered very strong trade sanctions and came out of them after having fully surrendered to the interests of the United States and the west, inheriting a civil war. Following Kuwait’s invasion in 1990 via pressure from the United States and under the protection of the Security Council, sanctions were imposed which included the prohibition of the importation of any goods, except food and medicines as well as the export of oil and its derivatives. After the invasion of 2003, under the pretext of weapons of mass destruction that never appeared, and after Hussein's fall, Washington unilaterally decided to lift the sanctions, because it already had control over the government. The UN waited until 2010 to fully lift the sanctions imposed two decades ago.
Sudan is another country that has avoided new sanctions, precisely to follow America's demands. After 20 years of economic and trade sanctions, the Sudanese Government, now headed by Omar Al Bashir, has succeeded in eliminating the restrictions. Since December 2018, Sudanese protesters are trying to overthrow their government using social networks like Whatsapp and Facebook, to convene daily protests in order to request the resignation of their leader. But since there is no oil, the United States is looking for business in other parts of the world.
The White House justified its decision because it considered the positive measures carried out by the Government of Khartoum for the cessation of hostilities in the areas of conflict in Sudan, to improve humanitarian access and maintain cooperation with the United States to address Regional conflicts and the "terrorist threat".
the United States imposed its first sanctions on Sudan in 1997, under the administration of William Clinton, on the pretext that the country was becoming a state advocating terrorism where the most sought-after terrorists were hiding, including Osama bin Laden. Subsequently, during the Darfur conflict, these sanctions worsened, and the Sudanese Government has since justified its bad economic situation because of this blockade.
South Sudan gained its independence in 2005, but peace has never returned to that region. The UN Security Council, with pressure from the United States, has imposed continuous sanctions on the country. The United States had long demanded the adoption of measures and specifically demanding an arms embargo in the absence of progress to resolve the conflict that broke out in December 2013 between forces of President Salva Kiir, of the Dinka ethnic group, and those loyal to his then vice president, Riek Machar.
Both reached a peaceful agreement in Adis Ababa in 2015 that led to the creation of a united government, but in 2016, the violence resumed. A cessation of hostilities came into force throughout the country, but since then both the army and rebels have accused each other of the continuation of the attacks. Russia opposed the Security Council's approach to this issue, as it considers that it does not help imposing sanctions when the parties are negotiating to end the conflict.
Myanmar (Birmania) is another country that has been the subject of trade sanctions and an arms-buying embargo by the European Union, United States and Canada.
The EU accused Myanmar (Birmania) of repeatedly committing human rights violations in a military operation in the northwestern part of the country that caused nearly 700 000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to the neighboring Bangladesh. In addition, the UN keeps the Myanmar armed forces on a blacklist of organizations accused of sexual violence by practicing this brutal method against the Rohingya population.
Belarus, a country ruled for more than two decades by Alexander Lukashenko, is a powerful critic of Washington and the West. In 2006, the United States imposed for the first time sanctions on this country and these have been prolonged to present day; Meanwhile, the European Union imposed sanctions on Belarus for the first time in 2004 in connection with the disappearances and introduced the arms embargo in 2011. Four citizens of this country, according to Brussels, are related to the disappearance of two political opponents, an entrepreneur and a journalist. These people were frozen of their assets and were banned from travelling.
In the case of a government, embargoes on bank accounts, goods and values are carried out by an order from the United Nations or single country, as in the case of embargoes dictated by the United States, which are made effective in other allied countries or under sanctions threat against those who do not abide to the imperialist order.
Nowadays, with the cases of Iran and Venezuela, we see that these measures can be taken by the hegemonic countries as also against certain states. To protect themselves, these countries have found Cryptocurrencies as the best solution to circumvent economic sanctions and continue trading.
The views and opinions expressed are the views of Crypto Currency 10 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. All material(s) have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information.
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