Christopher Emms was indicted in the US on allegations he had violated American sanctions (IEEPA) when attending a conference in North Korea, despite being a British citizen and having broken no UK or international laws. His spokesperson and crisis manager, Radha Stirling, criticised the move as an abusive expansion of universal jurisdiction to prosecute cryptocurrency professionals for ulterior motives.
Chris was arrested in Saudi after the US activated an Interpol Red Notice against him. His accounts were frozen and he was left to fight extradition from the Middle East. His MP was outraged that the US could impose on Britain’s sovereignty, claiming Brits must abide by local US rules. It was clear to Ms Stirling that the new crypto task force was not about justice, not about crime prevention, but about convictions for profit at any cost.
GQ Magazine reported that Nick Carlsen, a former FBI investigator confirmed “it’s pure profit, you have a team of like, 15-20 guys doing this, and they pull in as much money as the labour of maybe 100,000 coal miners and shipping guys and gold traders. I mean, it’s just incomparable value.”
The Pyongyang crypto caper: North Korea, crypto heists and the new front line of cybercrime | British GQ When a group of guileless blockchain entrepreneurs found themselves invited to North Korea, it seemed like a weird adventure – until the travellers found themselves wanted by the FBI, accused of helping a rogue state evade international sanctions. Was it really a criminal conspiracy, or just a case of crypto bros gone wrong?
Stirling said “The US is attempting, by hook or by crook, to assert global jurisdiction over all issues pertaining to cryptocurrency, regardless of where a transaction or interaction takes place, and regardless of the nationalities of those involved. To this end, American authorities are trying to creatively expand the legal applicability of the IEEPA to non-US persons; and what they have done in Chris’s case through blatant intimidation.
Stirling believes Emms’s case is borne of frustration among the US authorities, who have struggled to get results in their assault on crypto’s underbelly. “Biden set up a recent task force just to go after cryptocurrency, and I think they’re looking to secure convictions, freeze and confiscate assets,” Stirling said. The US government is probing to see if it can catch and convict a foreigner under IEEPA. According to Stirling, Emms was unlucky enough to blunder into their reach.
“What the GQ investigation confirms is that people are going to prison, being intimidated into plea deals and bullied by the DOJ who are interested only in profiteering from indictments and advancing the US government’s crypto domination plan”.
Christopher Emms applauded the GQ investigation:
Colonising the Cryptosphere - by Radha Stirling It is entirely possible that the heyday of cryptocurrencies is already over. The era of brilliant young visionaries imagining a world of decentralised finance, in which every person could conjure wealth seemingly out of the ether -- potentially empowering the masses
Detained in Dubai: http://www.detainedindubai.org
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