Taxes, Extradition, Second Citizenships, Etc
Executive Summary – We get a lot of inquiries from people who are disgusted and fed up with the tax systems and lack of freedom in their countries. They are leaving and have no intention of returning. We are talking about people leaving from many nations, not just the USA. These people worry about getting extradited for non-payment of taxes. So we thought it would be worthwhile to discuss the issues involved with extradition and taxes.
Indictments – Many and have had it and want to leave and when they see themselves being indicted for a victimless crime they are ready to go. They should have gone before they got indicted, big mistake. They have been arrested, released on bail or on their own recognizance promising to appear and have had their passports confiscated pending the outcome of the trial. When this happens it is too late.
Some of the more adventuresome folks can go down to the Mexico border if they are in the USA, and make criminal arrangements to be smuggled into Mexico. If you like lying in the bottom of a water and oil soaked boat while homeland security and the coast guard looks for you and possibly shoots at your boat, that is your business, but we are not interested in any of these adventures.
Today smuggling people out of the USA is a big business, perhaps bigger than smuggling people into the USA and the industry is growing. Sometimes people say they want to buy a passport mail order and use it to leave the USA. Will not work. The passports sold via mail order are not real. One needs to go to the country and have their fingerprints and photos taken to be inputted into the computers.
Secondly the passport would not have an entry stamp in it and not be in the database for the entry so even if a stamp were forged it would not be in the database. Even if they obtained a real second passport before they were indicted, they could not use it to leave. It would not have an entry stamp and not be in the database. If they tried to enter the USA on this second passport they would be fingerprinted and photographed and be in more trouble.
One always has to enter a given country on the passport of that country if they have one. This is a universal rule. This is going to only result in more problems and difficulties for the person attempting this. If you feel you are having your rights violated, the government is operating above and beyond the boundaries set forth by the constitution and laws of the land then leave now do not wait for things to get worse because they will. If you are not charged with any crimes you can leave freely, this is not illegal in any country we are aware of.
Extradition and Tax Offenses – Practically any country you will go to has extradition treaties. Places like Iran, North Korea, Cuba are not going to extradite. The Russian Federation rarely will extradite either. To be extradited you must be charged with a crime that is also a crime in the country they are trying to extradite you from. This can be hard to do just for tax offenses in many countries. So what the country seeking the extradition will do is add in other trumped up charges like tax fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and of course money laundering. The high tax nations have seen to it that every country has money laundering laws, so that is their catch all.
Interpol and Extradition for Taxes – Interpol does not handle requests for extradition for just taxes. Sadly they might take a money laundering case and enter it into the system. Usually Interpol steers clear of all of these trumped up offenses that are basically countries trying to use Interpol to collect taxes. Interpol itself has no police powers. They just provide a database and information. If there is a request to hold a person for a certain country this request is passed on generally when the passport is entered into the computer system at the airport. If the country wants to, it is optional; they can hold the person briefly (few days) while the country that put in the request is contacted.
They may not respond, they may say they are not interested in action or they may say hold for extradition and begin mobilizing to file extradition proceedings. If the person being held retains counsel he can fight the extradition and even appeal it in some countries under some circumstances. The person may have to sit in detention or he could be released but his passport would be confiscated.
Some countries will not bother going through extradition. This manifests in two ways. They ignore the request and do not bother the person or they just turn the person over to the requesting country ignoring any court or extradition proceedings. This is usually what Panama does; they just turn the person over right then and there if the person is not a citizen of Panama (residencies do not count). So a lot of what happens is going to depend on the countries involved and the relationship they have with the country requesting the extradition.
Dirty Underhanded Extradition – The way this is done is to put in a request to be contacted when the person arrives at an airport), land border or boat terminal (surveillance report request to know whereabouts of certain people and Interpol offers this service). The request is that the country be contacted. Then a request is made to confiscate the passport of the person they are targeting since it is the property of the issuing country and the request is to turn it over to their embassy in the country. No reasons need be given, just the request. This leaves the person in the country without a visa, since a visa is tied to a passport.
Of course the country that had the passport pulled is good enough to offer to deport the person home at their expense since he is now in the country illegally. Nice trick and it does go on. The media does not carry these stories but lawyers hear about these travesties of justice. The defense against this is simple. Have a second passport so if they pull one just whip out the second one and stay in the country on that one.
Extradition and Residencies – Being a resident does not give one much in the way of rights to fight extradition. It is little more than being a tourist in most places. Citizens have rights to be tried in a court before an extradition procedure is carried out. Extraditing a citizen of another country can be tough, long and expensive. The citizen could have a sentence imposed on him in the country he is in versus deporting him to stand trial. Often these sentences are going to be lenient like suspended sentence, house arrest etc. Residencies, visas, etc do not offer any serious protection.
Dual Nationals – These cases can be tough and need to be looked at on their own individual merits if one of the countries is seeking extradition from the other country of citizenship. Some countries try to exert jurisdiction illegally much of the time. Jurisdiction is a key element. Was the crime committed before or after the person was a citizen of the second country? Where was the crime committed? These cases can be complex.
Second Passport the Answer – If you get a second citizenship and passport you are greatly protected and have an excellent chance of avoiding any trouble. The passport should be associated with a citizenship, not a residency. With or without a passport residencies are not going to provide much protection. The country granting you the second citizenship should not notify the home country about your new citizenship.
The new citizenships should be not listed in any public registry. The country granting the citizenship should not be on very friendly terms with your home country. You should do a name change if possible that is not in the public records. This will make associating you to your new passport very hard and preserve your privacy and allow you to travel freely as the United Nations is supposed to guarantee and of course it does the exact opposite.
Aurelia Masterson is an associate of Panama Legal law firm (http://www.panamalaw.org). She has years of experience in the field and now shares her observations of current events, politics, and law with the Internet community. She can be contacted at: email@example.com.
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