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May 12, 1998

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"International crime requires an international response. America is prepared to act alone when it must, but no nation can control crime by itself anymore. We must create a global community of crime-fighters, dedicated to protecting the innocent and bringing to justice the offenders."

- President Bill Clinton
May 12, 1998

Today, President Clinton announced America's first-ever International Crime Control Strategy (ICCS), and his intent to send to Congress the International Crime Control Act, which implements key elements of the strategy. Later this week, the President will discuss his strategy with other world leaders at the Summit of the Eight in Birmingham, England.

The First-Ever International Crime Control Strategy. International crime costs Americans billions of dollars each year. As our globe shrinks, with more porous borders, more affordable travel, and more powerful communications, international criminals are increasingly victimizing Americans at home and abroad. These crimes involve drugs, stolen vehicles, even human beings. They hack into computer networks to steal bank funds and engage in credit card fraud. They trade in counterfeit money and goods and try to steal our most sensitive technology. The ICCS addresses these problems with an eight point plan:

  • Creating a world-wide dragnet. The President's plan calls for nations to create a worldwide "dragnet" so international fugitives can be promptly extradited and brought to justice.

  • Eliminating safe havens for criminals. To ensure that all nations are ready to combat international crime, the President is proposing global standards and goals along with training and technical aid.

  • Sharing information with our allies. The President's plan supports cooperative efforts between our allies to share information on crime syndicates throughout the world, and to share information with industries to protect against computer crime.

  • Expanding prosecutorial authority. The President's strategy will expand our authority to prosecute those who commit crimes against Americans abroad, and increases the number of law enforcement personnel working with our embassies so criminals can be identified before they attack Americans.

  • Strengthening our borders. The President's plan strengthens our borders by hiring 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, using new technology to catch those who cross our borders illegally, and stiffening penalties for those who smuggle contraband across our borders.

  • Barring entry to international fugitives. The President's plan calls for strict provisions that bar international fugitives and drug or arms traffickers from entering our country, and expels them if they attempt to come here.

  • Increased authority to fight money laundering. The President's strategy seeks new authority to fight money laundering and freezes the U.S. assets of people arrested abroad.

  • Improving existing laws. The President's plan improves enforcement of existing laws against counterfeiting and industrial espionage.

The International Crime Control Act Of 1998. To implement his strategy, the President is sending to Congress the International Crime Control Act of 1998. The legislation, which expands on a bill introduced last year, closes gaps in current federal law and creates penalties for new forms of international criminal activity.

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