Friday, January 19, 2007

Netteler subject to actions by US troops ....

Planet Multimedia reports (based on reuters and AP) that two former executives of the company Netteller were arrested by US authorities on charges of money laundering. It's a cheap shot from the hip by the US, who are of course well experienced in intervention in foreign markets / countries. In this case they use the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to justify a pre-emptive attack. And it's not weapons of mass destruction this time, it's money laundering.

The US Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is yet another example of the US seeking to prevail morally and legally by extending a ciminal reach for the sake of...? It left a lot of companies no other choice than to avoid risks and leave the US gambling market. Wich was also an important market for Netteller (65 % of revenue). Netteller hadn't apparently left the market yet, so the US authorities felt the best way to proceed was to arrest previous board members of Netteller. An interesting move, because if the alleged crimes are real, the only proper way to proceed would (IMHO) have been to start a supervisory dialogue with the UK supervisor of Netteller (the Financial Services Authority) rather than arrest former board members/large shareholders.

Yet, the dialogue is of course a cumbersome road that doesn't bring quick results (a bit like asking the UN permission for invasion of a country on ill-founded suspicions of some kind). So the alternative is to focus the attack on the former executives and hope that the mother company gets the message. Well, they did, Netteler stopped their business, and the US once again demonstrated its creativity in dealing with (international) legal rules and conventions.

But, can we really blame the US?
It is of course how the West was won.