HomeNewsBriefArgentina Follows the Money in Human Trafficking Investigations
BRIEF

Argentina Follows the Money in Human Trafficking Investigations

ARGENTINA / 8 FEB 2016 BY SAM TABORY EN

Argentine prosecutors are pursuing money laundering investigations into alleged human trafficking organizations suspected of hiding millions of dollars in illicit profits. 

A report from the Argentine Prosecutor’s Office for Economic and Money Laundering Crimes (Procuraduría de Criminalidad Económica y Lavado de Activos – PROCELAC) indicates multiple ongoing investigations into the money laundering activities of human trafficking organizations suspected of laundering nearly $9.3 million, reported La Nación

The report contends that illicit funds, generated primarily by sex trafficking operations, were invested in casinos, construction projects, and other businesses, as well as used to buy luxury cars and gold bars. 

Prosecutor Carlos Gonella told La Nación that, “As in all organized crime, you have to attack the profits of the organization. Prison time for the guilty is important, but going after their money is critical to ending this type of crime.”

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Human Trafficking

Gonella noted that the investigations are the result of cooperation between PROCELAC and the Prosecutor’s Office for Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Procuraduría de Trata y Explotación de Personas – PROTEX).

Among the networks being investigated is the well known “Clan Alé,” a suspected criminal organization best known for its alleged role in the 2002 disappearance of trafficking victim Marita Verón, whose mother would go on to lead an internationally recognized fight against human trafficking in Argentina. 

InSight Crime Analysis 

These latest investigations may mark a shift in tactics as authorities try to combat Argentina’s reputation as a regional trafficking hub. While the number of investigations related to human trafficking charges has risen in recent years, conviction rates remain low. Pursuing money laundering charges against suspected these groups could ultimately prove more effective as a prosecuting mechanism since securing eyewitnesses is a difficult task for any justice system seeking to take down sex trafficking rings.  

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

Since 2010, Argentina has been categorized as a “tier two” country, according to the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Person’s Report, an upgrade from its previous designation as “tier two watch list.” The 2015 report states that, “The Government of Argentina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.” 

The International Labor Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, has reported estimates suggesting that forced labor generates global annual revenues of nearly $150 billion. Two-thirds of that estimated revenue are thought to be connected to forced commercial sexual exploitation, with the remaining third being connected to forced commercial labor exploitation. 

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 30 MAY 2012

The case of a shady Balkan crime network sheds light on the ways that the South American drug trade has…

CARIBBEAN / 11 MAR 2014

Until recently, abductions in Haiti were rampant and almost always happened the same way: ski-mask-clad kidnappers would surround a house,…

ARGENTINA / 28 APR 2011

Paraguay will begin patrolling its border with Bolivia by air in order to crack down on drug trafficking, reports La…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…