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. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GUATEMALA / 29 SEP 2020

Criminal groups increasingly deploying drones -- for purposes ranging from surveillance to reported armed attacks of rivals -- has provoked…

ARGENTINA / 10 NOV 2015

Just weeks before Argentina's presidential election, a prominent Colombian drug trafficker claimed he has information that will enable investigators to…

ARGENTINA / 14 AUG 2015

The trial in Argentina for the murder of a Colombian guerrilla turned top level narco may have left more questions…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.