HomeNewsBriefGang's Stake in Argentina Soccer Player is Dire Sign
BRIEF

Gang's Stake in Argentina Soccer Player is Dire Sign

ARGENTINA / 11 NOV 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

A court in Argentina has taken control of a soccer player's registration while it investigates if funds from any future transfer were destined for a drug gang, in a case suggesting organized criminal groups have a major stake in the nation's sports rights.

According to La Nacion, the registration of Angel Correa -- a young forward with the Buenos Aires team San Lorenzo -- is being investigated under the suspicion it is owned, or part-owned, by the Argentine organized crime group "Los Monos."

Correa himself is also under investigation for alleged links to the group, after telephone calls were intercepted in which both he and his agent were heard apparently negotiating a deal with the gang's leader, Ramon Machuca, alias "Monchi," reported Clarin.  

Correa is one of 120 soccer players whose rights are under investigation for alleged links to the same group, reported La Nacion. According to La Capital, the club owns 60 percent of the rights of the player -- one of the hottest prospects in Argentine soccer after making his debut during the 2012-13 season -- but up to 35 percent of the remaining share is owned by the Cantero family, which runs the crime group.

According to La Nacion, Correa grew up in the same area as the Canteros; Correa's family allegedly received financial assistance from the Canteros on the condition the crime family would receive some of the funds from any future transfer.

InSight Crime Analysis

Corruption and organized crime in Argentine soccer is a significant problem. A major money laundering investigation earlier this year included raids of major financial institutions, investigations of officials from big club teams and ten arrests. Organized criminals have apparently taken advantage of the large sums of money changing hands, potential for money laundering and the fact that third parties are allowed to own the registration of individual players -- something illegal in many European leagues.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

Criminality in Argentine soccer also extends to fans, with organized supporter groups known as "Barras Bravas" running ticket and parking rackets, selling merchandise and dealing drugs at matches, as well as allegedly taking cuts of players' transfer fees and paychecks.

The involvement of organized crime in Latin American soccer has a longstanding tradition. In 2011, the leader of a "soccer cartel" that laundered money through Bogota club Santa Fe was arrested in Argentina. Earlier this year, 22 members of El Salvador's national soccer team were implicated in a match-fixing scandal.

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

ARGENTINA / 18 MAY 2021

A judge in Argentina has been charged with running a corruption network that included lawyers and a slain customs official,…

ARGENTINA / 27 MAY 2021

While contraband has boomed at the Argentina-Brazil border during the COVID-19 pandemic, wine seems to have been in particularly high…

ARGENTINA / 23 NOV 2022

Rocco Morabito embodied the 'Ndrangheta business model in Latin America. Read about his incredible story here.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…