HomeNewsBriefEcuador Arrest Highlights Lax Immigration Policy, Enforcement
BRIEF

Ecuador Arrest Highlights Lax Immigration Policy, Enforcement

ECUADOR / 19 NOV 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Ecuador has arrested an alleged Italian mafia member who held a legitimate work visa in the country but was wanted on criminal charges in Italy, highlighting how the country's lax entry requirements are attracting foreign organized crime.

Ecuadorean police and agents from international police body Interpol arrested Valentino Alampi in the port city of Guayaquil on November 14, reported Hoy. Alampi is allegedly the brother and business partner of the leader of criminal organization Cosca Alampi, based in the Calabria region of southern Italy. He was wanted by Interpol for evading a four and a half year prison sentence in Italy for mafia ties, and a warrant for his extradition was issued in Ecuador in May.

At the time of his arrest, Alampi held an Ecuadorean work visa as executive director of the company Jampoli S.A., which is under investigation for money laundering, reported El Comercio. He has been transferred to Quito to await extradition to Italy.

InSight Crime Analysis

Ecuador has among the most lax immigration requirements in the world, allowing citizens of almost any country in the world to enter for 90 days without a visa -- while this case suggests getting hold of one is not much of a challenge either. This ease of entry has made it an attractive destination for foreign criminals, especially combined with its dollar currency and its location between two of the world's major cocaine producing nations. Various Colombian groups have set up shop in the country, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Rastrojos, and most recently, the Urabeños. Chinese triads have taken advantage of the lack of visa regulations to increase human trafficking through the country, and Italian, Ukranian and Albanian groups have also been identified as working in Ecuador by the US Drug Enforcement Administration: a "United Nations" of drug traffickers, Andean director Jay Bergman told Reuters in 2011.

The Cosca Alampi, which is involved in extortion and controls city waste contracts in Calabria, is linked to the famous 'Ndrangheta mafia that operates in the region, according to Prensa Latina. The 'Ndrangheta, which is estimated to control 80 percent of European cocaine distribution, is known to be present in Colombia, where an Italian cocaine broker with links going back to the Medellin Cartel was arrested in July, and four important Italian drug traffickers were arrested this spring. It has also worked with Mexico's Zetas

SEE ALSO: Coverage of European Organized Crime

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

ECUADOR / 19 MAY 2011

Ecuador has opened an investigation into allegations that President Rafael Correa received campaign contributions from the Colombian guerrilla…

ECUADOR / 3 OCT 2017

A judge in Ecuador ordered Vice President Jorge Glas detained as an investigation looks into whether he took bribes…

COLOMBIA / 22 JUN 2016

From the jungles of Brazil to the elegant boulevards of Madrid, some of Colombia's most renowned drug traffickers of recent…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…