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

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

ECUADOR / 2 MAY 2014

Authorities in Ecuador have captured members of what they call the "most dangerous" group dedicated to bank robbery at a…

COCAINE / 14 OCT 2019

In an effort to move large quantities of drugs to Europe, traffickers continue to target Ecuador’s port city of Guayaquil…

ECUADOR / 20 JAN 2020

The criminal, economic and political dynamics behind illegal gold rushes this past year in Venezuela and Ecuador were very different.

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…