HomeNewsBriefStricter Law May Spell Trouble for Brazil’s Money Laundering Politicians
BRIEF

Stricter Law May Spell Trouble for Brazil’s Money Laundering Politicians

BRAZIL / 19 JUL 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

A bill recently approved by the Brazilian Senate expands the definiton of money laundering, and may make it easier to prosecute government officials guilty of the crime.

Brazil’s main anti-money laundering statute, passed in 1998, states that suspects can only be prosecuted if the laundered cash originated from drug trafficking, arms trafficking, kidnapping, and a range of other activities linked to organized crime.

A new bill, passed by the Brazilian Senate on June 6, allows suspects to be prosecuted for handling money that comes from any illicit source, not just those on a predefined list.

The bill also raises the maximum prison term for money laundering from three to 10 years, and the maximum fine from 200,000 reais (about $98,400) to 20 million reais (about $98 million). It also makes it easier for law enforcement to seize assets and property linked to crime.

The bill must now be signed into law by President Dilma Rousseff.

InSight Crime Analysis

By expanding the scope of activities for which suspected money launderers may be prosecuted, the new law may make it easier to prosecute “white-collar” crime in Brazil. This includes activities like fiscal evasion, concealing illicit goods, and the creation of slush funds which are typically associated with government officials.

The expansion of these terms has caused some critics to say the bill “trivializes” money laundering by making it too easy to charge people with the crime.

According to a 2008 article published by Brazilian business newspaper Valor Economico and translated by Brazil-based blogger Colin Brayton, it is thought that up to 70 percent of the money laundered in Brazil can be traced back to official corruption.

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

BRAZIL / 20 MAY 2014

Statistics from Rio de Janeiro's Police Pacification Units (UPP) show a fall in the murder rates in the shantytowns where they…

BRAZIL / 6 JUL 2017

A new citizen-created security app has been introduced in Rio de Janeiro to help alert citizens about where shootings…

CACHIROS / 13 OCT 2015

One of Honduras' biggest banks is to be liquidated as a result of the money laundering investigation into the powerful…

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…