HomeNewsBriefSuspicious Financial Transactions in Chile Up 33% from 2012
BRIEF

Suspicious Financial Transactions in Chile Up 33% from 2012

CHILE / 31 OCT 2013 BY NATALIE SOUTHWICK EN

Officials in Chile have reported a 33 percent increase in suspicious financial transactions for the first half of 2013, suggesting organized crime groups are using Chile as a base for money laundering operations.

The Finance Ministry’s Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) received 770 reports of suspicious financial transactions from the private sector between January and June 2013, representing a 33.2 percent increase compared to the same period in 2012, according to Infosur Hoy. Of these, 66 percent — 505 cases — were reported by banks or money transfer businesses, and 101 were subsequently referred to the Public Ministry for investigation.

The Public Ministry has reported 67 money laundering convictions since 2007, with 89 percent of those cases linked to drug trafficking. According to UAF Director Mauricio Fernandez, “drug trafficking is, and will continue to remain for some time, the main source of investigations and sentences for money laundering,” reported Infosur Hoy.

The government also seized approximately $6 million and 43 properties from people linked to money laundering between 2007 and 2011. According to Fernandez, the ease with which companies are created in Chile facilitates money laundering, with 30,620 new businesses registered in the first five months of the year — a 40 percent increase on the same period in 2012.

InSight Crime Analysis

Chile’s economic stability and growth make it an attractive location for the financial operations of criminal groups. According to former UAF director Tamara Agnic, laundering money in Chile is appealing because funds coming from the country are not seen as suspicious when they enter other markets.

See Also: Coverage of Money Laundering

Though not as significant as the major regional markets of Argentina and Brazil, Chile does have a growing domestic drug market. The small, relatively wealthy country accounts for 10 percent of all cocaine consumed in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the UNODC. Chile also plays a smaller role as a transshipment point for Europe-bound drugs.

However, while the growth of the drug trade and money laundering may cause concern for the longevity of the nation’s status as the safest country in Latin America, the fact Chilean authorities actually have a handle on the extent of dubious financial transactions, are able to quantify them, and are willing to publicize them, is testament to it having one of the healthiest democracies in the region. 

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

GOLD / 1 MAY 2012

Mexican authorities say that, since 2008, criminal gangs have robbed so many trucks carrying gold shipments that some mining companies…

BOLIVIA / 4 JAN 2019

Drug traffickers are recruiting women by the hundreds to transport drugs from Bolivia to feed Chile’s growing consumer market.

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 MAY 2018

The US arrest of a man with family ties to one of Honduras’ largest government institutions is a clear sign…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …