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. 

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 30 AUG 2017

Panama's attorney general has warned that political and economic elites have made threats against anti-graft prosecutors, mirroring a pattern seen…

BRAZIL / 4 MAR 2021

There were few better at money laundering than the Brazilian Dario Messer, who, while scrambling to save himself from Brazilian…

COLOMBIA / 10 JUN 2013

The recent murder of a Colombian official has brought to light a criminal coalition in which local businessmen, Mexican drug…

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…