All About Contraband

BRAZIL / 2 NOV 2021

Counterfeit cigarettes may appear harmless, but the illicit tobacco trade often spurs other criminal activities – with the latest case being the use of slave labor by a ring that…

CARIBBEAN / 15 OCT 2021

Merchants travelling to Trinidad and Tobago, fishing vessels, even the occasional tourist – all are tempting targets for pirates off Venezuela’s northern state of Sucre.  …

CHINA AND CRIME / 11 OCT 2021

Contraband Chinese cigarettes are pouring into Latin America, infiltrating old smuggling routes and threatening longstanding criminal empires.

CONTRABAND / 7 OCT 2021

Specialist gangs are smuggling luxury vehicles from Colombia into Venezuela, shining a spotlight on how the country has become a destination for stolen cars from as far away as Miami.

ARGENTINA / 24 SEP 2021

An influx of contraband chicken from Argentina into Paraguay has overwhelmed the local market and is threatening to put local farmers out of business.

CONTRABAND / 27 AUG 2021

Authorities in Peru have dismantled a ring that sold explosives to gangs involved in illegal mining, showing how dangerous products needed to mine gold generate illicit profits.

ARGENTINA / 11 AUG 2021

Authorities in Argentina are seizing bumper crops of coca leaves coming over the country's northwest border with Bolivia, causing the price of the leaves - likely intended for chewing as…

BRAZIL / 11 AUG 2021

A number of recent raids have highlighted how illegal pesticide smuggling in Brazil is fueled by Chinese contraband.

BRAZIL / 28 JUL 2021

A cargo-theft ring in Rio de Janeiro partnered with a drug gang to steal millions of dollars’ worth of goods, showing how criminal actors in Brazil come together to commit…

BOLIVIA / 22 JUL 2021

A recent clash between soldiers and smugglers has pointed to how Bolivia’s trade in contraband has reached a flashpoint.

CONTRABAND / 30 JUN 2021

In the absence of an adequate COVID-19 vaccination plan, criminal networks in Venezuela have seized upon ongoing mismanagement to steal and resell doses or sell fake vaccines on the black…

ARGENTINA / 27 MAY 2021

While contraband has boomed at the Argentina-Brazil border during the COVID-19 pandemic, wine seems to have been in particularly high demand, with one high-profile murder being linked to its smuggling.

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Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…