Argentina Casino Involves in Money Laundering worth Millions

Iguazu casinoIn the recent times, there have been many growing cases of money laundering with the land-based casino sites. For this, the financial regulatory bodies are always keeping a close eye on the gambling industry.

They know that the casinos are the soft targets for the money launders to wash off their black money and come out clean.

The gaming authorities in Argentina have alleged that a casino in the suburbs of Iguazu town in the Triple Frontier region sharing the boundary with Paraguay and Brazil has collected a whopping sum of $10 million as a part of money laundering scheme.

It is suspected that the alleged funds were collected as a part of prize money in an Iguazu casino by a local organisation named as the “Barakat Clan”. It is speculated that this organisation has long ties with a Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim terrorist cell known as Hezbollah.

This terrorist cell is known for being involved in many different acts of terrorism in Buenos Aires. It has been allegedly drawing money through funding from Iguaza and other places in Triple Frontier region over the past 20 years. This region is used as a training ground by this terrorist cell and a staging area for fresh attacks in South America.

Busting of the Scam

The Argentinean Financial Information Unit or UIF has detected 14 people with alleged ties with the Barakat Clan who were crossing the Tancredo Neves bridge to enter Argentina. These people were nabbed by the local authorities, and they were planning to get hold of $ million in the Iguazu casino.

All thanks to the access to UIF on money laundering information exchange, they got enough data and information to alert around 50,000 financial institutions. The Argentina government has instructed and warned these institutions of any related transactions that are linked with the money laundering scheme of Barakat Clan.

Terrorism, Cartel and Gaming Industry

In spite of this breakthrough busting, there still remains a concern over the increasing connection between South American drug cartels and financing for global terrorism. More often than not, these operations use casinos for funding. The casino is a booming industry in South America. GAFILAT or the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America has requested the government for stringent jurisdictions in the problematic Triple Frontier region.

All the major governments across the world have stringent money laundering laws and gaming regulations to control the gambling establishments. Till now, there is no information on what action would be taken on the Argentinean casino for its alleged involvement for millions of money laundering to Hezbollah.

A proper investigation alone would reveal whether the government needs to tighten the screws on its money laundering laws or the gaming regulatory agency to set up adequate vigilance to monitor all the casino sites in the country.


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