Featured Americas

Secret guilty plea revealed in US Panama Papers criminal probe

By Will Fitzgibbon, ICIJ, 5 March 2021 ICIJ — A third person has pleaded guilty to financial crimes as part of a probe sparked by the Panama Papers investigation, newly released court documents show. The unexpected guilty plea by Joachim Alexander von der Goltz was… Read More

Plots of Amazon Rainforest Illegally Sold on Facebook

A new investigation has revealed how large swathes of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook, with some listings advertising plots as large as 1,000 football fields. The plots being sold include national forests and indigenous reserves, and most of the ads came from the northern state of… Read More

Venezuela sent gold to Mali, UAE for cash, opposition claims

Venezuela sent gold to Mali in 2020 via Russian-owned planes to exchange for euros and United States dollars that President Nicolas Maduro’s government used to remain afloat despite US sanctions, an opposition representative said on Wednesday. Julio Borges, designated by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as his chief overseas envoy,… Read More
4th March 2021
Florida private equity manager Elliot Smerling has overseen a growing empire of private equity funds reportedly worth more than $1.8 billion and lived a lavish lifestyle, with homes in Florida, New York and Brazil as well as a collection of luxury cars including a Ferrari, a Corvette and a Cadillac… Read More
4th March 2021
More than 20 years ago, a group of former salesmen for Houston software entrepreneur Robert Brockman sued their old boss, claiming in court that he had deprived them of commissions by directing a portion of customer payments to a Cayman Islands entity. Mr. Brockman twice appealed to the Texas… Read More
3rd March 2021
B.C. casino investigators probed real estate lawyers whom they had connected to private mortgages, organized crime and an alleged transnational money-laundering scheme, the province’s inquiry has heard. In testimony Tuesday at the Cullen Commission, Brad Rudnicki, a BC Lottery Corporation anti-money laundering intelligence specialist, said his investigations suggested… Read More
3rd March 2021
A money laundering trail totaling hundreds of millions of dollars that stretched from Latin America to South Florida has ended with corruption charges against a former Ecuadorian official and an investment manager once based in Miami. John Luzuriaga Aguinaga, 52, was arrested Monday on charges of accepting about $1.4 million… Read More
2nd March 2021
Lawyers representing Meng Wanzhou tried to discredit evidence presented by U.S. officials in her extradition hearing, arguing a banker at HSBC Holdings Plc knew that a company doing business with Iran was actually an affiliate of Huawei Technologies Co. One of Meng’s lawyers, Frank Addario, told the… Read More
2nd March 2021
B.C.’s inquiry into money laundering has heard stunning evidence about connections between B.C. government casinos, casinos in Macau and Las Vegas, and international drug traffickers and loan sharks moving money between Vancouver, Latin America and Asia via Chinese underground banks. The Cullen Commission heard new details on Monday about… Read More
1st March 2021
President Joe Biden’s administration is in “no rush” to lift U.S. sanctions on Venezuela but would consider easing them if President Nicolas Maduro takes confidence-building steps showing he is ready to negotiate seriously with the opposition, a White House official told Reuters. Signaling that the new U.S. president may be… Read More
1st March 2021
By Max Radwin, InSight Crime, 27 February 2021 InSight Crime — An investigation has identified Mexico as a major contributor to a global seahorse trafficking network centered around China but this trade is also affecting other Latin American nations. The report, published in February by Mongabay… Read More
1st March 2021
An aircraft belonging to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was detained at Guatemala’s international airport by the local anti-narcotics prosecutor’s office at the request of U.S. authorities, Guatemalan authorities said late on Friday. The reasons for the United States requesting the operation were not immediately clear. Guatemalan authorities said in… Read More
26th February 2021
Four jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands and Morocco, will undergo increased monitoring as they face pressure from a global watchdog to address deficiencies in their anti-money-laundering efforts. The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based organization that sets anti-money-laundering law standards, on Thursday added Burkina Faso, the Cayman Islands, Morocco and… Read More