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Uruguay’s national secretariat unit, SENACLAFT, revealed three obstacles in fighting money laundering and disclosed that money laundering cases have doubled from 1,597 in 2018 to 3,021 in 2022.
The data was published by Uruguay’s national financial regulatory authority, showing that money laundering tied to drug trafficking has promptly increased and has doubled from 1,597 in 2018 to 3,021 in 2022. The information in the report was from the various institutions of the state, including the Central Bank of Uruguay. Further, this assessment focused on the five areas of national investigations, financial institutions, international corporations, preventative systems and convictions.
In a recent analysis of the country’s anti-money laundering measures, Alejandro Aparicio Montesdeoca, the financial consultant for the SENACLAFT, has found that Uruguay disbursed little on detecting and preventing money laundering. Scammers can launder money due to a lack of resources because of the “common dominator.” The negligent regulations combined with a lack of resources make it easy for the scammers to abuse the system.
According to the Montesdeoca, “In Uruguay, there are only 12 people investigating financial operations and strategies, plus some supervisors in a few sectors. There are at least 50, 60, and 70 people in the rest of the region.”
Moreover, the country has no specialised unit dedicated to fight financial crimes, like Brazil and Paraguay. Along with that, the private and government financial firms do not collaborate adequately with each other to combat financial crimes.
Despite overcoming these loopholes, Uruguay’s government increased the cash limit payments in 2020 from $4,000 to $100,000 by calling it a financial freedom for businesses. Nicolás Centurión, a Uruguay crime observer at the Latin American Centre for Strategic Analysis, stated, “Someone can show up with $100,000, and no one has to ask questions. With that, you can buy more than a car. You can buy a business.”