Argentinean Casino Alleged To Have Laundered Millions To Hezbollah

Argentinean Casino Alleged To Have Laundered Millions To Hezbollah July 18, 2018 July 18, 2018 Paul Butcher
 General July 18, 2018 by Paul Butcher

ArgentinaFinancial regulators always keep an eye out on the casino industry because they know that money launders often target casinos in order to wash their dirty money and come up clean. The latest money laundering concerns involve an Argentinean casino.

Argentinean authorities have alleged that a casino in the town of Iguazu, in the Triple Frontier region shared with Brazil and Paraguay collected $10 million as part of a money laundering scheme.

The funds were suspected to have been collected as alleged prize money in an Iguazu casino by an organization known locally as the “Barakat Clan”. The organization had long been suspected to have ties to the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim terrorist cell Hezbollah.

The terrorist cell, which was suspected to have been involved in numerous terrorism acts in Buenos Aires, has allegedly been able to draw funding from Iguazu and other places in the Triple Frontier region for the last two decades. They have also been known to use it as training grounds, and as a staging area for attacks in South America.

The Bust

In the days leading up to the Barakat Clan’s apprehension, the Argentinean Financial Information Unit (UIF) detected 14 individuals with supposed ties to the organization crossing the Tancredo Neves bridge into Argentina, with some registering multiple crossings. They turned out to have planned to make charges amounting to $10 million in the Iguazu casino, once they were in Argentina. Thanks to the UIF’s access to the information exchange on money laundering, they were able to obtain enough data to alert as many as 50,000 financial institutions.

These institutions were instructed to warn the government of any transactions that may be linked to the Barakat Clan’s money laundering scheme.

Cartels, Terrorism And The Gaming Industry

Despite this breakthrough bust, there remains the concern of the ever-growing connection between drug cartels in South America and the financing of global terror. Often, these operations involve casinos, another business booming in South America. The Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT) have appealed for stricter jurisdiction in problematic areas such as the Triple Frontier region.

Governments across the world have strict money laundering laws and gaming regulators are expected to oversee and enforce them across all gambling establishments. So far there has been no information as to what action will be taken against the casino for indulging in money laundering activities. An inquest will reveal whether the Argentinean government needs to tighten its money laundering laws or whether the gaming regulator needs to step up its vigilance over all casino properties.

Paul ButcherAuthor

Hi, I am the Chief Editor of, this site is dedicated to all thing casino. I have been working around the casino industry for the last 12 years, with different brands. The main purpose of this site is to keep you informed with the latest news and offers around