Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Brazil

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report

In 2013, Brazil was the world’s seventh largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a major drug-transit country, as well as one of the world’s largest consumer countries. Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, is considered a regional financial center for Latin America. Money laundering in Brazil is primarily related to domestic crime, especially drug trafficking, corruption, organized crime, gambling, and trade in various types of contraband. Laundering channels include the use of banks, real estate investment, financial asset markets, luxury goods, remittance networks, informal financial networks, and trade-based money laundering.

Sao Paulo and the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay are particular areas that possess high risk factors for money laundering. In addition to weapons and narcotics, a wide variety of counterfeit goods, including CDs, DVDs, and computer software (much of it of Asian origin), are routinely smuggled across the border from Paraguay into Brazil. In addition to Sao Paulo and the TBA, other areas of the country are also of growing concern. The Government of Brazil and local officials in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Parana, for example, report increased involvement by Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo gangs in the already significant trafficking in weapons and drugs that plagues Brazil’s western border states.

Brazil has four free trade zones/ports (FTZs). The government provides tax benefits in certain FTZs, which are located to attract investment to the country’s relatively underdeveloped North and Northeast regions.

For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/

DO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ENGAGE IN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING THAT INCLUDE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF US CURRENCY; CURRENCY DERIVED FROM ILLEGAL SALES IN THE U.S.; OR ILLEGAL DRUG SALES THAT OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE U.S.: NO

CRIMINALIZATION OF MONEY LAUNDERING:

“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: List approach

Are legal persons covered: criminally: NO civilly: NO

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: YES

KYC covered entities: Commercial and savings banks and credit unions; insurance companies and brokers; securities, foreign exchange, and commodities brokers/traders; real estate brokers; credit card companies; money remittance businesses; factoring companies; gaming and lottery operators and bingo parlors; dealers in jewelry, precious metals, art and antiques

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: Not available

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not available

STR covered entities: Commercial and savings banks and credit unions; insurance companies and brokers; securities, foreign exchange, and commodities brokers/traders; real estate brokers; credit card companies; money remittance businesses; factoring companies; gaming and lottery operators and bingo parlors; dealers in jewelry, precious metals, art and antiques

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: Not available

Convictions: Not available

RECORDS EXCHANGE MECHANISM:

With U.S.: MLAT: YES Other mechanism: YES

With other governments/jurisdictions: YES

Brazil is a member of the FATF and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD), a FATF-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: http://www.fatf-gafi.org/countries/a-c/brazil/

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

Brazil does not maintain comprehensive statistics on money laundering prosecutions and convictions. Only combined figures are available for STRs/CTRs. As long as these reports are aggregated, it may be difficult to determine patterns of STR submission by volume, type of filer, or type of violation. Between January and October 2013, 1,084,153 STRs/CTRs were filed.

The Government of Brazil achieved visible results over the last few years from investments in border and law enforcement infrastructure, executed with a view to gradually control the flow of goods, both legal and illegal, across Brazil’s land borders. Anti-smuggling and law enforcement efforts by state and federal agencies increased. Brazilian Customs and the Brazilian Tax Authority continue to take effective action to suppress the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and contraband goods along the border with Paraguay. Due to the effective crackdown on the Friendship Bridge connecting Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, and Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, most smuggling migrated to other sections of the border. The Federal Police have Special Maritime Police Units that aggressively patrol the maritime border areas.

Some high-priced goods in the TBA are paid for in U.S. dollars, and cross-border bulk cash smuggling is a concern. Large sums of U.S. dollars generated from licit and suspected illicit commercial activity are transported physically from Paraguay into Brazil. From there, the money may make its way to banking centers in the United States. However, Brazil maintains some control of capital flows and requires disclosure of the ownership of corporations.

Brazil’s Trade Transparency Unit, in partnership with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aggressively analyzes, identifies, and investigates companies and individuals involved in trade-based money laundering activities between the two countries. As a result, the government identified millions of dollars of lost revenue.

Brazil is a party to the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism; however, Brazil does not criminalize terrorism financing in a manner consistent with international standards.