U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Brasilia office held a training session Aug. 11-15 for the Brazilian government's Federal Police and Customs and Tax Authority.
The session took place at the Port of Santos in the state of Sao Paulo and focused on cross-border financial investigation training (CBFIT) methods, which have proven successful in combating the smuggling of bulk cash and other contraband material at major Brazilian sea ports. Session participants received instruction on: money laundering, moving and smuggling bulk currency, money service businesses, informal value transfer systems, trade-based money laundering, cross-border fraud, investigative techniques, kleptocracy and asset forfeiture. The training also featured practical exercises on how criminal and terrorist organizations collect, store and move illicit proceeds.
Special agents from HSI domestic offices, as well as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer and assistant U.S. attorney, assisted with the training. Remarks were provided by the U.S. Counsel General in Sao Paulo; the deputy superintendent of the Brazilian Customs and Tax Authority; the area supervisor of the Brazilian Federal Police; and Cheryl Bassett, HSI attaché, Brazil and Bolivia.
"This training helps reinforce the broader law enforcement efforts of HSI and its Brazilian partners to combat transnational human trafficking and financial-related crimes," said Bassett. "By shutting down money laundering operations criminal and terrorist organizations use to move their funds, we can make significant dents in their ability to commit future crimes."
In addition to the completed weeklong session, HSI Brasilia will hold two additional training sessions in the region in August and September. The first will take place in Sao Paulo and focus on trafficking in persons training for Brazilian law enforcement officers, HSI personnel and staff members at the U.S. Consulate. The second will be held at the Port of Suape in the state of Pernambuco and focus on cross-border financial investigation training.
Brazil is a source, transit and destination country for both sexual exploitation and forced labor. As a result, Brazil has ranked as a "Tier Two" country in the U.S. Department of State's "Trafficking in Persons Report" over the past eight years. In 2012, Brazilian and U.S. officials signed a joint statement pledging to combat trafficking in persons. HSI Brasilia supports this joint commitment through training, information sharing and partnership building. The Aug. 11-15 session was the fourth human trafficking training course provided to the Brazilian government this fiscal year. The others took place in Manaus, Recife and Brasilia. Additionally, HSI Brasilia spearheads money laundering investigations to combat the threat of terrorist financing within the region.
HSI has 67 offices and eight Department of Defense liaisons in 48 countries around the world with more than 380 government and contract personnel committed to the agency's mission. The attachés within HSI's International Operations serve as the agency's liaisons to their local government and law enforcement counterparts. The attachés are responsible for the following duties: