Argentina arrest of fugitive wanted by US for drug trafficking and money laundering shows value of INTERPOL tools

25 June 2009

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina  – A major investigation led by INTERPOL'S National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Washington, Buenos Aires and Montevideo, by its Fugitive Investigative Support unit at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, and by the US Marshals, led to the arrest on 23rd June of Bruce Vito Veniero, wanted for drug trafficking, money laundering and jumping bail ten years earlier. He was the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice issued at the request of INTERPOL Washington. 

Currently in custody in Buenos Aires awaiting extradition, 66-year-old Veniero had been under investigation for 16 months when Argentine police located and arrested him. Illustrating the importance of its regional fugitive contact network, INTERPOL'S Bureau for South America played a key role in helping locate Veniero by co-ordinating the investigations related to financial transactions.

A clear example of how police can benefit from INTERPOL’s resources in tracing and arresting fugitives anywhere in the world, Venieros’ arrest illustrates the value of INTERPOL tools – particularly its notices system and secure communications systems – which operate well beyond national boundaries, making it hard for a criminal to take refuge in another country. 

Between 1993 and 1997, Veniero is believed to have smuggled thousands of kilograms of marijuana from Mexico into distribution networks in New York City.  He is also believed to have laundered over $US 1million of the assets derived from his criminal activities. Arrested but released on a 1-million-dollar bail in January 1998, Veniero had fled his country, thus becoming the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice. 

A Red Notice can be requested by any INTERPOL member country and is issued by INTERPOL'S General Secretariat in Lyon, France.  It is circulated to its 187 NCBs worldwide and can also be added to national law enforcement databases and border lookout systems.  Veniero’s Red Notice provided Argentine authorities with the tool they required to locate and arrest him in collaboration with counterparts across the world.