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South Americans set up anti-crime border center

August 15, 2006

BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) – The governments of Brazil,
Paraguay and Argentina have set up a joint intelligence center
to combat smuggling and money-laundering in the region where
their borders meet, Brazil said on Tuesday.

The United States, which has long complained that the
so-called Tri-Border area is rampant with cross-frontier crime,
was involved in the establishment of the Regional Intelligence
Center.

Located at Federal Police facilities in the Brazilian city
of Foz do Iguacu, the center will start operations in a few
weeks, Brazil’s foreign ministry said. Creation of the center
signified an increase in cooperation between the three
neighbors, it said.

The area is a hub of trade and commercial activity. In the
latest of many U.S. criticisms, U.S. Assistant Secretary of
State Anne Patterson said in March that it “has long served as
a venue for illicit activity including drugs and arms smuggling
and money-laundering.”

The United States has also said the large Arab community in
the area raised funds for Lebanon’s Hizbollah organization —
which Washington calls a terrorist group — although it has
provided no concrete evidence.


Source: reuters



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