The National Congress has extended the benefits for whistleblowers to crimes against the public administration (corruption and fraud against public administration), customs criminal offenses and economic and financial crimes.
The new section 41 ter of the Argentine Criminal Code (“ACC”) establishes the reduction of penalty to any person who provides reliable information or accurate and credible data, useful to (i) prevent or stop any of the offenses mentioned above, (ii) disclose the identity or whereabouts of other participants of these offenses and/or (iii) assist in the clarification of the facts under investigation.
While the benefits for whistle-blowers were already regulated for investigations related to drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering, among others, since the enactment of this law (the law has not been yet published at the Public Gazzette), any accused individual who provides useful information for corruption investigations may be benefited with the reduction of one-third of the maximum and half of the minimum sanction for the relevant crime.
Although these benefits could raise some practical issues in their implementation for customs crimes (section 42 ACC), the benefits for the whistle-blower in investigations of crimes against public administration, such as cases of corruption and fraudulent administration of public funds, represents an innovative tool with high impact on ongoing investigations.
Additionally, it should be mentioned that the law specifically precludes total exemption from punishment to whistle-blowers and establishes the procedure according to which the whistle-blower must reach an agreement with the prosecutor before the oral trial stage, to assure the implementation of the abovementioned benefits.