Criminal organisations are luring pregnant Russian women into Argentina with so-called childbirth tourism packages, the country’s top immigration official said on Sunday.
Immigration staff uncovered the situation after interviewing 350 Russian women arriving in Argentina with advanced pregnancies, said National Director of Immigration Florencia Carignano on Sunday.
The women, seeking citizenship for their children, pay “important sums” of money for these packages, she wrote on Twitter, adding that immigration officials had "detected a significant increase in the entry of Russian citizens in recent months."
Carignano on Friday reported an increase in the influx of Russians fleeing the effects of the war in Ukraine, with pregnant women accounting for more than half of the 10,500 visitors from that country last year. Argentina doesn’t require visas for Russian tourists.
The discovery has been provided to federal justice authorities to “continue to protect our passport,” Carignano said on Sunday.
"Argentina has a history and legislation that embraces migrants who choose to live in the country in search of a better future. This does not endorse the fact that mafia organisations profit by offering to obtain our passport to people who do not want to live in our country," she concluded.