October 22, 2012
A fraud organisation said to have laundered up to €1.2 billion and includes illicit inkjet and toner products has been raided.
More than 80 people have been arrested on an early morning police raid across Spain as authorities target a money-laundering ring linked to Chinese businesses, reports Elpais. Persons arrested include pornographic actor Nacho Vidal, Fuenlabrada Socialist security chief José Borrás and Madrid-based art dealer Gao Ping.
The ring was reportedly led by Ping, and police officials state that the bank accounts of 122 individuals and 235 businesses have been frozen. Approximately 200 vehicles have been seized and a number of weapons and valuable art objects have also been confiscated.
Arrests were made across several countries, with a majority of suspects apprehended in Madrid and Barcelona.
The ring is said to have laundered between €800 million ($1 billion) and €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) in four years. Charges against the ring are predominantly financial crimes although additional violations include bribery, prostitution, extortion, illegal gambling and people and drug trafficking are currently under investigation.
A source to The Recycler states that inkjet and toner products were also part of the ring’s illicit imports.
The system of fraud reportedly committed by the ring involved the importing of massive amounts of merchandise from China to be sold to large commercial operations thus avoiding Customs and Excise and tax. Elpais also claims the collusion of corrupt public employees.
Money was subsequently stored in various safehouses and containers to be utilises in other illicit activities and a money lending operation stated as being built on threats and extortion.
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