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Chinese money laundering ring busted

Over 2.7 billion euros believed to have been exported

28 June, 15:26
Chinese money laundering ring busted (ANSA) - Rome, June 28 - In a major operation against the Chinese mafia on Monday, Italian tax police broke up a money laundering ring believed to have exported 2.7 billion euros in illicit earnings over the past four years.

The operation saw the Finance Guard make arrests, carry out searches and seize assets in eight regions: Tuscany, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Campania and Sicily.

A total of 24 people were arrested, 17 of whom were Chinese and the rest Italians, and 134 others were formally placed under investigation.

"The fight against the mafia, including the Chinese one, will continue incessantly," Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said.

"This important operation against the Chinese mafia interrupted the flow of significant amounts of money and goods which could have further increased the earnings of this powerful criminal organization in Italy," Maroni added. The magistrate who coordinated the probe, Pietro Sucan, explained how the investigation "uncovered a major movement of money between Italy and China and a flow of illegal aliens from China to Italy, all taking place in a murky underworld of silence and illegal interests involving not only the Chinese but also Italians". According to investigators, 100 enterprises were able to launder illegal earnings through a network of money transfer agencies which sent the cash to China.

Those arrested face charges of money laundering, tax evasion, aiding the illegal entry into Italy of foreigners and exploiting the illegal labor, prostitution, counterfeiting, commercial fraud through selling products with fake brand names or in violation of laws protecting Italian-made goods, receiving stolen property and theft.

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