Dismantling of an international money laundering network in Europe by Spanish and French police: a stash of 500,000 euros discovered near Perpignan.

Un réseau international de blanchiment démantelé en Europe par les polices espagnole et française
          L'enquête avait débuté après la découverte en février 2021 près de Perpignan par des douaniers français de plus de 500 000 euros dissimulés dans une cache à l'intérieur d'un véhicule.

In February 2021, French customs officers made an unexpected discovery near Perpignan: over 500,000 euros hidden in a vehicle. This find was the starting point of an investigation that quickly gained momentum. Authorities immediately launched investigations to understand the origin of this significant sum of hidden money. The customs officers had to implement strategies to trace the individuals involved in this money trafficking. The information gathered allowed the investigators to progress in their search and uncover a vast money laundering network. The ramifications of this case turned out to be much more complex than expected, involving several international actors and organizations. The investigative work of the authorities was crucial in dismantling this network and ending its illegal activities.

International money laundering network dismantled in Europe

Spanish and French authorities announced jointly on Friday, July 5, that they had dismantled an international network composed of Chinese nationals specializing in money laundering in Europe. The investigation, initiated after the discovery of over 500,000 euros hidden in a vehicle near Perpignan in February 2021 by French customs officers, led to the arrest of five people in Spain, including the head of this network.

Under the supervision of a magistrate from the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Marseille, the investigation highlighted the existence of an organization operating in money laundering across the European Union since at least 2019. This network, composed of Chinese nationals residing in different European countries, had the capacity to transit over a million euros in cash each day across Europe.

The modus operandi of this network relied on establishing multiple fundraising points originating from, among other things, counterfeit trafficking, tax and customs fraud, and prostitution. These funds were then entrusted to a network of logisticians who organized the movements of accomplices tasked with transporting the sums across Europe.

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Money transfers were carried out both by road and by air, according to a statement released in Spain. The five individuals arrested in Spain in connection with this case, in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, and Barcelona, included the head of this network, a Chinese business owner.

Article Source: Francetvinfo

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