Europol: French and Spanish authorities crack down on Chinese money laundering gang

July 5, 2024

Prolific criminal network believed to have had the capacity to smuggle over one million euros in cash per dayContent type

Five members of an alleged Chinese criminal network have been arrested this week in Spain as part of a joint law enforcement investigation supported by Europol.

Between 2 and 3 July, a dozen searches of homes, company headquarters, commercial warehouses and restaurants were carried out. The searches involved some hundred Spanish police officers who were supported on the ground by French Judicial Customs investigators and Europol experts. The searches took place in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, and Barcelona.

The head of the criminal network is among those arrested. Close to EUR 160 000 in cash was seized during the searches.

The investigation was initiated in February 2021 by the French authorities after the French Customs in Perpignan seized more than half a million euros in cash hidden in a vehicle equipped with a concealed compartment.

The investigation conducted by the French National Anti-Fraud Office (ONAF) under the direction of the specialised interregional jurisdiction (JIRS) of Marseille resulted in the  uncovering of a money laundering network. Composed of Chinese nationals, the criminal network is believed to have been operating across Europe since at least 2019. This prolific criminal network is believed to have had the capacity to smuggle over one million euros in cash per day.

These sums came from a number of illegal activities, including the trafficking of counterfeit goods, tax and customs fraud, and prostitution. The criminal network relied on a sophisticated network of logistic experts who would facilitate the movement of the cash across Europe.

This operation was carried out with the financial support of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT).

The following authorities took part:

  • France: National Anti-Fraud Office (Office national anti-fraude – ONAF)
  • Spain: National Police (Policía Nacional)

Related Articles

Construction and industry find it difficult to obtain loans

Construction and industry find it difficult to obtain loans

Ifo Institute survey for June shows increase in banks' reluctance to lend It is not only the order situation for construction and industry that remains difficult, but also financing. According to a new survey by the ifo Institute (https://www.ifo.de), 27.1 per cent of...

Verimi increases user growth tenfold and wins long-term contracts

Verimi increases user growth tenfold and wins long-term contracts

Verimi and T-Systems sign multi-year contract with AOK-Gemeinschaft for the development and operation of the digital identity (GesundheitsID) for the 27 million AOK policyholders Verimi increases user growth tenfold, launches new solutions for fraud prevention in...

Share This