Spanish police arrest 55 in huge Chinese money laundering operation

NATIONAL POLICE: Operation Shopping NATIONAL POLICE: Operation Shopping Shutterstock

SPAIN’S National Police force has mounted a huge operation to crack open a Chinese money-laundering   gang.

More than 50 people were arrested across 11 Spanish provinces in Operation Shopping.

The main raid centered on the Cobo Calleja industrial estate in Fuenlabrada (Madrid) but arrests were also made in  Barcelona, Sevilla, Malaga, Valencia, Alicante, Mallorca, La Coruña and Gran Canaria.

The operation, carried out by a hundred agents of the National Police’s drugs and organised crime and the economic and fiscal crime units together with the Tax Agency.

Those arrested have been charged with a variety of crimes including money laundering, tax fraud,  false documents and membership of  criminal organisation.

There are similarities to a crime group dismantled in October 2012 smashing one of the biggest networks of laundering and fiscal crime in Spain.

In total, about 90 people were arrested and more than ten million euros in cash were seized.Chinese businessman Gao Ping was the alleged leader of the plot and was sent to prison, although he was released a month later by a judicial error.

In April 2013 he was imprisoned  again after new incriminating evidence was found and he remained in prison until July 2015 after paying a bond of €400,000.

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