Money laundering: the Chinese network dismantled by Europol from Perpignan transported 1 million euros per day to Europe

Money laundering: the Chinese network dismantled by Europol from Perpignan transported 1 million euros per day to Europe

Des sommes colossales qui voyageaient dans toute l’Europe clandestinement. Midi Libre – FRANCK VALENTIN

Cette structure pilotée depuis l’Espagne était basée depuis 2019 sur des Chinois habitant dans plusieurs pays européens. Plus de 650 000 € ont été saisis au cours de l’enquête.

A clandestine money laundering network, run from Spain and based on Chinese residents living in several European countries, was dismantled this week by the French customs, the Spanish police and by Europol, in this investigation which began in Perpignan in February 2021.

Around fifteen searches were carried out on July 2 and 3 in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante and Barcelona, ​​and five suspects, including the alleged leader of the organization, were arrested, indicated this Friday, July 5, the Marseille prosecutor's office and Europol, in two press releases.

Counterfeiting, tax evasion or pimping

"This particularly active network was capable of smuggling across Europe more than one million euros, in cash, per day. These sums came from various sources and criminal activities" coming among other things "counterfeit trafficking, tax and customs fraud and pimping" specifies the Marseille prosecutor's office.

The investigation began in February 2021 in Perpignan, where customs officers had seized more than 500,000 euros, discovered in a cache set up in a vehicle. "The judicial investigation carried out by the Perpignan branch of the Occitanie territorial unit of the ONAF made it possible to reveal the existence of an organization specializing in money laundering operating across all Member States of the European Union since at least 2019.

Collection points and logisticians

The investigations, carried out under the direction of an investigating magistrate from the Specialized Interregional Jurisdiction of Marseille, made it possible to discover a very effective network, based on numerous collection points in Europe funds of clandestine origin, which were then entrusted to a network of logisticians dedicated to facilitating the travel of the accomplices responsible for transporting the sums across Europe.

This international operation, for which Europol ensured coordination upstream and provided, during it, its specialized technical and financial support, reveals the preponderant place occupied by Asian criminal organizations in dirty money laundering activities in Europe. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of European judicial cooperation.

Two of the people arrested were the subject of European arrest warrants issued immediately by the French justice system. Also seized were 167 500 euros in cash, as well as a large volume of digital data.

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