By Laura Kemp • 26 October 2021 • 14:54
Group behind €45million money laundering scheme arrested in Valencia
Five suspects were arrested in the Spanish province of Valencia for allegedly belonging to a criminal group that had laundered more than €45 million.
This operation was carried out by the Spanish National Police (Policia Nacional), together with the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria) and Europol.
During the investigation there were five arrests, two house searches in the region of Valencia, 16 properties seized, 35 bank accounts blocked, two luxury cars seized and €21,000 in cash seized.
The investigation began in 2017 and focused on an organised crime group that controlled companies based in Spain and in tax havens that appeared to be the recipients of large international transactions.
Investigators detected that a Spanish company, led by a family-run criminal organisation, had introduced over €45 million into the Spanish financial sector, funds with possible illicit origins related to corruption.
Investigators examined the commercial operations of this company, mainly operating in the interior design and building decoration business, and discovered their prices to be much higher than the market value given that the company was lacking in personnel and infrastructure.
In order to execute their illegal activities, the criminal group made large payments to bank accounts in third countries controlled by frontmen which were then detected as possible bribes.
To hide its extraordinary increase in assets, the criminal group created a corporate structure that was intended to hide the final destination of the illicit funds obtained. A significant amount of these funds was laundered through thepurchase of numerous properties in the city of Valencia.
Europol deployed a specialist from its European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC), to support the national authorities with real-time cross-checks and analysis.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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