…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
Spanish police has broken up a major Chinese criminal operation that illegally shipped Chinese products to Spain for distribution throughout Europe.
Spanish police chief Ignacio Cosido said authorities detained 83 suspected members of a crime syndicate in nationwide raids on homes and businesses. The suspects include 58 Chinese nationals, 17 Spaniards and eight other foreign nationals. Around 500 officers were involved in so called “Operation Emperor”.
The authorities believe the crime syndicate smuggled cheap Chinese goods into Spain, evading taxes and illegally transferring some of the proceeds back to China. The rest of the money is thought to have been laundered inside Spain through illicit activities such as prostitution. The detained suspects include prominent Madrid-based Chinese businessman and art gallery owner Gao Ping; Fuenlabrada city council member Jose Borras; and a Spanish porn actor Nacho Vidal.
The raids also led to the seizure of $15 million in cash, about 200 vehicles and a similar number of bank accounts.
A local Chinese business group as expressed concern that the breakup of the Chinese crime syndicate will tarnish the image of Spain’s Chinese community. The organization said most Chinese students and workers in the country are dedicated and honest people who are trying to help the Spanish economy recover.