EUR 236m drug money scam uncovered
7 April 2005, BARCELONA-Police have broken up a second international money laundering operation, this time centring on Barcelona, in which EUR 236 million worth of drugs money was allegedly involved.
7 April 2005
BARCELONA-Police have broken up a second international money laundering operation, this time centring on Barcelona, in which EUR 236 million worth of drugs money was allegedly involved.
Police have arrested three people, including a lawyer, in the Catalan capital.
The role of those arrested was allegedly to channel the proceeds of drugs money to Mexico, using private planes, couriers or bank accounts around the world.
The police operation – codenamed Tacos- began in March with the intention of breaking up a drugs gang.
It followed a similar high-profile operation against an international multi-million euro money-laundering gang which was centred on a law firm in Marbella in Andalusia, southern Spain.
In that case, the Russian oil giant Yukos was implicated with Eastern European mafias – a claim it strongly denied.
Among those arrested in Barcelona, were a Spaniard, named only as Francisco M.G.S. who has previous convictions for similar offences.
Police sources claimed he was responsible for allegedly channelling EUR 18m through bank accounts in Mexico.
Another suspect was named only as Julio Cesar R.G. who was said to be a key member of the gang.
He allegedly collected the cash from cocaine sales and then took it to a safe house in Madrid before it was couriered to Mexico.
The lawyer who was arrested was named only as Juan P.V.
He was said to be linked to the laundering of EUR 5.5m in cash in a private plane to Mexico.
Police carried out raids in homes and offices in Barcelona and Madrid. Documents have been seized relating to bank transfers to accounts in Los Angeles, Mexico and Switzerland and Canada.
The total cash was said to be EUR 236m.
Police were still hunting gang members in Mexico.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]