Spanish Police Say Alleged Chinese Mafia Smuggling Plot So Big It 'Distorted' Entire Economy

Spanish Police

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, we reported on an alleged Chinese mafia money-laundering plot in Spain that led to scores of arrests — including that of a Madrid Councilor and a Spanish porn star.Well that was just the tip of the iceberg.

In a press conference today, Ignacio Cosidó, the Director-General of the National Police, said that the uncovered plot was so lucrative that it “distorted the functioning of the [Spanish] economy.” Cosidó believes the that the syndicate was smuggling approximately €160 million ($200 million) a year.

Criminals made their money by smuggling a plethora of cheap goods into the country and sold them discretely — and at lower-than-market prices — in order to avoid paying taxes. “Thousands” of local Chinese bazaars are thought to have purchased the illegal goods.

El País reports that the amount defrauded could be worth upwards of a billion dollars.

The three-year investigation, dubbed Operation Emperor, was the “biggest police operation in the history of Spain” according to the Spanish Minister of the Interior, Jorge Fernandez.

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