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Europe police bust up huge money-laundering ring

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Police in Spain have arrested three German fugitives suspected of operating a massive money-laundering system for criminal gangs, Europol said on Thursday.

“The suspects are believed to have run a shadow banking system which processed hundreds of millions of euros of criminal transactions isolated from any oversight mechanisms governing the legal financial system,” Europol said.

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They “moved around large amounts of cash through this parallel system, helping criminals launder their illegal proceeds and fund their activities, mainly linked to drug trafficking.”

The suspects – on the run from the German authorities since 2021 – were arrested on March 30 in Malaga in southern Spain with the help of the German police, Europol said in a statement.

Their arrest was only made public now due to operational reasons, it added.

The ringleader – a German citizen of Russian origin – was one of the three men arrested.

The ringleader would negotiate commissions of up to five percent for every million euros managed, with profits estimated at more than 250,000 euros ($265,000) per day, Europol said.

In a number of different raids in the Malaga region, police seized substantial amounts of cash, money-counting machines, encrypted mobile phones and fake IDs, it said.

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