Spain nabs gang offering criminal money laundering services


MADRID (AP) — The European Union’s police agency says it has helped police in Spain break up an international gang suspected of offering modern money laundering services to other criminal organizations.

Europol says the gang used various schemes to launder the criminal proceeds, including the use of cryptocurrencies to cover up the money trail.

Europol says in a statement Wednesday that the gang also used a scheme called “smurfing,” whereby illicit proceeds are divided into small sums to avoid attracting attention and placed in bank accounts. The proceeds then moved through other accounts before being exchanged into cryptocurrency.

Europol says Spain’s Guardia Civil arrested eight people in the operation, which followed on from an operation last year when 23 people were arrested in Spain and Colombia.

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