Spanish Unit of Chinese Bank Is Raided

The Spanish police raided the Madrid subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on Wednesday and arrested five of the subsidiary's directors.  The bank, one of China's largest, has been accused of helping several Chinese and Spanish criminal syndicates commit financial fraud, according to Europol, the police agency of the European Union.  With the help of Europol, the Spanish police were able to build their investigation, code-named Operation Shadow, off of a case dating from last year that claimed that a group had laundered 40 million euros of earnings from discount stores operated by Chinese businessmen across Spain.  This case, which led to thirty arrests, accused the group of importing goods from China without declaring them to Spanish customs authorities and avoiding the payment of import and tax duties.  Based upon this case, the Spanish police followed this group's "money trail" and discovered that the syndicate had deposited its earnings at the Madrid subsidiary of the ICBC.  Europol also accused ICBC Spain of helping several other unnamed Chinese and Spanish criminal syndicates.  Overall, Operation Shadow highlights the difficulties of launching a modern transnational financial investigation.  
-Margaux Glovier