Research to largest money laundering network for the sale of Asian footwear in the province of Alicante has entered its final stretch nine years after a court in Alicante ordered the records of the suspected merchants. The Prosecutor’s Office has presented an extensive indictment in which it reels off the accounting operations of a complex corporate network, with companies without any activity whose objective was to try to prevent the Treasury from tracking your earnings. Shortly, the State Bar will present its writing.
The group’s activity took place between 2009 and 2012, a period in which nearly 100 million euros were diverted to China. The Prosecutor’s Office has requested bring 44 accused of this network to the bench, of Spanish and Chinese nationality, for those who request penalties that add up to 1,000 years in prison and fines that would exceed 3,000 million, given the amount of crimes that accumulate: up to 18 tax fraud; documentary falsification and money laundering. There are 29 Spanish citizens and another 15 of Chinese origin. There are also other six defendants of foreign origin, mostly Chinese, who are currently excluded from the prosecution because they have not been able to be located for questioning.
Up to fifty companies have been investigated in this case, although of them a total of 36 were phantom mercantile, without activity and without workers, whose true purpose was to hide the benefits of the companies that were real, mostly settled in the Carrús de Elche industrial estate. These merchants used to handle falsified invoices to present them to Customs and avoid paying the corresponding duties.
The objective of this framework was that Chinese businessmen could defraud the Public Treasury with the entry of merchandise into the national territory, avoid control of the money obtained from your sales and send it to your country by bank transfers. The Spanish implicated charged a commission to the Asian merchants for making the money laundering scheme available to them and for the transfers abroad, according to the indictment. It was a machinery for the diversion of funds in which each of the members was assigned a specific function. Between 2009 and 2011 was the time when they had the greatest activity. The documentation analysis revealed that, starting in 2012, there was less movement, as Chinese traders began to move with other organizations. Thus, in 2009 the VAT claimed amounts to 2.2 million; in 2010, 8.2; another 12.8 million in 2011; and 4.4 million in 2012. In the case of shell companies, some of these presented false invoices to deduct VAT for fictitious sales, which is why the Prosecutor’s Office claims 933,216 euros for the 2010 taxes; as well as 216,410 for 2011.
Banknotes in a shoe box
It was a robbery in the middle of the street that put the Police on the trail of this network, on September 12, 2012. Two of those involved were going to a bank branch in Alicante, on Calle Médico Vicente Reyes, when they were approached by a hooded man who hit them with the butt of a pistol to seize 350,000 euros in cash that they had hidden in a shoe box. A very suspicious banking operation that set off all the Police alarms, given the relationship of some of those involved with other laundering schemes. The money was destined for China through bank transfers. This was the thread the police pulled to identify the framework.
The main defendant is Alejandro RN to whom the prosecutor attributes the role of being the man who controlled everything and planned all the movements from the Nepalia mercantile. For him penalties are requested that add up to almost 100 years in prison and 288 million fines. The tapping of his phone and those of other implicated persons revealed that some of his associates were trying to kidnap him. The police detained them at the moment they were about to kidnap the businessman. East frustrated kidnapping it was tried in a separate room and ended with the acquittal of all the accused because the wiretaps were canceled.
The Alicante Court has yet to hold another trial for a money laundering scheme for events similar to these and with some involved in common in this other cause and that will probably be indicated as of February 2022.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.