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Bank of China could face trial over money laundering in Italy

Bank of China could face trial over money laundering in Italy

(23 June 2015 – China) The Bank of China may face trial in Italy, following news Italian prosecutors want to indict the bank’s Milan branch and almost 300 people over a money-laundering scheme.

Prosecutors in Florence allege €4.5 billion (A$10.4 billion) was transferred from Italy to China.

The money was earned through prostitution, counterfeiting, tax evasion and labour exploitation according to the filing.

The Ansa agency said that four senior managers within the Bank of China could be indicted.

Investigators said that almost half the €4.5 billion, transferred between 2007 and 2010, went through the bank's branch in Milan.

The Bank of China received €758,000 in commission for the transfers, it is claimed.

There were millions of transactions, Ansa said, that were below the €2000 threshold that would have triggered money-laundering checks.

That threshold has now dropped to €1000.

A judge will now decide whether the Bank of China and 297 individuals will face trial.

Neither the bank nor the Chinese government has yet responded.

"The maxi-laundering strengthened the economic capacity of the Chinese mafia organisations devoted to illegal immigration from their country," said Ansa.

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