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Bank of China settles money laundering case for $4 million


The Bank of China agreed to pay a large fine to the French tax authorities. The lending institution was accused of connivance in allowing customers to withdraw millions into their Asian accounts without paying taxes in Europe. So, between 2012 and 2014, suspicious transactions amounting to almost 40 million euros were carried out: the money was sent to 168 accounts, mainly in Zhejiang province.

The bank was accused of not requesting any evidence of income, although account holders who were not involved in any specific activity in China received money from commercial enterprises.

The money first passed through companies in France and other European countries, such as Spain, Lithuania and Poland, and then settled on Asian accounts. French investigators suspected that the money originally came from undeclared sales of Chinese enterprises located in the vicinity of Paris.

The starting point of the investigation was a planned check. In 2013, the French anti-money laundering authority, known as Tracfin, noticed a very unusual increase in the revenues of a Paris store specializing in emergency plumbing and repair work that took place within a few months.

An official statement from the Bank of China states that it always strives to comply with anti-money laundering legislation and is constantly strengthening relevant measures. The bank also explained that the investigation mainly concerned the operations of a Chinese subsidiary and is not related to the Paris branch.


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