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Police nail money launderers in Liaoning
By Zhu Qing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-14 05:15

Police have smashed three illegal financial companies alleged to have laundered around 2 billion yuan (US$246 million).

Police detained seven suspects in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province, confiscating more than 900,000 yuan (US$111,000) and freezing 3 million yuan (US$371,000) of assets.

Piao Zhen'ai attracted the attention of police because of her unusual banking records, Xinhua reported.

Investigators believe Piao operated an illegal foreign exchange organization, Zhen'ai Commercial House.

She worked with Cheng Baiwan, manager of the Shenyang Xinjie Electrical Appliance Co a front for another illegal finance company to launder money.

On June 20, investigators received a tip-off that Piao was going to send 800,000 yuan (US$99,000) abroad for illegal foreign exchange.

On June 21, police arrested Li Xiangfan, Cheng's driver, and Cui Guishun, who they believe helped with the money laundering.

At the same time, Cheng and Piao were also arrested.

Police say that Cheng, through the underground banking system, had carried out illegal transactions worth 22 million yuan (US$2.7 million) since 2003.

Investigators have also closed down a third illegal financial company, the so-called Dongsheng Commercial House, which they say was engaged in foreign currency transactions.

Following a six-month investigation, police arrested Li Dongsheng and Li Deai, confiscated 150,000 yuan (US$18,000) and froze assets worth more than 700,000 yuan (US$86,000).

A nationwide campaign from April to December last year shut down 12.5 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) worth of illegal business, rooting out 155 underground financial companies and operations offering illegal foreign exchange, Xinhua reported.

(China Daily 11/14/2005 page3)

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