Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How China’s biggest bank became ensnared in a sprawling money laundering probe

DRAMA IN MADRID: A Spanish Civil Guard officer leads a hooded employee out of the Madrid branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in February last year. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Part 1: When Chinese residents of Spain needed to get piles of illicit cash back home, police allege, they found an accomplice in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Confidential court filings, including wiretap transcripts, detail how the bank allegedly helped launder hundreds of millions of euros.

MADRID – A few minutes before 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2012, two Chinese living in Spain - a banker and her client - held a blunt phone conversation.
Wang Jing was a senior officer at the Madrid branch of the state-controlled Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The client, Xu Kai, was an alleged top figure in an international money laundering group that was suspected of using the bank to transfer illegal income to China. The network was allegedly using multiple accounts in the name of Chinese residents of Spain, in some cases without their permission, to make the transfers. But there had been a hitch.