Colombian Drug Money Laundering Network Dismantled in Spain

By Dialogo
January 03, 2013

Spain’s police dismantled a money laundering network which laundered millions
of dollars, camouflaged as wire tabs, for Colombian drug traffickers, the law
enforcement institution announced on December 27.

Spanish “National Police agents have dismantled a network of shops that
laundered over 30 million drug trafficking euros,” or almost 40 million
dollars, the authorities informed in a statement.

As a result of the operation, 49 people were arrested, mainly in Madrid, but
also in Barcelona (northeast) and Albacete (east), including a Colombian national
who headed the network.

According to the Spanish police, “the head of the organization was
receiving substantial sums of money from drug traffickers that operated in Spain, so
that the profits could be sent to Colombia.”

“In addition to cash, he also got information about the people
receiving the wires and the value of each,” said the statement.

The network operated through a network of call centers in a number of Spanish
cities, from where profits were sent as remittances, laundering up to 50,000 euros
daily (about $66,000).

“These shops ‘camouflaged’ the laundering operations using wire
transfers sent by foreigners residing in Spain to their countries of origin,”
the police explained.

The network used people that offered their names voluntarily for payment, as
well as data provided by customers without their approval, in addition to fictitious

The investigation started in 2010, stemming from an operation against another
network that had laundered over 200 million drug trafficking euro, and was related
to the dismantled one.