Italian finance police on Wednesday arrested 17 people accused of running an international money laundering ring through a British-based money transfer services company which was used to shuttle illegal proceeds abroad, mostly to China. Managers of Rome branches of Sigue Global Services Ltd. were among those suspected of international conspiracy and money laundering that investigators said amounted to more than 1 billion euros ($1.24 billion) in just over two years. The bulk of the cash leaving Italy went to China in hundreds of thousands of transactions just under the limit - now set at 1,000 euros - at which stringent money laundering regulations are applied, finance police Colonel Claudio Petrozziello told reporters. No taxes were paid on any of the money transferred, causing a loss of about 500 million euros to the Italian state, Petrozziello said.
Steve Scherer, Reuters