EU nabs US$300 million illegal trafficking in Spain

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Officials arrested 41 people from five countries Sunday in connection with a trans-European money laundering operation. The individuals are suspected in laundering US$300 million in gang-related activities such as prostitution, murder, and arms and drug trafficking, according to police with Interpol and Europol.

The BBC reported citizens of Spain, France, Finland, Russia, and Ukraine were among those arrested and charged with illegally siphoning money from Yukos, a large Russian oil company. Yukos maintains it was unaware of such activities.

The crackdown went by code name Operation White Whale and was a joint effort between Spain and Russia, officials said. The arrests were centered in the Costa del Sol area of Spain's southern Mediterranean coast.

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