A Spanish judge has ordered the Chinese kingpin and 47 other suspects held without bail, after they were charged in a massive money laundering scheme involving 1.2 billion euros ($1.56 billion), the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Sunday.
Gao Ping, 45, a member of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was arrested on October 21 at his home in Madrid during a police campaign dubbed "Operation Emperor." More than 80 people were arrested across the country, 53 of whom were reported to be Chinese.
"The Spanish police had been keeping an eye on Gao for over two years. The local news said that the cops had an undercover agent working for him," Pan Yong, chairman of the Chinese Wenzhou Association of Spain, told the Global Times. "All the shareholders in his company were taken into custody."
The police displayed stacks of euros confiscated in the raid and some media said Gao may have 6 million euros in cash at his home.
Gao, who left his hometown in Zhejiang when he was 18, was charged with money laundering, tax evasion and forgery.
News reports say Gao heads one of the largest trading companies in Madrid and owned an electronics company in Hangzhou. He was said to have made his initial fortune by importing to Europe small commodities from Zhejiang.
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