Italian prosecutors will start the trial for a money-laundering charge involving the Bank of China, one of the five biggest state-owned commercial banks in China, and 297 other defendants in March 2016, Chinese media reported.
Chinese media reported that the trial will focus on the more than USD5bn allegedly smuggled out of Italy into China through a money transfer service.
Half of the questioned money has been funneled through the Bank of China’s Milan branch, the report quoted prosecutors as saying.
Prosecutors further alleged that the bank earned about EUR758,000 in commission on the transactions. The Bank of China has denied any wrongdoing.
A judge will decide whether to press ahead with charges of money-laundering and assisting a mafia-like organization against the bank’s Milan branch and four of its employees.
Earlier reports said the money-laundering activities occurred in less than four years.
China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has vowed to step up efforts to combat money laundering following the Bank of China case and other high-profile cases. – BusinessNewsAsia.com