It is a large-scale investigation that has just been completed, both in terms of the financial amounts involved and in the original operating mode brought to light.
At the end of the week of October 4, the men of the Central Office for the Repression of Major Financial Crime (OCRGDF) arrested six people in the Paris region, after investigations started in 2019, led by the interregional jurisdiction. specialist (JIRS) from Paris.
These six men, mostly in their forties, resided in Île-de-France, in the 10th and 20th arrondissements of Paris, as well as in Saint-Denis and La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis).
All members of the Pakistani community, they were indicted, in particular for money laundering, and placed in pre-trial detention.
According to the first elements of the investigation, they are suspected of having been at the head of a vast network for recycling dirty money, resulting from drug trafficking.
Over the period in question, they would have sent no less than 70 million euros through ingenious financial circuits.
From construction in Dubai to “bank mules” and mobile phone shops
Once recovered, the cash was first intended for business leaders in the construction industry, who used it to pay "in the dark" for their employees or certain services.
To buy this cash, the business leaders in question would then have made transfers to around twenty companies.
All were empty shells, owned by straw managers: “bank mules” as they are called in the jargon, mostly from Spain.
In the process, this money, which had become almost clean, was then redirected to mobile phone shops.
Through a compensation system, he was then sent abroad, mainly to Dubai, where the traffickers ended up recovering their earnings.
During the arrests, 675,000 euros in banknotes were unearthed in a cellar converted into an office.
At the same time, 825,000 euros were seized from the accounts of fictitious companies.
The survey made it possible to highlight the connections between several parts of the black economy.
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"We have seen the conjunction of two needs, namely that, for traffickers, to dispose of large sums of cash, and that, for business leaders, to be able to dispose of it", analyzes Anne-Sophie Coulbois , divisional commissioner at the head of the OCRGDF, whose investigations will continue in order to identify all the ramifications of this network.