Italy Activates Anti-Mafia Agency to Investigate Chinese Infiltration

Italy’s government has activated the Italian Anti-Mafia Commission to investigate and clean up the Chinese Communist infiltration in Italian society and collusion with officials and gangsters to manipulate illegal activities organized by Chinese gangsters. The Commission also investigates China’s overseas police stations, Chinese truck cases, and underground banks.

The Mysterious Bank

According to a report by the Italian news magazine Le Formiche on March 16, the Florence court has arrested two Chinese people involved in illegal money launching. In addition, 13 people were listed as suspects. The case involved a secretive Chinese bank with branches in Rome, Florence, Prato and other places that transferred billions of euros to China. Italian investigators dubbed the bank a “Chinese underground bank.”

The “bank” provides a hidden remittance service and charges 2.5 per cent of the transfer amount as a commission. There are mainly two ways to transfer money – small amounts transfers from one or more credit cards to an account through apps such as WeChat or Alipay.

Larger amounts are prepaid to the “underground bank” designated by the customer through the account and bank card opened in China, and then the cash is withdrawn at the branches of the underground bank in Florence and Prato and then transferred to other Chinese to be shipped back to China in other ways.

Prato, near Florence, has a concentration of textile and accessories factories and is also a city inhabited by Chinese in Italy. The Italian police discovered that this city has become a stronghold for illegal infiltration by the Chinese underworld.

The “Chinese Mafia” in Italy

The crime of money laundering run by the “Chinese Mafia” in Italy has a long history. In December 2014, the AFP news agency quoted the Roman police as saying that some Chinese business owners and businessmen sent income from smuggling and selling counterfeit products and tax evasion to China through a British financial company named Sigue.

Sigue has seven branches in Rome, mainly engaged in the remittance business of local Chinese people. Most of the remittances use false names, some are fabricated, and there are names of the deceased, and there are even customers who do not know.

The official banks of the Chinese Communist Party are involved in these illegal operations. In June 2015, the Italian Prosecutor submitted an indictment against 297 people and the Bank of China to the court. Bank of China’s Italian branch was accused of assisting Italian Chinese in money laundering. The 297 people included 4 Bank of China’s Milan branch senior managers. The Florence police found that in less than four years, as of 2010, more than 4.5 billion euros from fraud, prostitution, labour exploitation and tax evasion were transferred to China through remittance services. Among them, 2.2 billion euros were remitted through the Milan branch of the Bank of China.

The Italian prosecutors’ indictment is based on an investigation started in 2008 called “Money River” that the money was sent to China through a remittance intermediary called Money2Money, from which the Bank of China received a middle fee of 758,000 euros. Prosecutors have sought help from the Chinese authorities but to no avail. The Italian authorities restarted the Anti-Mafia Committee this time, with an obvious goal of targeting the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

China Set up Highest Number of Overseas Police Stations

According to a survey published by the Spanish human rights group Safeguard Defenders in December 2022, China had established 54 police stations worldwide by September 2021 and added 48 “overseas police and overseas Chinese service stations”.

“In name, it is to assist the Chinese overseas Chinese in administrative affairs. It uses the bilateral security agreement signed with the host country to set up a “police station” to monitor Chinese overseas Chinese and wait for opportunities to repatriate dissidents. Giuseppe Morabito, Director of the NATO Defence Academy Foundation (NDCF), told to L’Espresso, an Italian weekly news magazine, on 19 December 2022 that Italy has the most overseas police bases set up by the CCP, with 11.

At present, Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Sicily, and Prato, the city with the largest Chinese community in Italy, all have so-called “service stations” by the CCP’s overseas police. According to a report by RFI in December 2022, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi stated that sanctions against the CCP’s illegal actions in Italy would not be ruled out. Italy has not authorized the CCP regime to care about police affairs.