Bank of China money-laundering trial to begin in March

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy is moving ahead with its money-laundering case against the Bank of China.

Florence's deputy public prosecutor Giulio Monferini, who is in charge of the case, says the trial of the bank's Milan branch and 297 others, mostly Chinese living in Italy, is scheduled to begin in March.

The bank, along with four employees, could face charges of laundering billions of euros and abetting a mafia-like organization. Prosecutors say the bank failed to report suspicious transactions submitted by a money transfer network that smuggled 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion) out of Italy and used threats to maintain a near monopoly on remittances to China.

The Bank of China has denied wrongdoing and in a June statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange said it would cooperate with Italian authorities.