March 31, 2016

"Mattel's millions were swept up in a tide of dirty money that passes through China and that Western police are only beginning to understand."

CBS News: The scam the company fell victim to -- known as the fake CEO or fake president scam -- has cost companies, many of them American, more than $1.8 billion, according to the FBI. via AP

'Most of the stolen money passes through banks in China or Hong Kong, the FBI said. An Associated Press investigation this week showed that China is emerging as a global hub for money laundering. The dark money that courses through the country has long been considered a domestic issue, with Chinese illicitly moving money for other Chinese. That's no longer the case. Mounting evidence indicates that China is becoming a global banker for the criminal economy, according to interviews with police officials, court records in the U.S. and Europe, and intelligence documents reviewed by the AP.

'Years of mutual mistrust have hindered law enforcement cooperation between China and the West, adding to China's appeal as a money laundering hub. The U.S. State Department said in a report this month that China has "not cooperated sufficiently on financial investigations." Its inability to enforce U.S. court orders on China-based assets "remains a significant barrier to enhanced U.S.-China cooperation," the State Department added.

'In a regular briefing with reporters Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the government "places great emphasis" on fighting crimes such as money laundering and is working to expand international cooperation. "China is not, has not been, nor will be in the future a center of global money laundering," he said.'

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