The Associated Press is releasing a story that examines how billions of euros are being smuggled out of Italy through money-transfer services to China, where money from counterfeit goods and other illicit business vanishes behind a great legal firewall. The AP reviewed Italian investigative documents that revealed the state-run Bank of China earned more than 758,000 euros in commissions on the money transfers. The bank is now under investigation in Italy for money laundering.
The story will be published Friday at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT).
FLORENCE, Italy -- After a four-year investigation, Italian authorities discovered that more than $4.5 billion euros -- the proceeds of counterfeiting, prostitution, labor exploitation and tax evasion -- had been smuggled out of Italy to China via a money-transfer service. Nearly half that total passed through one of China's largest state banks, The Associated Press has learned. By Erika Kinetz. UPCOMING: 2,196 words by 1 a.m. EDT (0100 GMT), photos, video. An abridged version also will also be published.