Police in south China say they have broken up an underground bank that illegally sent 10 billion yuan (1.46 billion U.S. dollars) of laundered criminal cash abroad since 2004.
Qin Yongjun, spokesman for the public security department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said Monday that eight of the 11 people arrested were Vietnamese.
"The two chief culprits of the gang based in Fangchenggang city, bordering Vietnam, were Ruan Zhizhong, a Chinese, and Ruan Shichai, a Vietnamese," said Qin.
The gang opened accounts at legal banks in Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian provinces to launder money and electronically transfer it abroad, mainly to Vietnam, Qin said.
Remittance records of the 77 accounts opened and managed by Ruan Zhizhong alone showed that he illegally transferred 7.2 billion yuan on more than 10,000 occasions from November 2004 to March 2008.
The gang charged a certain fee for each transfer, said Qin.
A total of 200 police raided the underground bank in Fangchenggang in May this year and seized 70 deposit books, 590 bank cards, two cars, six computers and 680,000 yuan of cash. They also froze 327 banking accounts involved in the money-laundering case with book value of 47.5 million yuan.