Gao Ping, pictured during the police raid on his Madrid art gallery last week. / CARLOS ROSILLO / EL PAIS
Spanish newspaper El Pais has a profile of alleged gangster and money launderer Gao Ping, who was arrested as part of Operation Emperor along with 60 other alleged members of the Chinese mob and one Spanish porn star.
Gao, who was arrested on Tuesday as part of an early morning nationwide sweep, is said to be the ringleader of one of the biggest money laundering operations ever seen in Spain. So far there have been 84 arrests, most of them Chinese nationals. They are accused of laundering up to 300 million euros a year.
During Tuesday’s raids police found some 5.3 million euros in cash in one of his warehouses.
The third of five children, Gao was in possession of vast wealth. He owns a palatial home in the exclusive Madrid suburb of Somosaguas where he lives with his wife, a daughter and two sons.
According to evidence presented before the High Court by anti-corruption prosecutors, Gao owned a collection of luxurious vehicles and operated more than 15 importing businesses. His conspiracy laundered between 200 and 300 million euros a year, according to authorities.
But despite Gao’s vast wealth, authorities found that he had little tucked away in his bank accounts. Perversely, it was this detail that piqued the interest of the organized crime squad and led to Operation Emperor, one of the biggest police swoops of its kind.
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