POLICE in Spain have detained a money laundering network accused of raising funds for Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria.
The Europol assisted operation involved more than 350 agents who raided 14 homes and businesses across Madrid, Toledo and Valencia.
The detained suspects are reported to be of Syrian origin and included relatives of suspected Al Qaeda members.
“The organisation was led by a family clan that for years allegedly used a legal business structure to hide illicit operations with which they evaded tax authorities and laundered large amounts of money,” said a interior ministry spokesperson.
The illicit funds were allegedly destined for opposition-held area of Idlib in Syria to give ‘support and financial backing to a terrorist militia there.’
The laundered cash was sent via human couriers and the ‘hawala’ system, an informal trust based payment method that is far more difficult to trace than bank transfer.