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Italy targets Chinese mafia

July 6, 2010 at 8:03 PM

ROME, July 6 (UPI) -- Italy needs a "national plan" to combat Chinese organized crime, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Tuesday.

Maroni announced he will convene a meeting in Rome with participation from his ministry and those dealing with the economy and labor to draw up a strategy. He said "mayors cannot be left on their own" to deal with criminal organizations that operate internationally.

"The difficulty we have with the Chinese community stems from the fact that we still do not have an accord to repatriate illegal aliens to China and this is because the Chinese government has refused to sign one," Maroni said.

Last week, the Finance Guard announced 24 arrests, saying it had broken up a money laundering operation believed to have sent 2.7 billion euros ($3.4 billion) to China. Raids were carried out in eight regions of the country from northern Italy to Sicily.

At least 100 businesses used a network of money transfer agencies to send illegal gains to China, investigators allege.

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