World

Italian prosecutors seek to indict Bank of China and 297 people in money laundering case

Italian prosecutors are seeking to indict 297 people and the Bank of China in connection with a massive money-laundering investigation.

The ANSA news agency reported Saturday that suspects include four senior managers of the Chinese state bank's branch in Milan.

The AP reported earlier this month that police in Florence discovered that more than 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion) in proceeds from counterfeiting, prostitution, labor exploitation and tax evasion had been sent to China in less than four years using a money-transfer service.

Nearly half that money was funneled through the Bank of China, which in turn earned a commission, according to Italian investigative documents.

Investigators said they got nowhere when they tried to appeal to Chinese authorities for help. Once the money left Italy, it vanished behind China's great legal firewall.