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ICBC bank to help Spanish police in money laundering probe, China says

A woman leaves China's ICBC bank offices in Madrid, Spain, as a Spanish Civil Guard policeman stands guard outside, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016.  Spanish police searched offices of China's ICBC bank in downtown Madrid and arrested five people Wednesday as part of a money laundering and tax fraud probe. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

A woman leaves China's ICBC bank offices in Madrid, Spain, as a Spanish Civil Guard policeman stands guard outside, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Spanish police searched offices of China's ICBC bank in downtown Madrid and arrested five people Wednesday as part of a money laundering and tax fraud probe. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

China says its state-owned ICBC bank will cooperate with Spanish authorities investigating it in a money laundering and tax fraud probe that has led to the arrest of five directors.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters Thursday in Beijing that the government demands that Chinese companies overseas abide by both Chinese laws and those of host countries.

Spanish police raided offices of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Madrid on Wednesday in a follow-up on a police operation in 2015 against gangs they said used the bank to launder to China some 40 million euros ($45 million) from the Chinese-run bargain store sector.

Hong highlighted China's good relations with Spain and said the government expects Spain to handle the case "lawfully and fairly."

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