The German police on Wednesday have conducted country-wide raids, following a chance discovery last year that led detectives to a money-laundering network suspected of funneling millions in ill-gotten gains abroad.
Over a thousand police officers and special forces were deployed in 25 cities in Germany to raid homes, offices, and businesses.
Police targeted 67 suspects, including 44 Syrians, 10 Germans, five Jordanians, and four Lebanese.
The raids were part of an investigation into the hawala network, which uses individuals rather than institutions to facilitate money transfers.
“According to initial estimates, the volume of transactions in the period under investigation was about 140 million euros ($162 million),” Duesseldorf police said in a statement.
Meanwhile, NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul said that the case has been running for a long time.
“That was a damn huge thing today, which was worked on for a long time and under strict secrecy,” Reul said.
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