Money launderers have used some of China’s leading online shopping sites to transfer billions of dollars to offshore gambling sites, police raids have revealed, reported the Financial Times.
People wishing to evade China’s strict capital controls, for example to gamble on offshore websites, have been placing fake orders on the shopping sites, including on Pinduoduo, China’s second-largest platform by users. A corresponding sum is then credited to their gaming account.
In recent months, several police forces across China have announced arrests in a slew of cases, alleging that at least RMB 14 billion ($2.06 billion) was laundered to offshore gambling sites.
In one large case, police in the eastern city of Wuxi found 600 million fake packages had been inserted into courier firms’ tracking systems by company insiders in order to complete fake ecommerce transactions. Many of those same package tracking numbers appeared in money-laundering cases in two other Chinese cities where more than RMB 7 billion was allegedly funneled to offshore gambling sites.