One of Europe’s most wanted money laundering suspects has been arrested in Spain

Europol says Spanish police have arrested one of Europe’s most wanted men for money laundering.

The man, who holds dual Irish and British citizenship, was arrested on Monday in the southern city of Malaga after a month-long operation.

The man is accused of laundering more than 200 million euros in illegal funds for criminal organizations around the world.

The funds were allegedly transferred using the secret bank hawala system, which does not record any physical cash transaction.

The authorities began the investigation in early 2021 after Spanish authorities confiscated 200 kilograms of cocaine and 500,000 euros in cash, which were found hidden in the secret compartments of a number of vehicles.

Europol said in a statement. One of the suspects ran a car dealership that allegedly supplied vehicles to criminal organizations.

“The main suspect and his associates are responsible for collecting large sums of cash from criminal organizations, which they then ‘hand over’ to other criminal organizations in other countries,” the agency said.

A source close to the investigation told AFP the main suspect was 62-year-old John Francis Morrissey. Europol has not confirmed his identity.

The agency stated that the man was aware of links with the international cartel of the alleged Irish organized crime chief, Daniel Kinahan, who was sanctioned by the United States.

“In April of this year, this individual and his company were appointed by the US Treasury to provide support to the Kinahan clan,” Europol said.

Europol was considered the prime suspect as a high-value target for his involvement in a number of high-profile criminal cases across Europe.

The 18-month investigation was led by the Spanish Civil Guard, along with the UK’s National Crime Agency, Dutch police and Irish police.

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