Belgian authorities hit gang moving cash for parallel bank

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian prosecutors say they've broken up a money laundering ring trying to transfer cash from Africa to set up a parallel banking system.

The Crown Prosecutor's office said Friday that several raids have been launched around Brussels since April and that four people have been arrested, and cash and bankcards seized.

It said investigators discovered that bankcards from two African banks had been used to withdraw large sums of money from cash machines across Belgium.

Neither the banks nor those arrested were identified.

Prosecutors said the probe "showed that it was a well-organized crime group trying to anonymously transport money from Africa to Belgium to invest in a parallel banking system."

They said the system makes it possible to transfer money without authorities in the country of origin knowing.

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