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Italy busts Swiss-based gold smuggling ring: Police

Published on Nov 8, 2012 8:28 PM

ROME (AFP) - Italian police seized 163 million euros' (S$254 million) worth of assets from a criminal association headquartered in Switzerland on Thursday, as well as a luxury villa used as a safehouse for stashing gold, police said.

Officers carried out 259 raids in houses and cash-for-gold shops across Italy as part of an investigation into 118 people suspected of smuggling gold bars to Switzerland and cash back into Italy.

The gang is accused of money-laundering, recycling cash and stolen jewels through cash-for-gold shops and churning out lingots in foundries.

"The money came illegally into Italy from Switzerland, and was used to buy fraudulently obtained gold and silver, then sent back to Switzerland in the form of lingots," police officer Alessandro Langella told AFP.

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