MADRID, April 19 (Reuters) - Spain’s High Court said on Thursday it had placed Spanish lender Caixabank under formal investigation on suspicion of money laundering, resulting from its business dealings with China’s ICBC, which the court is already investigating.
The court said in a written ruling that Caixabank employees and directors at ten branches had helped suspected Chinese criminals in Spain transfer 99 million euros ($122.48 million) to China and Hong Kong between 2013 and 2015.
A Caixabank spokesman declined to comment. An ICBC spokesman in Spain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The judge said the transfers were via a correspondent banking agreement that Caixabank made with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which is under investigation for allegedly laundering hundreds of millions of euros through its Madrid branch.
A Reuters investigation last year detailed the alleged money laundering scheme following the arrest of seven ICBC executives in Madrid in February of 2016. ICBC has denied wrongdoing and says it is a “law-abiding company.” ($1 = 0.8083 euros) (Reporting by Angus Berwick Editing by Jesus Aguado)