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80 arrested in Chinese business strike

Sat 3rd Nov 2012
80 arrested in Chinese business strike

Chinese businesses in a major trading estate on the outskirts of Madrid have staged a strike to protest against a police crackdown on alleged money-laundering which they claim has stigmatized them.

Hundreds of warehouses in the Cobo Calleja industrial zone, considered the biggest Chinese wholesale hub in Europe, shut down for the day to highlight how Chinese businesses have suffered since last month's raids.

"With this protest, which is rare in my culture, we want to send the message that we have nothing to do with corruption," said Yinong Chen, a spokesman for the Cobo Calleja Business Association. "We act legally, we pay our taxes and we want to integrate into Spanish society," he said, in comments broadcast on national radio station RNE. Spanish prosecutors on October 16th said they had broken up a gang suspected of laundering up to 300,000 euros a year, dodging taxes, bribing officials and forging documents.

Police said they arrested more than 80 people, most of them Chinese.