Spain arrests members of 'Farc money-laundering ring'

Farc members in training (archive photo) The money laundering ring is suspected of funding the Farc rebel group in Colombia

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Spanish police have detained 41 people suspected of laundering over 200m euros to finance Colombia's Farc militant insurgents.

Police also seized more than 150,000 euros during searches in 13 cities across Spain.

Investigators believe that the money was earned from smuggling drugs.

Police officers in Colombia and Ecuador have been conducting a parallel investigation and have detected a link between the money and Farc.

Spanish police searched 27 homes and offices during this operation.

A police video shows officers using sniffer dogs and finding suitcases and cupboards stuffed full of cash.

Colombia's largest guerrilla group has been fighting to overthrow the Colombian government for almost 50 years and is renowned for its involvement in drug trafficking.

It is two years since the Spanish police got a tip-off about an increase in unusually large transfers of money to Colombia and Ecuador.

They now believe the money came from cocaine sales across Europe, and that some of the profit may have been destined for the Farc.

Spain is a key entry point for cocaine into Europe.

Colombian police say one person who recycled the cash has links to the insurgency there. He is tied to another 12 recipients of the transfers.

Just before this operation began in 2008, police arrested a woman suspected of being the Farc's representative in Spain, providing logistical and financial support.

The identity and nationality of those detained this time has not been released, but police say three suspects are members of a criminal gang based in Madrid.

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