Danish police arrest dozens in large money laundering case

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish police said on Thursday they had arrested 135 people in a large-scale operation on suspicion of laundering money defrauded from elderly people.

The money was defrauded by contacting elderly people and convincing them to transfer money from their bank accounts or provide personal banking information.

Those arrested were not the organisers of the scam but what the police call "mules" who allow their bank accounts to be used to launder the cash, said Torben Svarrer, chief of the police's special crime unit.

Authorities have prepared money laundering charges against a total of 212 people, but Svarner said some of those whom the police had sought to detain could not immediately be found.

The police operation, involving more than 600 police officers, has been planned since last autumn, he said.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Gareth Jones)