Serious offenders involved in illegal trading of foreign currencies will be charged with the crime of illegal business operations, according to a recent judicial explanation issued by the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Illegal trading of foreign currencies not only refers to the illegal exchange of Chinese currency with foreign currencies within China but also the illegal transfer of money across the border, the judicial explanation said.
The explanation aims to cope with the evolution of crimes involving foreign currencies, the SPC and SPP said in a statement.
"Dealers used to profit from buying low and selling high in local foreign currency black markets," it said. "Now they have shifted to illegal money transfers across borders, which caused a serious unsupervised outflow of capital."
Those running underground banks in China mostly colluded with individuals and organizations abroad or used bank accounts they set up overseas. The process involves the transfer of the value of the currency without physically relocating the money.
A case involving illegal trading of foreign currencies will be considered "serious" when the amount of money totals 5 million yuan ($746,000) or more and the profit reaches 100,000 yuan or more, the judicial explanation said.
A case will be considered "very serious" when the money involved totals 25 million yuan or more and the profit reaches 500,000 yuan or more.