Baku, Azerbaijan, May 7
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The Iranian multi-billionaire Babak Zanjani's fraud case is the biggest financial scam in Iran's judiciary since the 1979 revolution, a senior judiciary official has announced.
Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabdi said that the case's volume is three times more than the famous $3 billion embezzlement case in 2011, Iranian Fars news agency reported on May 7.
The $3 billion embezzlement in 2011 was a fraud involving the use of forged documents to obtain credit from at least seven Iranian state and private banks to purchase state-owned companies. This bank fraud was being described as the biggest financial scam in the country's history.
Zanjani, who was arrested in December 2013, following the call from Iran's president Hasan Rouhani to the Iranian authorities to speed up corruption investigations, is accused of abusing international sanctions against Iran for financial benefit.
Zanjani was involved in various financial activities including the foreign currency brokerage, trade and oil selling, the prosecutor said, adding that his case should not be described as a simple debt case.
The Iranian multi-billionaire is the owner or shareholder of at least 70 companies and banks, including Bank Arzesh in Tajikistan and First Islamic Bank and had been involved in Iran's oil sales and transferring the sold oil's money to the country to bypass the imposed western sanctions on the country. Reportedly, he owes €2.06 billion to Iran's Oil Ministry.
Zanjani had established financial institutions in four countries including the UAE, Malaysia, Turkey and Tajikistan, Dolatabdi said, underlining that the Iran's judiciary has found "very important clues about Zanjani's assets."
Iranian judiciary has seized the Zanjani`s assets in Iran. The country also has sent judicial teams to certain countries to determine the value of the overseas assets of the Iranian billionaire.