Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 3
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian judiciary official Nasser Seraj said that he has no official documents to confirm escape of Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the former managing director of Bank Melli from Canada, Iran's News agency reported on Feb. 3.
"I learned about the issue through the media," Seraj added.
Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted head of Interpol's National Central Bureau in Iran, Colonel Masood Rezvani as saying Canadian police have announced that Khavari has escaped from Canada to one of the South American countries.
On Jan. 6, deputy chief of Iranian police, Ahmadreza Radan announced that a special group of Iranian police officers will be assembled and sent to Canada to search for and arrest Khavari.
"Iranian police asked the Canadian police to arrest Khavari as soon as he's spotted, and return him to Iran, however Canadian officials said Khavari is not in Canada," Radan said.
The fraud case originally started in 2007 by Iranian Amir Mansour Arya Investment Company, and progressed in 2010 after some Iranian major banks, including Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, issued loans for the company.
Iranian officials said at the time that the case involved the use of fraudulent documents to obtain credit for this investment company, one of the country's top financial institutions.
The company used them to purchase assets such as state-owned companies.
In 2012, the $3 billion fraud case led to investigation, which had many Saderat Bank officials arrested. At the time, Khavari was the head of Bank Melli Iran, and was reportedly involved in the fraud case.
In the autumn of 2012, Khavari, who has dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship, escaped to Canada. Iran requested Interpol announce an international search for Khavari.
Edited by C.N.