14 individuals more arrested on charges of $2.8 bln bank fraud in Iran

Society Materials 10 October 2011 18:36 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 10 / Trend D.Khatinoglu/

Additional 14 people have been arrested on the charges of involvement in $2.8 billion bank embezzlement, Mehr reported quoting Prosecutor General Golam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei as saying.

Earlier, Ejei said about 22 suspects were arrested over the fraud case in Bank Saderat, one of Iran's major banks.

The embezzlement case started in 2007 by Amir Mansour Arya Investment Company, headed by Khosravi, and progressed in 2010 after some Iranian major banks, including Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, issued loans for the company.

The Javan Daily reported that Khosravi owns 38 factories, most of which are steel factories. He had registered a company with 200 billion rials ($20 million) five years ago and had bought 230 acres of land on Kish Island and hundreds acres of land near Kashanak at the price of 16 rials (0.16 cent) per meter.

Ejei confirmed that the company's assets worth $4.2 billion were seized and bank accounts were blocked.

Iranian officials say 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.

During the last months, a number of Iran's top financial officials, including the heads of Bank Saderat, Melli and Tourism were retired after a $2.8 billion fraud scandal, which is described as Iran's biggest case of embezzlement ever.

On Sept. 30, Iran's parliament started discussing an issue of taking a decision to impeach Minister of Economy and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini, member of the parliament Mousarza Sarvati said.

The Economy Ministry along with Bank Saderat, Bank Melli, Tat Bank and the Central Bank of were involved in the financial scandal, he added.