Escaped bank head called on to return Iran

Society Materials 13 October 2011 16:28 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 13 / Trend D.Khatinoglu/

Minister of Economy and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini called on former Melli Bank Head Mahmoud-Reza Khavari to return Iran and defense himself against fraud scandal, IRNA reported.

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

Some of 36 individuals have been arrested on charges of this giant fraud.

Mahmoud-Reza Khavari escaped to Canada after resignation and hasn't returned to country, yet.

Earlier, Iran's Prosecutor General Hojjatoleslam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said that Mahmoudrza Khavari should be himself interested in returning back to Iran, otherwise he will be regarded as a major suspect and will have to stand all charges.

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.

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.