Five Iranian banks involved in $2.8 bln bank fraud

Business Materials 20 September 2011 12:03

Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 20/Trend A. Qurbanova/

Five Iranian banks were involved in a $2.8 billion bank corruption case while the judiciary had frozen the assets of all suspects involved in the case, the Mehr News Agency reported, quoting head of Parliament's economy commission Arsalan Fathipour as saying.

"Bank Melli, Bank Sepah, Bank Saderat, Bank Saman and Bank Parsian are somehow involved in the corruption case," he said.

He noted that currently the country has restored $900 million from the bank scam and the judiciary continues to find more evidence.

The Prosecutor General Mohseni Ejei said earlier that 19 suspects have been arrested over Bank Saderat's $2.8 bln corruption case.

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamsoldin Hosseini said that the main suspect Amir Mansour Arya had been arrested.

Some Iranian newspapers, such as Keyhan, are dependent on Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who reported the relationship between corruption agents and Ahmadinejad's allies, especially the Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.

The Daily Keyhan reported in a letter that Mashaee ordered some officials to facilitate the transfer of Khuzestan Steel Company shares to those charged in Saderat Bank's corruption case.

The press release from the Centre of Communication, Information and Publicity under the Iranian Presidential Office, rejected any relations between Mashaei and the corruption agents, accusing the opposition of "lying."

The Head of the Bank Mohammad Jahromi said earlier that six people have been questioned for corruption so far, with three officials arrested on charges of falsifying documents and corruption, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Bank Saderat is one of Iran's major banks. It contains 3,300 active branches and a share capital of $1.6 billion.

In September 2006 the U.S. government imposed sanctions on Bank Saderat Iran, barring it from dealing with U.S. financial institutions.