Iran’s National Bank head appointed

Business Materials 12 October 2011 15:14 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 12 / Trend D.Khatinoglu/

Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini appointed Farshad Heydari as the head of National Bank (Melli Bank), Mehr reported on Wednesday.

In his position Heydari, a board member of Bank Tejarat, replaced Mahmoud-Reza Khavari, who escaped to Canada after retiring because of $2.8 billion bank embezzlement case in Iranian Saderat bank.

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.

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.