Iranian oil ministry to seize $967 million of controversial tycoon’s assets

Business Materials 18 July 2014 13:50 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 18

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Iran's oil ministry plans to seize 30 trillion rials ($967.7 million) of the assets of controversial billionaire Babak Zanjani.

The governor of Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seyf said on July 18 that the judiciary is trying to find more assets in order to confiscate them, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.

"The figure may even increase in the future," he explained.

Zanjani who is the owner or shareholder of at least 70 companies and banks has been involved in Iran's oil sales and transferring the sold oil's money to the country to bypass the imposed western sanctions on the country. Reportedly, he owes €2.06 billion to Iran's Oil Ministry.

However, the Central Bank of Iran announced on Dec. 28 that Zanjani has not paid any sold oil's money to the bank.

Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on March 12 that Zanjani owes 1.1 million rials (about $45) to every Iranian, IRNA reported on March 12.

In September 2013, Zanganeh said that Zanjani claims the Americans blocked his bank account so he is not able to transfer the money to the Iranian government.

Zanjani had said that the money was in the bank account of a Hong Kong-based company which is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, adding that, "transferring the money to Iran is not my concern".

In an interview with the ISNA News Agency in August 2013, Zanjani said that he has helped transfer 17.5 billion euros of the Iranian banks' capital from outside the country to domestic bank accounts with a 0.007 percent interest.