$2.7 bln corruption in Iran’s oil sector unprecedented in the world
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: The $2.7 billion corruption in Iran's oil sector was unprecedented in the world, IRNA quoted Iranian first vice president Eshaq Jahangiri as saying on March 17.
The more an economy is state-run, the more it will be prone to corruption, he added.
Jahangiri's comments referred to Iranian multi-billionaire Babak Zanjani who helped transfer €17.5 billion of the Iranian banks' capital from outside the country to domestic bank accounts with a 0.007 percent interest during the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Zanjani who is the owner or shareholder of at least 70 companies and banks including Bank Arzesh in Tajikistan and First Islamic Bank, had been involved in Iran's oil sale and transferring the sold oil's money to the country to bypass the imposed western sanctions on the country.
He was arrested on December 30, 2013. Zanjani's name also was mentioned in Turkey's latest corruption scandal.
Earlier on Dec. 22, Iranian media outlets quoted Iranian MP Mostafa Afzalifard as saying that Zanjani has paid his €2.06 billion debt to Iran's Oil Ministry.
The Central Bank of Iran announced on Dec. 28 that Zanjani has not paid any oil money to the CBI.
In September 2013, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar 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 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."
He further rejected rumors about him selling Iranian oil at a cheap price. He said that the Hong Kong-based company is in charge of selling Iran's oil, but since no bank was ready to transfer money for the firm, he said the company asked him to help, and he managed to transfer the money via the Malaysia-based bank (of which he was a member of the board of directors).