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Main Suspect in Iran Bank Scam Case Starts Singing: Prosecutor


Source: Fars News Agency

Iran's State Prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said the main suspect in the $2.6bln bank scam case has started confessions, adding that the first part of his lawsuit will be presented to the court in one month.

National Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei (file photo)

Speaking to Iran's state-run TV Channel 2 Monday night, Ejei said the main suspect, Amir Mansour Khosravi, had earlier pinned hope on his crime and corruption network and imagined that he could escape justice, but after he realized that his accomplices could not help him he started making a series of confessions.

Amir Mansour Khosravi owns 38 factories, most of which are steel factories. He had registered a company with 200 billion rials ($20 million) five years ago. Khosravi 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, or better to say at the price of zilch.

"In the early days of his interrogation, the managing-director of this company (Khosravi) claimed that he had not done anything special or illegal, but today he has confessed to his crime and is retelling parts of the (scam) case," Ejei said.

Ejei, who was appointed by Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani a month ago to investigate the case, further said at the beginning the case looked like "a too complicated maze, but fortunately, today we have come to a point that we have unraveled the knot and realized its dimensions".

He further pointed out that a total number of 67 individuals have been summoned to his office for explanations and interrogations, adding that "31 of them are under detention".

From among those involved in the bank embezzlement, the prosecutor said investigations showed that "some managers of certain bank branches and even a number of bank clerks were bribed by the suspects".

He further noted the fugitive chief of Bank Melli Mahmoud Reza Khavari, and advised him to return to the country for explanations, warning that Tehran is losing hope and patience in his return, and the day "we feel that Khavari will not return to the country, we will then take action through the Interpol and try other options to return him to the country".

Ejei further pointed out that the exact time for announcing the end of investigations into this case is not yet clear, but meantime hoped to be able to present the first part of his lawsuit to the court "within one month".

Seven state and private banks are linked to the fraud, which involved forging of letters of credit from Bank Saderat, which is partly state-owned, to secure loans that were used to buy state-owned companies, Iranian media said. Some of the money was transferred offshore, Mohseni-Ejei said.

The $2.6 billion embezzlement scandal involving seven government-owned and private banks, which had used fraudulent Saderat Bank documents to secure multi-billion dollar credit and purchase state-owned companies, was recently uncovered.

Ejei had announced on September 27 that the necessary measures had been taken to prevent the criminals from leaving the country or transferring money to offshore accounts.

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