Bank chief hanged over embezzlement . . . in Iran

Posted by News Express | 24 May 2014 | 3,799 times

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Iran’s state media is reporting that a key player in the country’s biggest-ever banking scandal was executed here on Saturday.

The office of Tehran’s public prosecutor announced that Mahafari Amir-Khosravi, one of four co-conspirators given the death sentence in 2012 for their roles in embezzling the equivalent of $2.6 billion, was hanged inside Tehran’s Evin prison.

Among those accused in the case were executives at seven of Iran’s largest banks, and the managing director of the biggest one, Melli Bank, is still at large having fled the country soon after the details of the case were announced in September 2011.

Amir-Khosravi was convicted of forging letters of credit, proceeds of which were later used to set up a private bank.

Plans for his execution had not been made public and his death caught many by surprise.

When the scandal in which a group of powerful businessmen conspired with bank managers to rob public coffers became public, it set off a months long national controversy that many felt went unpunished, believing that the case would result in little more than slaps on the wrists of those involved.

At the time, much of the blame was directed at the administration of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and specifically his chief of staff and political confidant, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, but ultimately no officials were convicted.

But fighting financial corruption, which was rampant during Ahmadinejad’s two terms, was a promise made by Hassan Rouhani when he assumed office last August.

•Text courtesy of Washington Post. Photo shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Source: News Express

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