Iran’s Elaborate Sanction-Skirting Scheme

4 Dec 2017   Iran, Turkey

Turkish authorities and banks cooperated with Tehran in the development of a scheme aimed at providing Iran with international markets for its gas in exchange for hard currency that was laundered in a variety of ways before it went back to Iran. That’s the gist of a story that recently got some major publicity with the start of a trial in Manhattan against gold trader Reza Zarrib and banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Halkbank. The two took part in a scheme that originated before 2012 and possibly ran until 2016, when Zarrib was arrested. The key witness of the prosecution is Reza Zarrib, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and decided to cooperate with the U.S. authorities. Of Turkish-Iranian descent, Zarrib was an early bloomer in entrepreneurship. According to an extensive story in Bloomberg, he started his first business when he was barely 16. He then progressed […]

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