Hundreds of people who have not been able to withdraw their deposits from Caspian credit institution staged a protest gathering in front of the Central Bank of Iran in the capital, Tehran, chanting angry slogans, on Monday morning, May 29.
A day earlier, in a similar protest in the city of Khorramabad, capital of Lorestan province, 490 km (305 mi) southwest of Tehran, several protesters had attacked Arman credit institution with stones and smashed its windows. Police forces used water bombs to disperse them. Photos of the clashes show the protesters retaliating by throwing stones at police forces.
Videos of the gathering in Tehran also show a number of the angry protesters were shrouded, a symbolic gesture to show they were ready to die for their cause.
The protesters were shouting “Allah Akbar” and “Death to Seif”, referring to the Central Bank governor, Valiollah Seif.
According to the photos and reports published in social media channels, police forces attacked the demonstrators with batons, trying to disperse them.
The protesters in Tehran were from different provinces of Iran, reported National Radio and TV Central News Unit, IRIB.
Tasnim, a news agency close to IRGC, also reported that the protesters blocked Mirdamad Avenue in Tehran.
During recent months, there have been many similar protests against Caspian credit institution in other cities, as well.
Most of these gatherings were staged by people who claim they are victims of systematic deception and fraud by these credit institutions. They say their assets have been either plundered or they have not received any interest for their deposits, as promised by the institutions. The protesters also maintain that they have tried to withdraw their deposits with no success.
Most of these so called credit institutions are in fact unofficial banks, which somehow evade regulations and even proper registration.
“The Central Bank of Iran regularly controls the illegal credit institutions and deals with them heavy handedly,” Deputy Governor of the bank, Farshad Haidari, had declared previously.
Meanwhile, he had asked people to visit the Central Bank’s website and check the list of legal credit institutes before depositing their money.
“If people deposit their money with an illegal and untrustworthy institution, they will be responsible for any problems that may occur,” Haidari had warned.
Furthermore, in an interview with Iranian state TV, Central Bank’s Director of Supervision, Abbas Kamare’i, said: “Caspian Credit Institution is a corporation of eight illegal cooperative entities and has attracted people’s assets through a variety of deceitful commercials.”
However, “Caspian institution received a conditional licence for its activities from the central bank in 2015 provided it disbands the eight coops related to it,” reported Iran News Agency, IRNA on Sunday 28 May.
Probably that’s why the protesters have accused the Central Bank of nontransparent accountability. The protesters also argue that they have deposited their money with an institution approved by the Central Bank of Iran; therefore the Bank is legally and morally accountable for it.