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Suspects In $165 Million Bank Fraud In Iran Fled To Britain, Switzerland

The prosecutor presenting his case at the corruption trial related to two banks in Iran. September 24, 2019

A Revolutionary Court judge in Iran says three suspects in a legal case involving financial corruption at Bank Mellat (Nation Bank) have fled Iran and currently live in London and somewhere in Switzerland.

The judge, mid-ranking cleric Mohammad Salimabadi, also known as Movahedi and Movahedi Azad, the three are informed about the court hearing and write letters to different Shi'ite "sources of emulation" or Ayatollahs and the Islamic Republic high authorities.

Speaking at the sixth session of the trial, judge Movahed on Sunday, October 3, named the suspects as Majid Sa'adati, Rahmatollah Bakhtari, and Ms. Samaneh Hazrati.

"Based on our information, two of the fugitive suspects live in London, and the third is living somewhere in Switzerland," Movahed maintained.

During the Sunday session, Majid Sa'adati was identified as the director of "Emerald Company," which had been active in circumventing international sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic during 2011-2016. He was working in tandem with another company, Parsi Kish.

Based on the prosecutor's report to the court, Sa'adati used to have a monthly salary of 12,000 euros (approximately $13,400).

However, "After gaining residential permit in England, Sa'adati bought a house in 2015 in London for 650,000 GBP (Approximately $841k), fled Iran, and took all of Bank Mellat's documents with him," the prosecutor said.

The judicial authorities maintain that Sa'adati refrained from returning the money gained through circumvention of the international sanctions imposed on Iran.

The total amount pocketed by the three suspects was $165 million, out of which $105 million belonged to Bank Mellat and $60 million to Bank Parsian.