Babak Zanjani, Iranian billionaire “sanctions broker” was arrested in Tehran today. Mohsen Ej’ie, Iran’s Prosecutor General confirmed Zanjani’s arrest. (Fars News Agency, 30 December)
On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani ordered the investigation of “sanctions profiteers” in Iran. The term, or “sanctions brokers,” is referred to people or organizations that take advantage of the special concessions and privileges given to them to defy trade sanctions, but in the process enrich themselves normally through corruption or illegitimate income.
The specific charges against Zanjani have not been disclosed. A majlis investigating committee reported this week that he owes billions of dollars to the Ministry of Oil. Zanjani was involved in “oil-for-cash” schemes, selling Iranian crude in black markets for cash.
Zanjani was also implicated by Reza Zarrab, the Iranian sanctions broker who was arrested last week in Istanbul, as his “boss” and contact in Tehran. The two reportedly were involved in “gas-for-gold’ scheme that is in the heart of the current government corruption scandal in Turkey.
File photo: Babak Zanjani (BBC)
To read about Zanjani’s debts to Oil Ministry, please click here.
To read about Rouhani’s investigation order, please click here.
To read an account of “gas-for-gold” scheme, please click here.