10152018Mon

Accused Looters of Corrupt Iranian Financial Institution out on Bail

Iran Focus

London, 15 Dec - All of the people accused of “looting” a credit and financial institution in Iran have been freed on bail, according to an official at Tehran’s Penal Court.

The looted institution, Samen al-Hojaj, went bankrupt and was taken over by the private Parsian Bank.

There are almost 50 complainants in Tehran who have registered that they have not been able to get their money back from Samen al-Hojaj, which was launched in 2001.

Parsian Bank had announced a timetable to repay Samen al-Hojaj depositors but this has only just been rolled out.

There are many financial and credit institutions that have recently gone bankrupt and forced depositors to hold protests to demand their money back, stating that they are victims of fraud.

Improper banking practices

Over the past 10 years, many credit associations have been set up in Iran promising high-interest rates and therefore attracting a lot of deposits. Some of these institutions operate without the correct licenses and a shocking lack of regulatory oversight.

Many will file for bankruptcy after reckless investments or approve too many high-value loans that are not repaid, raising suspicion over their practices and who really owns them.

The Iranian people, who invested their money in the financial institutions often lose a large amount of their savings- sometimes everything.

Ahmad Tavakkoli, a former member of the Iranian Regime’s Parliament, said that most of the former customers of Samen al-Hojaj bank- who had taken out large loans that they never intended to pay back- were veteran judges and the children of prominent figures in the Iranian Regime.

On November 28, he even threatened to publicly disclose the names of those people unless they paid their debts, citing corruption.

He said: “The managing director of Samen al-Hojaj has a lot of influence. He’s so powerful that he even managed to get an arrest warrant for the Central Bank of Iran's former governor, Mahmoud Bahmani (2008-2013). Corrupt individuals attract and multiply people of their calibre.”

Some close to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have even accused Hassan Rouhani’s presidential campaign of borrowing money from Samen al-Hojaj.

Ongoing trial

The Tasnim News Agency, which is run by the Islamic Revolution Guardian Corps (IRGC), reported that a trial date had not yet been set and they are still investigating but if Tavakkoli’s comments are true, then there will likely be a lot of secrecy surrounding the trial and it will likely go on for a long time.

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