Fraudulent Oil Fund Sentenced Iranian Billionaire to Death, 2 Others
An Iranian businessman and two other accomplices have been sentenced to execution. They were being convicted of embezzlement as the court found sufficient evidence of fraud and alienating $2.7 billion. The accused Babak Zanjani worked previously as an oil ministry informal dealer.
In 2014, he used First Islamic Investment Bank to send his money out of Iran. He had been blacklisted by the EU and the U.S. for helping Iran avoid sanctions. In July, U.S. rescinds sanctions associated to the nation's nuclear program after a turning point agrees with the Islamic Republic, as reported by Bloomberg.
The defendants are being convicted by the Islamic court because of "spreading corruption on earth" which is considered a major offense. Aside from being sentenced to death, they are also ordered to pay back stolen funds from National Iranian Oil Company, a government-controlled oil company, among others, said judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei on a live broadcast.
For years, Zanjani organized billions of dollars of oil deals through company connections extending from Turkey to Malaysia and the UAE. He was able to raise a fortune of $10 billion together with debts of comparable surmount, as he once informed an Iranian magazine, according to The Guardian.
On December 30, 2013, he was arrested after he was accused of corruption by 12 legislators requesting for information about his financial activities in a letter to the heads of the government's three branches.
Based on Iran's Islamic Penal Code, a "corruptor on or in the earth" is a person that helps promote and increase corruption on earth. Corruption is what directs to fall, devastation and the diversion of the society from its nature. Thus, the charge will be death sentence.
According to MEHR News Agency, he was also charged by the Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, Bank Maskan and Social Security Organization with hefty fraud, forgery and money laundering. His assets' estimated net worth is around $13.8 billion, say experts.
From years of economic seclusion, Iran surfaced when world authorities led by the US and EU removed incapacitating sanctions against Tehran in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear desire.