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Iran Disbands Silver Smuggling Gang.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced on Sunday that it has dismantled a 9-strong band of smugglers in the Northeastern province of East Azerbaijan.

Intelligence Ministry, in a statement issued today, announced that contrabandists were transferring silver cargo from China to Iraq and then to Tehran so as to distribute it across the country.

These cargos led to the shutdown of many silver-related workshops and businesses, added the statement.

Arrested smugglers have confessed that they have illegally imported some 23 tons of silver-made jewelry during the past five years.

The report hasn't mentioned the amount of silver seized during the operation.

In a related front, the Ministry announced on January 07 that the security body had arrested 25 members of two criminal networks that had infiltrated into the banking and foreign currency system of the country.

The Ministry reported that it disbanded two criminal networks on charges of economic corruption, arresting 25 key members of these two rings.

The corruption rings had received foreign currency by bribery, using commercial cards (government licenses for import/export) of front companies, forging pre-invoices for registering an order for the import of necessity goods, and blindsided banks from following up on where the foreign currency credits had been put to use.

Arrests were been made in provinces of Qazvin, Tehran, Mazandaran, and East Azerbaijan, the report maintains, adding that criminals have been handed over to judiciary officials.

On December 31, the Ministry announced that 11 members of a gang charged with defrauding government's foreign currency reserves of around $1.2 billion on the pretext of importing basic commodities had been arrested in the Western Iranian province of Kurdistan.

According to the statement, the network had taken 47 trillion rials (roughly $1.2 billion) of the government's foreign currency reserves under the false pretext of importing necessity goods, but instead invested the amount in some other countries.

The ring had received foreign currency by bribery, using commercial cards (government licenses for import/export) of front companies, forging pre-invoices for registering an order for the import of necessity goods, and blindsided banks from following up on where the foreign currency credits had been put to use.

On Dec. 25, an extended 17-strong fraud gang who formed a criminal network across 6 provinces in Iran was also dismantled by the intelligence ministry.

In a coordinated operation, Intelligence Ministry forces arrested 17 members of a sophisticated fraud gang that had infiltrated into the banking and foreign currency system of the country, busting a criminal network which sprawled over the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan, Tehran, Mazandaran, Qom, Kerman and Isfahan.

Following the operation, the Intelligence Ministry issued a statement, explaining that the network was involved with registering orders for importing goods with bogus documents, and used government's foreign currency reserves with no intention of imports and for their own personal uses.

Thanks to the measures taken by Sistan and Baluchestan Intelligence Department General and special cooperation from the province's judicial bodies, the statement adds, 87 front companies were identified, and a great number of fabricated documents and seals related to both domestic and foreign companies were discovered. The operation prevented the capital flight of e1/4300 million worth of government's foreign currency reserves.

Iran has undertaken a series of massive moves to counter individuals, gangs, and groups that disrupt the national economy in pursuit of personal over-night gains.

Late in autumn, two giant economic saboteurs were executed for creating turmoil in the natural flow of the national economy in the past years.

Hamidreza Baqeri Dermani, nicknamed "the Sultan of Bitumen," was hanged on Saturday after conviction on the charge of "corruption on earth," which carries capital punishment.

He was a corrupt businessman who had appropriated more than 10 trillion rials ($100 million) mainly by defrauding banks and a major oil refining firm.

He had also headed a gang who exploited a surge in gold demand.

Earlier on November, Vahid Mazloumin, nicknamed as the "Sultan of Coins", and his accomplice were executed after they were convicted for contributing to chaos in Iran's gold coin and foreign currency markets.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 20, 2019
Words:696
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