Wednesday Sep 28, 201102:01 PM GMT
'Former Bank Melli CEO fled to Canada'
Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:58PM
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Mohammad Jahromi former managing director of Bank Saderat (File photo)
The former CEO of Saderat Bank opens up about the recent banking scam and says Mahmoud-Reza Khaavari, the head of Bank Melli, fled to Canada after resigning for his role in the scandal.


The USD 2.8 billion embezzlement scandal involving seven government-owned and private banks, which had used fraudulent Saderat Bank documents to secure multi-billion dollar credits and to purchase state-owned companies, was recently uncovered.

“Today, they are pointing the people in the wrong direction by dismissing me because with Mr. [Mahmoud-Reza] Khaavari fleeing to Canada they are at a loss [for what to do] and on edge,” Mohammad Jahromi said in a Wednesday statement.

The statement went on to accuse Khaavari's connections in the government and Central Bank of Iran (CBI) of trying to “cover up his escape which some of them helped him make.”

“Those who appointed Mr. Khaavari, the CEO of Bank Melli, while knowing that he and his family had Canadian citizenship and due to having this citizenship felt no obligation towards the sacred establishment of the Islamic Republic must now be held accountable for this financial corruption…,” the statement continued.

Jahromi said that “while I should have apologized to the people and resigned after uncovering the embezzlement which started in 2009 --before my appointment-- with the head of a [Saderat] bank branch conspiring with a factory owner,” he had stayed on to help uncover the truth and pay his debt to the people.

He went on to add that despite his efforts and contacts with the Intelligence Ministry and Judiciary to aid the arrest of the main perpetrators behind the embezzlement, its masterminds had leaked the scandal to the media in a manner that implicated Saderat Bank and its CEO.

Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani has appointed Prosecutor General Hojjatoleslam Gholam- Hossein Mohseni-Ejei to investigate the embezzlement case.

On September 27, Mohseni-Ejei announced that 22 people had been arrested in connection with the case and that the exact nature of the fraud was still under investigation.

According to the Prosecutor General, necessary measures have been taken to prevent the criminals from leaving the country or transferring money to offshore accounts.

SS/HGH
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