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Iran arrests members of Baha'i network over medicine corruption charges

The logo of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry (R) and the national flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iranian security forces have arrested nine members of a family network, followers of the Baha'i faith, over a host of charges including medicine-related offenses, the Intelligence Ministry says.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said 40 pharmacies and warehouses were also seized.

It said one Baha'i family in Tehran was found to "overtly and covertly" own "20 pharmacies, three cosmetic companies, and multiple unauthorized warehouses."

According to the ministry, members of the family have carried out "various kinds of violations and crimes, including smuggling and hoarding medicine, fraud, money laundering through intricate methods and tax evasion.”

Evidence also shows potential involvement of foreign elements and certain sects in the case, the statement said.

It noted that the network has been also collaborating with a number of corrupt physicians who overprescribed medications to patients or urged patients to procure prescriptions from specified pharmacies.

The Iranian forces have identified 20 secret warehouses belonging to the family where smuggled and hoarded drugs and other hygiene and cosmetic products have been stockpiled, the ministry said.

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