Beşiktaş sells Reza Zarrab’s $500,000 box seat at Vodafone Arena
ISTANBULThe controversial box seat owned by Iranian-born Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab, who was arrested in the U.S. over a month ago, at Beşiktaş’ long-awaited new stadium has been sold for $500,000 after the parties reached a mutual agreement, daily Habertürk has reported. Zarrab’s purchase of the box seat had hit headlines last year after allegations he paid some 1.2 million Turkish Liras to own one of the 147 box seats in the brand new stadium, which was under construction at the time but has since opened.
Habertürk quoted anonymous sources in its report, suggesting the new owner paid around $500,000 to watch the Black Eagles in luxury for the next three years. The box was sold only after Zarrab and the Beşiktaş administration reached a mutual agreement, according to the report, which added that Zarrab’s previous payment was returned in full.
Beşiktaş expects to garner an annual income of 50 to 60 million dollars from the newly-inaugurated Vodafone Arena, in addition to a $10 million annual income from the 147 box seats.
Beşiktaş president Fikret Orman faced a mountain of criticism after reports surfaced a box seat had been purchased by Zarrab, a controversial figure after being detained for two months in Turkey as the prime suspect in the country’s largest-ever graft probe and bribery scandal involving the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which went public on Dec. 17, 2013.
Zarrab was arrested in Florida on March 19 on charges of conspiracy to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions for the Iranian government or other entities to evade U.S. sanctions.
The indictment was filed in federal court in Manhattan after Zarrab was arrested on March 19 in Miami and appeared in federal court there on March 21, when a federal magistrate judge ordered him detained.
He was recently brought to New York for a court appearance scheduled late on April 27.