Key graft scandal figure awarded for export performance
Reza Zarrab (2nd L) is seen accepting a prize from Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci (L) and Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş (2nd R). AA PhotoIranian Turkish businessman Reza Zerrab, who was embroiled in Turkey’s huge graft probe that went public in December 2013, has been awarded for the high export performance of his company Volgam Gıda.
In the general assembly meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), which was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan along with several cabinet ministers, Reza Zarrab, the owner of Volgam Gıda, was given the “export champion” award in the jewelry sector.
Volgam Gıda became Turkey’s 13th largest exporter in 2014 with exports worth around $847 million in the TİM list of 1,000 top exporters. Almost all of Volgam Gıda’s exports were comprised of jewelry exports in 2014, when Turkey’s jewelry exports saw record rises, up to $3 billion. The company did not even feature in the 2013 top 1,000 list.
Zarrab was the prime suspect in a corruption and bribery scandal involving the government that went public on Dec. 17, 2013. He was accused of being the ringleader of a money laundering and gold smuggling ring in Turkey that circumnavigated sanctions against Iran.