Middleman to give details in Zarrab’s US probe
REUTERS photoA middleman of Reza Zarrab, the shady businessman who was arrested in the U.S. on fraud and Iran sanctions-related charges, has said he wants to tell all he knows and present documents that he believes would contribute to the extension of the probe, daily Cumhuriyet reported on March 24.
“Between 2009 and 2010 I made financial transactions worth $81 million,” said Adem Karahan, demanding that the 21-page indictment against Zarrab be extended further as it only documents the transactions made from Karahan’s companies to the Al Nefees Exchange LLC and Royal Emerald Investments LLC between 2011 and 2015.
Karahan said the documents he has could prove that Zarrab’s criminal acts go back to 2009.
According to the documents Karahan showed to Cumhuriyet, 39 transactions were made from Cihan Kıymetli Madenler to Al Nefees Exchange LLC and Royal Emerald Investments LLC through the Istanbul branch of a bank in 2009. A sum of $30 million was sent to Al Nefees Exchange LLC in 32 transactions from the company’s dollar account.
Other documents show that $7.9 million was sent to Royal Emerald from the same account in seven different transactions, according to Cumhuriyet.
Karahan also highlighted the increase in the amount of money transferred from his other company, Cihan Kıymetli Madenler, to the two companies.
In separate documents, Karahan claims that $42.6 million was transferred to Al Nefees Exchange LLC and Royal Emerald Investments LLC in 33 different transactions, again through the same branch, with Al Nefees Exchange LLC receiving $28.2 million and Royal Emerald receiving $14.4 million.
In addition to Karahan’s statements, a number of other details about the arrest and the probe continue to emerge, as FBI agent Kelly Langmesser said they knew that Zarrab was traveling to Miami from the moment his plane took off from Istanbul thanks to the passenger information-sharing system between Turkey and the U.S., daily Hürriyet reported.
Zarrab was detained at Miami airport late on March 19.
It has also been reported that Zarrab’s indictment was prepared and presented to a federal court in New York three months ago, but remained sealed until the day he was arrested. Partners who aided Zarrab in various money transfers were also included in the indictment.
Zarrab was formally arrested on March 21 in Florida on charges of conspiring to conduct financial transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the Iranian government and other entities to evade U.S. sanctions.