Turkey’s DenizBank says it did not collaborate with Turkish-Iranian businessman Zarrab
ISTANBUL - Reuters
Turkey’s DenizBank said on Nov. 30 it did not have any dealings with the shipping group owned by Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who has pleaded guilty and is testifying in a United States federal court that he helped Iran get around U.S. sanctions.
Zarrab on Nov. 29 told the court he helped Iran use funds deposited in Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank to buy gold, which were smuggled to Dubai and sold for cash. Halkbank has said all of its transactions complied with national and international regulations.
Zarrab also testified that he used DenizBank for some transactions, allegations which the lender disputed.
“Our transactions only revolved around buying and selling gold domestically, and there were no foreign transactions,” DenizBank said in a statement.
“Our bank... has had no dealings with the Royal Shipping group owned by Reza Zarrab,” it said.
The case has fueled tensions between the U.S. and Turkey with Ankara saying the case was fabricated for political reasons.
Turkey’s banking regulator denied a local media report last month that six Turkish lenders could face substantial fines from the U.S. over alleged violations of Iran sanctions.