US prosecutor in spotlight of Turkish Twitter users after fraud charge on Zarrab
NEW YORK – Doğan News AgencyU.S. prosecutor Preet Bharara who has charged Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab for fraud has been in the spotlight of Turkish Twitter users following the news of Zarrab’s arrest.
Bharara’s Twitter followers increased from around 20,000 to more than 115,000 in just 24 hours with Turkish users mentioning him with admiration and praises.
“You want anything from Turkey? Turkish raki, Shish Kebab, Lokuum, Turkish Carpet. Just ask. We are on your service. @PrettyBharara,” read one tweet that went viral on social media.
However, the prosecutor declined the offer, responding “Well, I do love shish kebab, but I don’t think I can accept gifts just for doing my job . . . ”
Well, I do love shish kebab but I don't think I can accept gifts just for doing my job... https://t.co/iUw6yRVZPF— US Attorney Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 22, 2016
Zarrab was arrested in Florida 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.
According to the indictment, Zarrab, a dual citizen of Turkey and Iran, owned and operated a network of companies in Turkey and in the United Arab Emirates, including Royal Holding A.Ş.
The indictment said Zarrab, along with two others, conspired to thwart economic sanctions against Iran by concealing transactions benefiting Iran’s government and Iranian entities.
Zarrab previously attracted attention when he was detained for two months in Turkey. He was the prime suspect in a corruption and bribery scandal involving the government that went public on Dec. 17, 2013.
The businessman was accused of being the ringleader of a money laundering and gold smuggling ring in Turkey that circumnavigated sanctions against Iran. The charges were dismissed after the prosecutors investigating case were accused by the ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of plotting against the government and removed from their posts.
Four former cabinet members, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muahmmer Güler, European Union Minister Egemen Bağış and Urban Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, were accused in the probe before they were acquitted by parliament.