Court issues verdicts in five money-laundering cases

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 Manama, Oct. 28 (BNA): The High Criminal Court today issued legal verdicts in five money-laundering cases, convicting the Central Bank of Iran, along with a number of Iranian banks, the Future Bank and five of its officials, Head of the Financial Crimes and Money Laundering Prosecution Office, Advocate General Chancellor Nayef Youssef Mahmood said.


The court found all the defendants guilty, sentencing the Future Bank officials to five years in prison, and to BD1 million fines each.


The court also sentenced the Central Bank of Iran and the other banks implicated in the wide money-laundering scheme to fines of BD1 million each, Advocate General Nayef Youssef Mahmood said.


The total of fines imposed on the Iran Central Bank and the other implicated banks reached BD 37 million. The court also ordered the confiscation of the illegally transferred money that reached $112 million, he added.


The Public Prosecution had previously announced that its investigations had revealed that the Central Bank of Iran planned to launder billions of dollars through the Future Bank that was established in Bahrain and controlled by two Iranian banks, Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran, to pass suspicious financial transactions in favour of Iranian entities, mainly the Central Bank of Iran, in violation of laws and regulations.


The Future Bank received requests for suspicious financial transfers in favour of the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks through the "SWIFT" system without reporting them, setting aside their sums or checking their legitimacy in an effort conceal the identity of the Iranian bank. The scheme allowed the bank to make the transfers in violation of laws and regulations.


Chancellor Nayef Youssef Mahmood added that investigations are still underway regarding the rest of the incidents in which the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks exploited the Future Bank to carry out international transactions in violation of the Law on Prohibition and Combating Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing and banking laws and regulations.


 To date, the court has imposed a total of BD 281 million in fines against those found guilty in cases related to the Future Bank, confiscated financial transfer amounts worth $150 million and issued custodial penalties against them, he said.