Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Iranian trade firm embroiled in $3bn fraud case on tea imports, said to be the largest embezzlement case

Probes by the General Inspection Organization of Iran indicate that “a certain company” that had received billions of dollars to import tea and machinery, sold the forex on free market at a higher exchange rate, marking “the largest fraud” in the country.

The investigations by the General Inspection Organization of Iran show the total amount of foreign currency the company received from 2019 to 2022 amounted to $3.37 billion, of which around $1.472 billion was forex for imports allocated to trade firms by the government at an exchange rate considerably lower than the going rate at which the greenback is normally exchanged on the free market.

The said company was to spend the $ 1.472 billion on the import of machinery, and the remaining funds on importing tea.

The surveys by the organization revealed numerous violations during the course of forex transfer and the import of tea.

Finally, the organization filed a lawsuit against the company for failing to deliver on its forex commitments. And the case against government bodies which had provided foreign currency for the firm is to be sent to the Public and Revolution Court of Tehran for certain violations.

The organization said the trade group imported no goods at all in exchange for $1.4 billion of the total forex funds it received.

“Investigations show part of the foreign currency received by the company was sold on the free market at a higher exchange rate,” said the organization.

“In addition to the said amount ($1.4 billion), the deadline for the remaining amount of foreign currency [to be used for imports] is about to end, and the company’s unfulfilled forex commitments for imports could rise to nearly $2 billion,” said the organization.

According to the organization, the said company also committed violations by importing lower quality tea than what was originally planned.

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