The Laundry Man by Kenneth Rijock ( Penguin/Random House UK)

Friday, February 15, 2013


Tahmasb Mazaheri, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran who was caught with the infamous three hundred million Bolivar Cheque in Germany, is not just a former senior government official. He is also the director of record of a Venezuelan bank cleverly organised with a name that is deceptively similar to one of the Western Hemisphere's most prominent institutions, the Inter-American Development Bank. That is a classic money laundering tactic, used by yours truly many times. So the question arises, is Mazaheri the kingpin of the Iranian money launderers ?

The Venezuelan-Iranian front bank, which was immediately sanctioned by the United States, does NOT serve the Venezuelan public. It is an obvious facilitator of Iranian sanctions evasion, and money laundering activity. I have seen the corporate documents; it was formed in record time, and does not appear to play a role in the Venezuelan domestic banking system.

What about Mazaheri ? It is reported that the German customs officials did not arrest him. He does face a $1.4m  fine, but it is understood that he is now back in Iran. And the infamous cheque, reportedly signed, in Iran, by a yet-unnamed director of the government-owned Bank of Venezuela; who was the payee, and why won't German officials release a copy ? Far too many unanswered questions for Germany. They can do better than that. 

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