|Zanjani in court|
Iran's deputy judiciary head publicly stated that billionaire oil sales proceeds thief Babak Zanjani will still be executed, and that he will be hanged after he returns the more than $3bn he stole from the Oil-for-Gold Iran sanctions evasion program. Zanjani was sentenced to death in 2016, for "Crimes on Earth, " after he and his partners diverted billions of dollars they received while operating a massive global oil sanctions evasion sales scheme.
This is a departure from earlier government statements, in which Iran's judicial authorities promised to reduce his sentence, and not execute him, provided he return the billions stolen. It has been acknowledged that the missing money is outside Iran, and cannot be recovered. Zanjani's partners, which included Reza Zarrab, now cooperating with the US Goverment, are believed to have control of the funds; it is not known whether Zarrab has turned over all or part of the money to the US. He is presently living in New York, released from custody in an unusual arrangement which would support the theory that he has rendered Substantial Assistance to the US Department of Justice.
The other known co-conspirator, Alireza Monfared, who is believed to be in Iranian custody, after he was detained in the Dominican Republic, and spirited to Iran, via a circuitous route that avoided US airspace, and the possibility he would fall on American hands, laundered the illicit oil profits through the Malaysian offshore financial center of Labuan, and some of the missing money may be located there. Monfared's abuse of a diplomatic passport, issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica, widely exposed the sordid business of selling "diplomatic" status in the East Caribbean States.
|Monfared with Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerrit|
It has been anticipated that Zanjani's partners in crime would eventually save his life by paying Iran the $3.5bn it says he owes, which includes interest, but now, with this news that it will not stop his execution, it is doubtful that this will ever occur.
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