Saturday, July 25, 2020


Pilatus Bank CEO Hamidreza Ghanbari

We have been exploring any illicit connections between the participants in a number of billion dollar Iran sanctions evasion schemes, and the officers and directors of the now-defunct Pilatus Bank of Malta, and have noticed something that takes us in another direction: the Commonwealth of Dominica; And it gets curiouser and curiouser.

Why does Pilatus Bank's Chief Executive Officer, the Iranian national HAMIDREZA GHANBARI, hold a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passport and citizenship from Dominica ? He actually listed his nationality as Dominican when reporting to regulatory agencies. Some of his filings state that he claimed to reside in Malta; in others, he asserted that he lived in Dubai, UAE. Neither says he lives in Iran.

His boss, Pilatus Bank owner Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, acquired several passports from the Federation of St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis; so why didn't Sadr secure Kittitian passports for his CEO  at the same time ? What is so important about holding that Dominica CBI passport, we wonder.

Dominica was, of course, the East Caribbean state that sold not only CBI passports, but also diplomatic passports, to ALIREZA MONFARED, who was described in the press as the "Right Hand Man" of sanctions evasion king BABAK ZANJANI.  Zanjani is still facing a death sentence in Iran for his theft of €2bn; Monfared was sentenced to twenty years for his role.

"Diplomat" Alireza Monfared and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

The number of other Iranian nationals holding Dominica CBI passports and diplomatic passports is not known, because Dominica's Foreign Ministers have deemed that information to be confidential, even withholding it from the elected members of the House of Assembly, the country's Preliament. Therefore, we do not know how many Iranians engaged in the oil sanctions evasion scheme are traveling on Dominica passports, whether CBI or diplomatic.

The other major player in the Iran sanctions evasion crew, REZA ZARRAB, who has apparently cheated justice for his crimes through extensive cooperation with US law enforcement, operated with both Zanjani and Monfared, and may have implicated Hasheminenejad as a co-conspirator in the laundering of Iranian oil profits diverted by the crew.

Reza Zarrab a/k/a Risa Sarraf

The other Iranian link that passes directly through Dominica is the Colombian national, ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN, presently fighting extradition to the United States, where pending Federal criminal charges await him. Saab was literally en route to Iran, where he has a history of shipping over Vennzuelan gold, which helped Iran in its global oil sanctions evasion scheme, and were used to acquire dual-pupose goods for Iran's WMD and ballistic missile programs. Saab had two offshore corporations tht he formed in Dominica.

Alex Saab Moran's Antigua & Barbuda CBI passport

Where does Dominica, its local indigenous, as well as ofshore, banks, and its leadership, fit in regarding the sale of Iranian crude oil, and the laundering of illegal profits, as well as the purchase of duel-use goods for sanctioned weapons programs ? Perhaps If we knew the names of the Iranian nationals traveling around the globe with Dominica passports, we might be able to find some answers.

Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Dominica

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