LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
»
1-min read

Cracking on 'Economic Disruptors', Iran Executes Businessman Dubbed 'Sultan of Bitumen' Over Fraud Charges

Hamidreza Bagheri Dermani, 49, is the third businessman to be executed since an anti-corruption drive was launched over the summer.

AFP

Updated:December 22, 2018, 5:27 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Cracking on 'Economic Disruptors', Iran Executes Businessman Dubbed 'Sultan of Bitumen' Over Fraud Charges
Hamidreza Bagheri Dermani, who was arrested in August 2014, reportedly forged dozens of documents of fake real estate to acquire bank loans. (Image: Twitter)
Loading...
Tehran: Iran executed a trader known as the "Sultan of Bitumen" on Saturday over charges of fraud and large-scale smuggling of the oil product, the judiciary's news agency Mizan online reported.

Hamidreza Bagheri Dermani, 49, is the third businessman to be executed since an anti-corruption drive was launched over the summer.

He was convicted of "corruption on earth" — a broad Islamic charge used for the most high-profile and serious cases — after swindling over 10 trillion rials (around $100 million at the current rate) through "fraud, forgery and bribery", Mizan reported.

Dermani, who was arrested in August 2014, reportedly forged dozens of documents of fake real estate to acquire bank loans.

He then used front companies to procure more than 300,000 tonnes of bitumen — an oil-based substance used in asphalt and other products and one of Iran's most profitable businesses — Mizan said.

Dermani was also accused of ties to business magnate Babak Morteza Zanjani, who is awaiting execution after being convicted in 2016 of embezzling $2.7 billion while helping the government circumvent international sanctions.

The judiciary said Dermani's loans were facilitated by former central bank governor Mahmoud Reza Khavari, who was convicted in absentia last year after fleeing to Canada in the wake of yet another major embezzlement scandal.

News of Dermani's execution was presented in dramatic fashion on state television, with an action-movie soundtrack and full documentary about his crimes.

The footage showed documents claiming Iranian journalist and women's rights activist Hengameh Shahidi, sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison on unspecified charges, had tried to pay Dermani's bail last year.

Iran has seen a sharp economic downturn this year, fuelled in part by US President Donald Trump's decision in May to withdraw from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose crippling unilateral sanctions.

The authorities have been keen to show they are cracking down on "economic disruptors" accused of exploiting shortages and fluctuations in gold and currency prices.

Dozens have been tried and in November a trader dubbed the "Sultan of Coins" and his accomplice were executed for exploiting a surge in gold demand.



Catch the biggest newsmakers and the biggest newsbreaks on CNN-News18, the only news destination. Keep watching CNN-News18 at just 50 paise per month. Contact your cable/DTH operator now!

*Rental/capacity fee of Rs. 130/- as charged by cable/DTH operator may apply. **GST extra.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results