Iran Ex-Central Bank Chief Gets 10 Years in Prison for FX Corruption
The Iranian government today announce a 10-years jail term for its ex-Central Bank chief following corruption charges. Valiollah Seif, a former governor was sentenced on Saturday to 10 years in prison on corruption charges involving the mismanagement of millions of dollars, the judiciary said.
Seif and two of his deputies, who also received jail terms, were found guilty of “disturbing the foreign exchange market, the country’s economic climate and mismanagement,” a judiciary spokesman was quoted as saying by state media.
State TV said Seif and one of his deputies, Ahmad Araghchi, who was sentenced to eight years in jail, had “provided illegal conditions for the mismanagement of about $160 million and 20 million euros”.
Another deputy, Salar Aghakhani, was sentenced to 13 years. Seif led the central bank from 2013 to 2018 under former President Hassan Rouahni’s administration. He was replaced by Abdolnasser Hemmati.
In 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department placed Seif under sanctions for helping transfer millions of dollars to the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. Seif, 69, remains free pending an appeal.
The judiciary’s website said he had repeatedly broken the law along with his deputy, Ahmad Araghchi, who was handed an eight-year jail term.
A third senior figure at the central bank, Rassoul Sajad, received a 13-year sentence for illegal foreign currency trading and taking bribes.
The rial exchange rate was at 39,000 to $1 in 2017 at the beginning of Araghchi’s time in office, but it reached more than 110,000 to $1 by the time he was dismissed in 2018. The change partly coincided with severe United States sanctions imposed on Tehran.
The rial has tumbled from a rate of around 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers to around 27,000 rials to $1 in recent months.
The currency unexpectedly rallied for some time after former US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the nuclear deal and reimpose crippling trade sanctions on Iran in 2018.
The sanctions have caused Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of income, to fall sharply. # Iran Ex-Central Bank Chief Gets 10 Years in Prison for FX Corruption