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Monday, March 24, 2008

Eyes on Iranian Banks Operating in Caracas, London and Other Places

A bank related with the Bank of Developments & Exports from Iran (Toseyeh Saderat Iran S.A), The International Bank of Development ('Banco Internacional de Desarrollo')' was settled in Venezuela, with some strange secret transaction that turned on the alert on US, especially for the reports coming from FARC member Raul Reyes' laptop that say Chavez Regime has been giving Uranium to FARC coming from Iran. And that's not all, there are locations of Uranium in Bolivar state at south of Venezuela.

The bank is located in the zone known as Chacao in Caracas, and there is an official gazette that approves and legalize the settle of this bank (Gaceta Oficial 38.771 – 18.9.07 pages 7-8).

This bank also has branches in Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Athens, Baalbek, Beirut, Saida, Muscat, Doha, Terkmenistan, UAE (Bank Saderat) and even in London, UK (Bank Saderat PLC).

The president of the bank is Tahmasb Mazaheri, former Iranian Minister of Economy. ç

The US Government has turned the alert on about this, and according to this, The Financial Times has this report:

Washington has called on international financial institutions to steer clear of doing business with Iran’s central bank, in the US’s most wide-ranging attempt yet to isolate Tehran financially.

The Treasury department has issued a warning of the risks of doing business with 51 state-owned and seven privately held Iranian banks – in effect the whole of Iran’s banking sector. The list includes institutions specializing in export financing and foreign investment, as well as Iranian state-owned banks located as far away as Venezuela, Hong Kong and the UK.

Our favorite and very assertive World-Check also has a report:

US publishes Guidance on Iranian banks, names and shames 34
22 March 2008

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, has issued what has been titled "A Guidance to Financial Institutions on the Continuing Money Laundering Threat involving illicit Iranian Activity," which has been designated FIN-2008-A0002. It is intended to supplement previous FinCEN statements and Advisories regarding AML deficiencies in Iran, the conduct of state-sponsored prohibited proliferation-related activity, and terrorist financing through that country's banks. Some of the language in this Advisory is unusually blunt and accusatory, more prosecutorial, rather than regulatory, in style. FinCEN also has taken the extraordinary step of naming the state-owned and private Iranian financial institutions banks, and their overseas affiliates, that banks must avoid, upon pain of US regulatory sanctions, or worse. This is the most detailed US government statement to date on Iranian banks. I would suggest that its tone be taken at face value, for terrorist financing charges can be fatal to any financial institution, wheresoever situated in the world, due to the absolute priority given to the Global War on Terrorism...

...The United States urges all financial institutions (emphasis added) to take into account the risk arising from the deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT regime, as well as all applicable US and international sanctions programs, with regard to any possible transactions with the following Iranian institutions:

· Banco Internacional de Desarrollo SA - Caracas
· Bank Mellat - Tehran, Seoul, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir
· Bank Melli Iran - Tehran, Paris, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Baghdad, Muscat, UAE
· Bank Melliiranzao - Moscow
· Bank Saderat PLC - London
· Bank Sepah International PLC - London
· Iran Overseas Investment Bank PLC a/k/a Iran Overseasinvestment Corporation Limited - London
· Melli Bank PLC - London
· Persia International Bank PLC - London, UAE
...among many others, most of them located in Tehran.

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