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Economy
2021-December-8  13:21

Iran Freezes Hundreds of Bank Accounts over Illegal Trade of Foreign Currencies

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran announced that over 700 banking accounts have been identified and blocked over suspicious trade of foreign currencies amid a surge in their price.

The Iranian intelligence ministry said on Tuesday that it has identified and blocked more than 700 bank accounts that it believes have been used to launder massive proceeds obtained from illegal trading of foreign currencies.

The ministry announced in a statement that its anti-smuggling department had coordinated the freezing of the accounts with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

“The turnover of some of these accounts had amounted to 200 trillion rials (over $645 million) in the past nine months,” said the statement.

It added that a list of account holders had been submitted to the Iranian judiciary for prosecution.

The intelligence ministry said it will continue to constantly monitor suspicious bank accounts held by people involved in forex trade

Its statement said that more bank account related to illicit forex trade will be blocked in the upcoming days.

The statement comes following a fresh surge in the price of foreign currencies in Iran which government authorities believe is purely due to speculative trading. 

CBI officials have insisted the rise in prices in recent days have had nothing to do with the country’s actual state of forex reserves.

Traders in the market say prices started to go up last week after a renewed round of talks between Iran and world powers to remove the US sanctions in Austria’s capital Vienna.

The new round of talks are due to start in Vienna on Thursday.