IRGC ‘keeps secret funds in Asia’

An Iranian elite group is suspected of keeping secret funds in various parts of the world including South Korea and Malaysia, dodging internationally coordinated economic sanctions, people familiar with the matter said Sunday.

The United States Treasury Department is believed to be probing details of what it sees as a possible case of money laundering by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, with a view to sanctioning another of the group’s affiliated companies, they said.

Petrosina Arya, a Tehran-based company under the IRGC, allegedly has savings worth more than US$1 billion in an account at a major South Korean bank, a diplomatic source told Kyodo News.

A heavily armed unit under the Iranian leadership, the IRGC set up the firm as a front company after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) subjected two firms under its wing to sanctions in a 2010 resolution related to Iran’s nuclear programs, the source said.

The front company of energy business arm Sepanir of Iran’s largest construction company Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, which the IRGC owns, has won-denominated savings worth some $1.3 billion as of the third quarter of 2013, the source said.

It also has accounts in Malaysia and former Soviet republics, the source added.

The findings suggest Iran may be funneling funds to Asian and other countries to evade close monitoring by US and European financial authorities, the source said.

A classified memo of the SNSC dated April 30, 2013, shows the council instructed all key bodies in Iran to cooperate with KAA’s request to change the names of its affiliates in contracts and other business documents, apparently to hide the firm’s activities.

The Central Bank of Iran is playing a leading role in implementing the directive, the source said.

Full article: IRGC ‘keeps secret funds in Asia’ (Bangkok Post)

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