An Iranian, who was a Dominican diplomat, has been arrested after a lengthy international manhunt and has been extradited to Iran through Havana and Moscow to face trial
Alireza Zibahalat Monfared, 43, was arrested in the Dominican Republic and is accused of helping to embezzle billions of dollars while Iran evaded international oil sanctions, media reports say.
It is alleged that he was involved in Iran’s biggest-ever corruption scandal, working alongside tycoon Babak Zanjani who was sentenced to death last year for pocketing $2.8 billion while helping the country bypass sanctions, according to online news organization alarabiya.net.
The news organization reports that Monfared had various passports and had managed to escape extradition at least once when he was briefly detained in Malaysia.
Unconfirmed reports from state-run Iran Daily newspaper said that he was arrested in Dominica.
“He had close contacts with the main individuals in the great oil embezzlement file and was handed to the judiciary,” head of Iran’s international police department, Masoud Rezvani, said.
Reports indicated that Monfared was involved in the controversial My Dominica Trade House website which back in 2015 said it was a company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with three local companies in Dominica.
According to the website, the companies provided limousine taxi services, aqua prawn farming facility and energy solution that are completely based on green energy. The site said the companies also operated a spring water bottle plant, a business and consultancy management company that assisted the citizenship and passport applications for different countries including Dominica and managing valuable client’s assets.
The site is no longer active.
Monfared was issued a Dominican diplomatic passport in March 2015, according to reports. Last year The Sun newspaper published a report of 24 names of diplomatic appointees provided by a foreign affairs expert and Monafred was on the list.
DNO has since been informed that Monfared’s diplomatic passport was revoked on January 20, 2016.