Iranian-born businessman in Sweden suspected of massive illegal trade with Iran Share

2010/04/06

From Swedish public service TV’s newscast “Rapport”, Tuesday, 6 April 2010, 7.30 pm
Link to YouTube video of the newscast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nheg3RcDoQw
English translation kindly provided by Anusche Noring

An Iranian businessman in the northern Swedish town of Umeå is currently under suspicion for violating UN sanctions against Iran by channelling large sums of money from Iran to various companies around the world, which subsequently exported banned products to Iran. It is suspected that these could have included parts for an Iranian nuclear arms programme.

UN sanctions against Iran ban exports of technology to Iran which can be used to produce weapons of mass destruction, missiles and nuclear weapons. It is these sanctions that the Umeå-based businessman is suspected to have violated. He is of Iranian origin, and his company in Umeå has channelled more than 5 billion Swedish kronor over the past few years from Iran to various companies around the world.

Björn Rosenlöf, spokesperson for the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau:
– Well, we can see that the money comes, as I said, exclusively from Iran, and that it has been spread to recipients all over the world, and I can confirm that a large sum has gone to the US and was intended for purchasing goods covered by the sanctions against Iran. However, in that case, the US authorities managed to stop the export, so the goods never actually left the country.

Patrik Peter, spokesperson for the Swedish Security Service:
– The Swedish Security Service is currently carrying out a preliminary inquiry, and our inquiry is headed by District Prosecutor Ronnie Jacobsson. The suspicions concern violations of international sanction regulations, and the way things look at the moment these suspicions are connected to Iran.

District Prosecutor Ronnie Jacobsson at the unit for security-related cases confirms for Swedish TV’s newscast “Rapport” that he has discovered money transactions in the course of his investigation which are suspected to be connected with illegal trade with Iran. The Umeå-based businessman has been charged with serious accounting fraud at the Umeå district court. That court case will start on Thursday, and it was in the course of this investigation that the police started to suspect that the transactions channelled through the businessman’s company could refer to illegal trade with Iran.

“Rapport” interviewer:
– How does the defendant himself explain these money transactions?

Björn Rosenlöf, spokesperson for the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau:
– His explanation is that he has been helping small Iranian companies that wanted to buy goods outside Iran, in Europe, America and Asia.

“Rapport” interviewer:
– But you don’t buy that explanation?
Björn Rosenlöf, spokesperson for the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau:
– No, I think it is a tad flimsy.

The businessman’s lawyer, Leif Silbersky, has declined to comment on the suspicions against his client.

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One Response to “Iranian-born businessman in Sweden suspected of massive illegal trade with Iran Share”

  1. Anusche Noring Says:

    Thanks for posting my translation of this Swedish newscast. I would like to add a couple of clarifications:

    The sum of 5 billion Swedish kronor corresponds to approximately 691 million US dollars or 513 million euros, going by today’s exchange rate.

    I have meanwhile found out that Mr Björn Rosenlöf is a District Prosecutor at the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau. The newscast did not specify his exact position, referring to him only as “Björn Rosenlöf of the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau”. I called him a “spokesperson” in my translation, because he was speaking on behalf of the institution.

    Cheers,
    Anusche


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