TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moqaddam criticized the Canadian government for refusing to extradite a former top Iranian banker who fled to that country amid inquiries into a massive fraud case.
“We have an extradition treaty with Canada in place, but unfortunately, Canada has not cooperated fully on the issue,” Ahmadi Moqaddam told reporters on Monday, referring to an embezzlement case involving former head of Iran’s Bank Melli, Mahmoud Reza Khavari.
Khavari who is said to hold dual citizenship and own a home in Toronto fled to Canada after the $2.6 billion financial fraud came to light in 2011.
The embezzlement case started in 2007 by Amir Mansour Arya Investment Company, and progressed in 2010 after some Iranian major banks, including Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, issued loans for the company.
Iranian officials say that the case involved the use of fraudulent documents to obtain credit for this investment company, one of the country’s top financial institutions. The company used them to purchase assets such as state-owned companies.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has placed Khavari on its Red Notice Wanted list.
In the case of Red Notices, the persons concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions for prosecution or to serve a sentence based on an arrest warrant or court decision.
Brigadier General Ahmadi Moqaddam further noted that Interpol lacks the proper authority to arrest criminals, and described the international organization as a body to provide coordination between police forces from different countries.
The Iranian police chief also expressed Tehran’s preparedness to work in close cooperation with Canada to pursue the case.
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