Babak Zanjani (centre) in court in Tehran in March this year
Babak Zanjani (centre) in court in Tehran in March this year © - Tasnim News/AFP/File
Babak Zanjani (centre) in court in Tehran in March this year
AFP
Last updated: August 10, 2016

Iran to auction property of death row tycoon

Iran said on Tuesday it would auction off property owned by billionaire Babak Zanjani, who was sentenced to death for corruption earlier this year.

A number of luxury villas and apartments, shops and other properties will be sold, reported the Mizan Online newspaper, which is close to the judiciary.

Bidders must make their offers in sealed envelopes by August 20, it added.

Zanjani, 41, was sentenced to death for fraud and other financial crimes in March after a lengthy trial during which he was accused of fraudulently pocketing $2.8 billion.

He rose to prominence after the international community imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic's banks as punishment over its nuclear programme.

Zanjani boasted in media interviews of his wealth and skills in finding ways round banking restrictions to ensure Iran continued to receive money for international oil sales, saying he acted at all times with the support of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He said he used a web of companies in countries including the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Malaysia, selling millions of barrels of Iranian oil.

Zanjani was arrested in December 2013, three months after current President Hassan Rouhani took office, having pledged to crack down on corruption.

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