A Turkish company was issued more than TL 57 million in fines for the 1.2 tons of gold that Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani brought from Ghana that remained in İstanbul for 17 days before it was sent to its final destination -- Dubai.
According to the report in the Vatan daily on Sunday, a plane flying from Ghana to Iran landed in İstanbul on Jan. 1, 2013, declaring that it carried 1,500 kilograms of not precious metals. Upon suspicion, customs officers inspected the plane and found 1,208 kilograms of gold.
Officials from ULS Airways, which operates the place, said that 500 kilograms of the gold belongs to the Duru Döviz Company, while the rest was supposed to go to Sorinet Holding in Iran. However, because no documentation was presented, the customs officers issued a report and sealed the cargo and the plane.
According to the graft investigation that broke out on Dec. 17, Reza Zarrab intervened in the situation to release the cargo by using his ties in the government and bureaucracy. After waiting in İstanbul Atatürk Airport for 17 days, the plane departed for Dubai on Jan. 18, 2013, for Dubai. The office of the prosecutor, which went through the customs reports, issued a fine to Duru Döviz in the amount of TL 57,789,000 for smuggling valuables into the country, following a legal complaint of the customs inspectors.
The Iranian businessman, who is said to be Zarrab's boss, had claimed earlier that he had bought this gold legally from Ghana to sell it in Turkey and in Dubai.