The spokesman of Iran’s judiciary said a total of 18 people have been arrested over vehicle import fraud and the abuse of the official rate of the currency.
“18 people have been arrested in connection to vehicle import fraud and the abuse of the official rate of the currency,” said Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei in a weekly press conference on July 28, Tasnim news agency reported.
They are accused of offering the official rate at the lower level of 42,000 rials per US dollar, he added.
In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000, and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.
According to Iranian media reports, vehicle imports have long been seen as monopolized by well-connected, mafia-style corporations, which have benefited from the rial devaluation and enjoyed government privileges.
Mohseni-Ejei had said on July 24 that the prosecutors have been ordered to speed up the probe, show no leniency to the defendants and disregard their positions.