Iran authorities hang Vahid Mazloumin and his accomplice on Wednesday after convicting the men for ‘corrupt business practices’
Mazloumin, 58, were accused of hoarding two tons of gold as the country faces economic crisis in wake of US sanctions
Nicknamed the ‘Sultan of coins’ Mazloumin and Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi had been convicted of manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorised deals as well as smuggling
The pair were convicted of ‘spreading corruption on earth’ under Islamic rule of law
The Iranian rial has plummeted and the cost of living soared since Trump administration imposed sanctions hit and the execution is meant to signal zero tolerance for manipulating markets
Iran has executed a currency manipulator and his accomplice for hoarding gold and other hard currency as the country faces an economic crisis in the wake of US sanctions.
Vahid Mazloumin, 58, labeled by the Tehran police chief as the ‘Sultan of Coins’ and his accomplice, Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi, were hanged early on Wednesday, state TV reported.
The action is part of the Iranian government’s attempt to combat the country’s economic depression by cracking down on perceived financial misconduct. In August, special courts targeting economic crimes were established with the approval of the country’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic.
Mazloumin and Ghasemi had been convicted of manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorised deals as well as smuggling. An unspecified number of other accomplices went to prison.
Iran detained Mazloumin in July for hoarding two tons of gold coins and accused him of ‘spreading corruption on earth’ – a capital offence under Iran’s Islamic laws.
The courts have handed out at least seven death sentences since they were set up and some of the trials have been broadcast live on television.
The local currency has plummeted in recent months following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in May, which had lifted international sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.
Trump reinstated the US sanctions and since then the Iranian rial has lost around 70 per cent of its value; it is now 135,000 to the dollar compared to last year’s rate of around 40,500.
As a result, Iranians have stocked up on gold coins and other safe-haven investments on the unofficial market as they try to protect their savings.
Mazloumin [right] the so-called ‘Sultan of Coins’ and his accomplice were executed on Wednesday for the crime of hoarding gold coins