Tuesday, Nov 12

US court accuses Turkish bank to evade Iran sanctions

US federal prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against Turkish lender Halkbank in Manhattan federal court.
16.10.2019 - 09:29

US prosecutors on Tuesday charged Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank with taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade US sanctions against Iran - an indictment that may complicate tension between NATO allies Washington and Ankara.

PROSECUTERS CLAIMED SOME OFFICIALS TOOK BRIBES AS PART OF THE SCHEME

The six-count indictment includes conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In a statement, the Southern District of New York indicted the bank over its alleged participation in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.

According to the statement, Halkbank will have to answer for its conduct in a US court. "The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty," said the statement.

In July, Hakan Atilla, 48, the former deputy director-general at the Turkish state lender, was released from a federal prison. He was sentenced in May 2018 in New York for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.