Published: Sat, November 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Iran executes 'Sultan of Coins' amid currency crisis

Iran executes 'Sultan of Coins' amid currency crisis

Iran executed the so-called "Sultan of Coins" and his accomplice on Wednesday for hoarding gold coins and other hard currency, signaling zero tolerance as it tries to shore up its currency in the face of an economic crisis.

"The octopus-like network disrupted the economy by buying, selling and smuggling foreign currency and gold coins", Mizan said.

Rights group Amnesty International has condemned Iran's execution on Wednesday of a gold trader and his accomplice as "abhorrent" and said it followed a "grossly unfair show trial".

Vahid Mazloumin was sentenced to death in October after being accused by Iranian authorities of contributing to price hikes by hoarding gold.

Vahid Mazloomin and accomplice Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi were executed after being found guilty of "corruption on earth", Iran's most serious capital offence, the judiciary's Mizan website said.

"With these abhorrent executions the Iranian authorities have flagrantly violated worldwide law", said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa research director.

In August, Iran's Supreme Leader approved a request by the Head of Judiciary to set up special courts to deal with crimes involving financial corruption.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran's energy, banking and shipping sectors.

The sanctions target Iran's purchase of United States dollars, its trade in gold and other precious metals as well as its automotive and aviation sectors.

The UN, Western countries, and global human rights groups have expressed concerns about the rising number of executions and reported torture incidences in Iran for a variety of alleged offenses, including issues related to religious freedom, women's rights, and economic protests.

Mr Mazloumin was one of at least seven people handed death sentences this year in trials in the new finance-focused special courts, some of which were broadcast live on state television.

Like this: