Iranian Embassy to Venezuela disclaims any involvement with ex-official
USD 70-million check confiscated to former senior official Tahmasb Mazaheri detained in Germany had been issued to pay expenses of Iranian company Kayson, responsible for the construction of some dwellings in Venezuela
Tahmasb Mazaher "is by no means an official of the Government (of Iran); neither has his name been affixed to the confiscated check, the Iranian Ambassador told private-owned TV news channel Globovisión in an interview, AP cited.
The ambassador stressed that Mazaheri is an advisor to Iranian company Kayson, which is currently building some 17,000 homes in Venezuela and has already completed the construction of additional 10,000.
The diplomat explained that at the moment of his detention Mazaheri, the former chairman of the Central Bank of Iran was carrying with him a check from Venezuelan state-run bank Banco de Venezuela. The check had been issued for the amount of USD 70 million and it was supposed to be used to "cover expenses arising from the constructions being executed in Venezuela."
The ambassador remarked that the check "was signed in Iran and Mr. Mazaheri was on his way to Venezuela to bring the check to cash it in Banco Venezuela."
With reference to the charges of non-declaration of the check before the German customs authorities, the Iranian diplomat said that the check was not going to be cashed in that country. "There was no need to declare that he had a Venezuelan check on him (...) it (the check) had nothing to do with the banking financial system of Germany."
Soltani also informed that Mazaheri had been released and was in Iran waiting for Kayson undertake all the court steps to get the check back, which was confiscated in Germany. Once the procedure is over, Mazaheri will travel back to Venezuela.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.