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Turkish bank indicted in US for participation in Iran sanctions evasion scheme

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Federal prosecutors in New York on Tuesday charged Turkey’s Halkbank with taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade US sanctions on Iran, Reuters reported.

The charges against the majority state-owned bank mirror those against one of its former executives, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was found guilty and sentenced to prison after a trial in a Manhattan federal court last year.

Prosecutors said that between 2012 and 2016 Halkbank helped run a scheme that allowed Iran to spend proceeds from sales of its oil and gas in international markets, in violation of US sanctions, using a complex web of front companies.

The scheme ran with the protection of high-ranking officials in Iran and Turkey, some of whom received tens of millions of dollars in bribes, the prosecutors said.

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