Indictment of Turkey’s Halkbank Prepared in USA

The US administration has dealt a severe blow to the Turkish economy by bringing the issue of the Turkish Halkbank to the forefront. The US Justice Department announced that it had charged the Halkbank on Tuesday with circumventing the US sanctions against Iran,was convicted in New York in 2018 of this charge.

Bringing the Halkank back to the forefront comes after a US-Turkish agreement last year that stipulated the release of US pastor Andrew Branson in exchange for ignoring the case or reducing the billions and penalties in the bank case.

Manhattan lawyer Jeffrey Berman said senior bank officials at the Turkish state-owned bank had helped illegally transfer billions of dollars in Iranian oil revenues, Fox News reported.

US prosecutors in New York on Tuesday accused the state-run Bank of Turkey of participating in a multi-billion dollar deal to evade sanctions against Iran, a move that comes after Washington imposed sanctions on Ankara over its invasion of northern Syria.

The charges included conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the Economic Power in International Emergencies Act, bank fraud, money laundering, fraud and fraud to evade sanctions against Iran, according to a Justice Department statement.

The prosecution relates to a Turkish plan that lasted between 2012 and 2016, according to the indictment, in which the bank transferred proceeds by fraud and manipulation to Iran worth $ 20 billion.

Lawyer Berman said the crimes were backed by senior Turkish government officials, some of whom received millions of dollars in bribes to support and protect the scheme.

The move against the bank comes more than a year after the conviction of  Hakan Attila, the bank’s chief executive, who was jailed for playing a role in the smuggling scheme. He was released and transferred to Turkey in July.

In November 2018, Ankara and Washington held talks aimed at avoiding possible billions of dollars in sanctions against the banking system and Turkey’s state-run Halkbank, after former vice president  Hakan Attila was convicted of bank fraud to violate US sanctions against Iran in the period. Between 2010 and 2015. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at a breakthrough in the Halbank case with the United States following a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump at the time.

Erdoğan said in a press statement after the call that he discussed with Trump the issue of the bank, which faces the possibility of imposing US fines after convicting his former vice president for participating in operations to help Iran to avoid US sanctions.

Erdoğan said he had discussed the issue with Trump, told him he would immediately instruct his ministers and that US officials had contacted Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak the next day, that talks were continuing on the issue and that it was very important that the process begin.

Attila was convicted on January 3, 2018 of bank embezzlement and circumvention of US sanctions at the end of hearings in a Manhattan court that lasted more than three weeks. Including fines estimated by the US media for $ 20 billion.

Turkish sources said that Ankara and Washington haggled over Turkey’s first handover of US priest Andrew Branson, who was on trial for supporting terrorist organizations, before actually releasing him on October 12 last year and returning home, in exchange for Attila’s release and return. To Turkey and not to sanction the bank and the banking system in Turkey, according to the newspaper “Wall Street Journal”

The Wall Street Journal has revealed Ankara’s willingness to release the American pastor in exchange for Washington halting an investigation that could end in a billions of dollars in fines for the state-runHalkbank, which is involved in money laundering for Iran.

Creation Bank is at the center of a major criminal scandal involving money laundering for Iran to help it bypass US sanctions.

The sources added that the bargaining also included the release of two local employees of the US consulate in Istanbul and a number of other American detainees in Turkey.

 

 

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Indictment of Turkey's Halkbank Prepared in USA - /10

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The US administration has dealt a severe blow to the Turkish economy by bringing the issue of the Turkish Halkbank to the forefront.

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