Video in turkish.
A Turkish lawyer has claimed that his Iranian client has transferred an $18.5-billion treasure from Iran to Turkey through courier services.
Senol Ozel told Turkey's independent “Kanal D” channel that his client, “Esmael Safarian-Nasab,” is a respected Iranian businessman and has transferred the money to Turkey through legal means.
The container-load of US dollars and gold bullion was delivered to Ankara Customs Office on October 7, 2008, Ozel said.
He noted that the container contained $7.5 billion and 20 metric tons of gold.
In a recent speech, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had boasted of the huge fund transfer as an indictor of his government's success in attracting foreign investment despite the economic downturn in the world.
Erdogan had not revealed anything about the origin of the wealth.
Ozel says Turkish government's move to adopt new regulations to facilitate foreign investment in the country had encouraged his client to take his wealth to Turkey.
According to Kanal D, the Turkish government had adopted a new regulation dubbed as the “Suitcase Law” to alleviate the harsh effects of the economic crisis on the country.
The new law allowed anybody to take any amount of foreign currencies into the country from anywhere without being scrutinized.
Now the problem is that Safarian-Nasab wants his money back from Turkey, which could create a big hole in the Turkish Central Bank's balance-sheet.
Ozel said his client will arrive in Turkey in the near future to discuss the issue with the Turkish Central Bank.
There is no word yet from Iranian authorities as to the source of the funds and the circumstances surrounding their export to Turkey.