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US Slaps Sanctions on Firms, Individuals Linked to Iran Counterfeiting Network

US Slaps Sanctions on Firms, Individuals Linked to Iran Counterfeiting Network

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017 - 11:00
Bundles of Yemeni currency are pictured at a post office. (Reuters)

US officials announced on Monday that the Trump administration imposed sanctions against a network of individuals and companies that are accused of counterfeiting currency to help the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The sanctions target six Iranian men and companies for counterfeiting Yemeni currency as a part of a scheme by the Guard Corps to destabilize the country.

The Treasury Department said Monday that those sanctioned, including two German-based printing and design firms, are part of a network that produced potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in fake Yemeni cash.

The sanctioned companies are Pardazesh Tasvir Rayan Co., Tejarat Almas Mobin and the German firms ForEnt Technik and Printing Trade Center.

Their owners also face sanctions, which include a freeze on any assets they may have in US jurisdictions.

The network circumvented European export restrictions in order to provide the counterfeiting supplies and equipment, according to a Treasury statement.

The counterfeiting scheme exposed the "deep levels of deception" that the Quds Force, a Revolutionary Guard unit carrying out missions outside the country, employs "against companies in Europe, governments in the Gulf, and the rest of the world to support its destabilizing activities," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

According to Treasury, Pardazesh Tasvir Rayan Co. is a printing operation controlled by businessman Reza Heidari and owned by Tejarat Almas Mobin Holding that procured equipment and materials to print counterfeit Yemeni rial bank notes.

The Quds Force used the currency to support its activities.

Heidari used front companies and other methods to keep European suppliers in the dark about their ultimate customer. He coordinated with Mahmoud Seif, Tejarat's managing director, on the logistics of procuring materials and moving them into Iran, the Treasury said.

President Donald Trump last month declared Iran's Revolutionary Guard a supporter of terrorism and authorized Treasury to impose tough sanctions limiting its access to goods and funding.

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