While the Iranian "businessman " Alireza Monfared best known as part of the multi-billion dollar Iran oil-for-gold sanctions evasion scheme, while using a diplomatic passport issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica, to evade financial crimes he committed in Malaysia, the question remains: is Monfared an Iranian intelligence agent who went rogue and stole money from Iran ?
True, he did use the Dominica diplomatic passport to escape arrest in Malaysia, on charges that he defrauded a Malaysian investor in his phantom businesses in Dominica, but he is not your garden-variety while collar criminal. We need to look deeper.
1. The circumstances of his arrest and return to Iran suggest that he possesses information that Iran would go to any length to keep him out of the hands of American law enforcement. He was transported, via Havana and then Moscow, to Tehran. This indicates that he was not to transit any US airspace en route. Who other than those who have information critical to the national security of Iran would be taken upon such a circuitous route ?
2. Notwithstanding his arrival and presumed detention in Iran, one year ago, he has neither appeared in court, to face the charges which are certainly pending against him, nor even mentions in Iran's state-controlled press. His co-defendant. Babak Zanjani, faces the death sentence for his crimes. His partner, Reza Zarrab, pled guilt in the United States. Where is Monfared in the Iranian legal process, or has he been quietly accepted back into the Iranian intelligence world ?
ROOSEVELT SKERRIT & ALIREZA MONFARED
3. Monfared had a close personal relationship with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, whom he reportedly paid millions of dollars, in cash, for the diplomatic passport, amd CBI passports for his entire family. Did Monfared extract valuable information from Skerrit that he bartered with Iran, to save him from forthwith execution ? Or was it that Skerrit subsequently issued Dominica diplomatic passports to additional Iranian agents, on Monfared's request, and those acts kept Monfared from meeting the hangman ? We cannot say, but we shall continue to inquire.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant