US prosecutors filed criminal charges against Turkey’s state-run Halkbank for allegedly taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade sanctions on Iran.
The indictment is the latest development in a years-long criminal case that began with the arrest of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader accused of playing a key role in the sanctions evasion scheme.
Zarrab pleaded guilty and testified at the trial of a Halkbank deputy general manager. He told authorities that Iran was getting around US sanctions through a complicated scheme involving gold transactions with the help of the bank and the Turkish government.
The announcement means that prosecutors believe they have gathered enough evidence to back that notion.