Iran executes ‘Sultan of Coins’ for amassing 2 tons of gold

'Sultan of Coins' Executed for Hoarding Tons of Gold

Iran has executed two men convicted of illegal currency trading as Tehran steps up its crackdown on alleged financial crimes in the face of economic hardships heightened by USA financial sanctions.

Iran has executed a currency trader for manipulating coin and currency markets, local media reported on Wednesday.

Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi were accused of manipulating Iran's gold and currency markets.

Mazloumin and Ghasemi went on trial on September 8 over charges of "disrupting the economy" through the creation of a network trading in illegal currency and gold coins.

According to the Iranian Students' News Agency, Mr Mazloumin and associates had hoarded about two tonnes of gold coins. His defense claimed that the Iranian Central Bank did not have any limits on the amount of coins a person could hold.

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The official Iranian television said that the execution of Mazloumin and Qassemi was carried out in the morning in the capital Tehran.

The Islamic Revolutionary Court - which deals with national security issues - had sentenced the two men to death in October. His case is still up for appeal before the Supreme Court. Dozens of other people in Iran have also been sentenced to prison terms after convictions on similar charges.

Iran has suffered a sharp economic downturn this year, fuelled in part by US President Donald Trump's decision in May to withdraw from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Tehran and reimpose crippling unilateral sanctions.

At the same time, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that USA sanctions imposed against Tehran last week, did not affect the country's economy.

The cost of living has also soared, provoking sporadic demonstrations against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

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