Swiss banking giant UBS AG stops doing business with Iran . A similar policy implemented against Syria
UBS AG spokesman Serge Steiner announced Sunday, Jan. 22, that all existing business with customers in Iran will be cancelled, except for Iranians in exile.
debkafile‘s financial sources reveal that, under the threat of sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, the ayatollahs and corporate heads as well as the government have begun transferring vast private fortunes out of secret accounts in Europe.
The money is being spread out among dozens of banks around the world, including the oil emirates, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.
debkafile has learned that Iran’s spiritual ruler Ayatollah Ali Khameini has transferred his personal fortune of $1.2 bn from the Swiss UBS AG to banks in Singapore and Malaysia. Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani has ordered the removal of two large sums in Canadian dollars – 856 m and 1,425 bn – from Canadian banks to establishments in Beirut, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Our financial experts estimate that in the last ten days, some $7.5bn dollars have been drained from private Iranian accounts in Germany, Switzerland, France, Britain and Italy and concealed in Southeast Asian banks. That is in addition to the estimated $23bn in governing holdings that Iran has taken out of European banks and deposited in the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Dubai and Singapore.
Rumors began circulating at the end of last week that the two European banking giants, LNB in Italy and UBS AG, were about to freeze Iranian assets. debkafile‘s financial experts calculate the holdings in the two banks as totaling $17bn of oil revenues. The Swiss bank appears to have acted on a tip from Washington and pre-empted Tehran’s massive withdrawals which would created havoc on the world currency markets. The UBS AG took advantage of the bank being closed on a Sunday for this maneuver.