Tehran arrests currency traders as rial plunges

Tehran arrests currency traders as rial plunges

Tehran authorities have detained almost 100 currency traders and frozen bank accounts reportedly worth 200tn rials ($5.3bn) in the biggest crackdown on foreign exchanges in six years.

The operation is aimed at tackling a slide in the value of the rial, which is down more than 10% this year, caused by a dollar shortage that has spooked businesses reliant on hard currencies, Financial Times reported.

Tehran’s police chief said 90 dealers were arrested yesterday in an operation coordinated with the republic's central bank. Ten currency exchange shops were shut down and operators of 16 given closure warnings. Fars news agency said 755 bank accounts held by currency dealers had been frozen.

Iran’s government has in recent days repeatedly called on people to refrain from rushing to panic buy hard currencies or follow speculators. Many foreign exchange shops are refusing to sell more than $1000 to individuals.

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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