September 9, 2019
Authorities in Iran have arrested the daughter of a former minister of industry, mines, and trade for cornering a part of the medicine market and accumulating assets through illegal channels, the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Sunday, September 8.
“The court is set to try Shabnam Nematzadeh, along with another suspect, Ahmad Reza Lashkaripour, on September 15,” ISNA cited the judge, Assadollah Massoudi Maqam, as saying.
The two, according to Massoudi Maqam are facing a series of charges, including disruption of the local medicines market, violating the food and beverages laws, and collecting more than $42 million through unlawful channels.
Earlier, the Government Discretionary Punishments Organization had announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Shabnam Nematzadeh for smuggling $1.5 million worth of medicine.
Her father Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh was minister from 2013-2017 in President Hassan Rouhani’s administration.
As Iran’s economy has deteriorated further this year, the authorities have become more persistent in prosecuting influential people for corruption.
The managing-director of Rasa Pharmed since 2009, Shabnam Nematzadeh, made headlines last February, concerning the construction of a luxury villa in a posh neighborhood of Tehran, nicknamed as the Beverly Hills of the Iranian capital.
“A villa owned by the daughter of a former member of President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet will be soon demolished, the state-run Mehr News Agency (MNA) cited the mayor of the city of Lavasan as saying on February 28.
Lavasan is a wealthy town in Shemiranat County, Tehran Province, situated eleven kilometers (roughly seven miles) northeast of the capital Tehran.
The affluent city is known for its pleasant weather luxurious villas home to many upper-class and wealthy families.
However, the order to demolish Ms. Nematzadeh’s villa has not been apparently carried out so far.