Iran’s intelligence ministry says it had arrested 11 “economic disruptors” who misappropriated $400 million earmarked for essential goods.

The ministry, in a statement published on its website on Monday, said that suspects smuggled the money out of the country.

Advertise With Us

“During these sensitive economic times, this network received 47 trillion rials ($416 million at Monday’s open market rate) of subsidised foreign exchange to import essential goods but instead invested them in some other countries,” the intelligence ministry said.

The statement added that the group, based in the western Kurdistan province, used “bogus companies, forged documents and bribery” to receive subsidised dollars from state banks.