Iranian banker could be in Canada illegally
By Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
Sayeh Hassan says it's great authorities are examining how the ex-head of Iran's state-owned Bank Melli, Mahmoud Reza Khavari, obtained Canadian citizenship in 2005.
"I think it's a really good sign and it's going to send a strong message to people like Mr. Khavari that they can't just come to Canada and use Canada as a safe haven," said Hassan.
Bank Melli has long been suspected of ties to Iran's notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard and funding Tehran's nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities.
Khavari abruptly resigned from Bank Melli in late September and is wanted in connection to an Iranian financial scandal.
Earlier this month he flew to Toronto where a $3-million mansion is listed in his name.
But Khavari may just be the tip of the iceberg.
"There is concern that there are a lot more like him in Canada," said Hassan. "Unfortunately it's a lot more difficult to identify who they are."
The investigation involving Khavari follows a federal effort launched in July to revoke the citizenships of 1,800 people believed to be guilty of fraud.
There's no indication that effort has targeted other members of the Iranian regime.