Turkey's Halkbank said that it was not engaged in any secondary US sanctions violations and added that the US indictment “appears largely to repeat allegations, attacks of previous trial,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.
US federal prosecutors in New York charged Turkey’s Halkbank with fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offenses related to the bank’s alleged participation in a multi-billion-dollar scheme to evade US sanctions on Iran.
Halkbank, which is majority owned by the Turkish government, said US decision to lay charges on the bank is an “unprecedented legal overreach.”
The company said it would exert all “legitimate rights against this unwarranted case under international law.”
US prosecutors on Tuesday said that high-ranking Turkish government officials received millions of dollars in bribes to promote and protect Halkbank’s scheme to evade US sanctions.
The prosecutors accused Halkbank and its officers of using businesses in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to bypass sanctions on oil, gas, and gold supplies to Iran, allege prosecutors.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the US decision to charge Turkish lender Halkbank with fraud is an “illegal, ugly” step, Reuters reported.