TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian police have arrested hundreds of people allegedly involved in running a pyramid scheme in an operation in the west of the capital, media reports said on Sunday.
“Today in a simultaneous operation more than 50 offices of a pyramid scheme company have been sealed and so far 425 people have been arrested,” the state broadcaster’s website quoted police Colonel Mohammadi as saying, giving only his last name.
Last year, the intelligence ministry listed a number of pyramid scheme firms it said were operating in Iran and that were on a ministry target list.
Pyramid schemes, in which people invest increasing amounts of money in a fictitious investment mechanism that leaves them empty-handed once it eventually falls apart, are illegal in the Islamic republic.
Mehr news agency reported that 1,000 people were arrested in Sunday’s police operation.