Authorities in Turkey have found evidence suggesting that Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab has considered moving to Dubai once he is released by the U.S.
Documents discovered on his property revealed that Zarrab ordered his employees to discuss with his lawyers a possible move to Dubai.
Turkish media reports confirmed on Friday that Istanbul's public prosecutor's office confiscated Zarrab and his close relatives' assets and it also launched an investigation into charges of espionage.
During the probe, three of Zarrab's employees, Sinem Arslan, Regaip Akol and Mustafa Hacısalihoğlu, were detained and the manuscripts containing the evidence were seized.
In the documents, Zarrab reportedly instructed his employees to discuss with his lawyers a possible way of moving to Dubai after he would be set free by U.S. court following collaboration with the prosecutors of the Iran sanctions case.
One of these notes was sent by Zarrab to Sinem Arslan over WhatsApp via his lawyers.
"Sinem, I couldn't write it in the e-mail. [Ask] Abdurrahman al-Sharif, the lawyer in Dubai, whether it is possible for me to receive a residence permit to live in Dubai. Ask the lawyer ‘if I negotiate and collaborate with prosecutors in the U.S., is it possible to live in Dubai after serving my sentence?' Ask him if he can arrange my residence if I would be deported directly to Dubai from the U.S. Arrange an appointment and talk face to face with him," Zarrab reportedly said in the message.
In another message, he urged his employees to change their location after his trial began on April 4.
"You and your families could also be included in the case. It is better for you to move to another country. Instead of a hotel, you can rent weekly houses. Be careful on your correspondences and try to avoid records," he said.
Zarrab was arrested in Miami in March 2016 upon his entry in the U.S. for allegedly evading a U.S.-imposed sanction on Iran, which was lifted three months before his arrest, with multiple money transfers.
Officials in Turkey have argued that the case has been turned into a political move against Ankara.
Turkey's claims were confirmed after the judge who is overseeing the Zarrab case was linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), led by fugitive preacher Fetullah Gülen, who has lived in a self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.