Customs officer who caught Zarrab in 2013 promoted to deputy manager

A customs officer who stopped Turkish-Iranian billionaire Reza Zarrab’s illegal gold imports in January 2013 promoted to deputy manager, secular newspaper Sözcü reported.

Teoman Coşkun Dudak, a senior customs officer in Istanbul Atatürk Airport at the time, had noticed the documents for a cargo plane, showing ‘mineral samples,’ were forged.

After a search in the plane’s cargo section, customs officers had found 1,500 kg of gold bullions and fined the importer company $32 million.

The company belonged to Reza Zarrab, who was later revealed to run a complex scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran through fictitious gold and food trade, worth $14 billion between 2010 and 2013.

Dudak became famous with his honesty when the wiretapped phone conversations of the December 2013 graft probe were leaked. According to police investigation tapes, Zarrab was heard complaining about Dudak's refusal to accept bribes, despite his multiple attempts.

A few months after the incident, Dudak was appointed to eastern province of Gaziantep. Hayati Yazıcı, trade minister at the time, has refused allegations of punishment. Dudak also said his appointment is within the rotation regulations.

Dudak is now promoted to the deputy manager in Turkish North Sea regional customs office, Sözcü said.