ROME: An Iranian businessman shot dead near Rome last week, reportedly in a dispute over money, was an international arms dealer with ties to the Calabrian mafia, Russian arms traffickers and the Iranian regime, Italian police confirmed.
According to court papers published by Il Messaggero newspaper, Said Ansary Firouz, 68, ran a lucrative business selling and renting vintage cars to celebrities and football players.
He was also an arms dealer who procured military items for Tehran and had been under investigation for the last three years.
The son of an ambassador to Italy at the time of the shah in the 1970s, Firouz was shot three times last week in the chest at his office in Formello, on the outskirts of Rome not far from the AS Roma football club training facilities.
Police said the killer, Foloty Kave, 47, was a fellow Iranian and a former employee. Il Messaggero reported that Kave killed himself after shooting Firouz.
A few days before he was murdered, Firouz and nine other suspects had received notification of the conclusion of an investigation into them for alleged illegal arms dealing.
Il Messaggero reported that in 2016 Firouz met in London with Safarian Nasab Esmail, who is under investigation in Rome for international terrorism.
A source in the Carabinieri, Italy’s military police, told Arab News that Firouz “was often present at negotiations for the purchase of war weapons.”
The anti-terrorism section of the Carabinieri last year stopped a weapons sale that Firouz had tried to set up between representatives of the Iranian regime and two consortiums of Italian arms dealers, despite the UN arms embargo against Iran at the time.
The sale, which included drones, machine guns, Kalashnikov rifles and precision rifles, was worth more than €300 million ($354.7 million).