The Guardian has revealed the results of its investigation on Azerbaijan’s “ruling elite’s secret $2.9bn (£2.2bn) scheme to pay prominent Europeans, buy luxury goods and launder money through a network of opaque British companies”.
“Leaked data shows that the Azerbaijani leadership, accused of serial human rights abuses, systemic corruption and rigging elections, made more than 16,000 covert payments from 2012 to 2014.
Some of this money went to politicians and journalists, as part of an international lobbying operation to deflect criticism of Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, and to promote a positive image of his oil-rich country. There is no suggestion that all the recipients were aware of the original source of the money. It arrived via a disguised route.”
“The cash, contributed by an opaque array of paymasters in Azerbaijan and Russia, travelled to the British companies – all limited partnerships registered at Companies House in London – via the western financial system without raising red flags. One of Europe’s leading banks, Danske, processed the payments via its branch office in Estonia,” the Guardian informed.
Azerbaijan spends immense sums on weapons and lobby. Recently the scandalous revelations in the Western press on the government of Azerbaijan and the corruption deals of the Aliyev family have been regular. Interestingly, Azerbaijan has not achieved any success in either of these two directions. It is not possible to resolve the Karabakh issue through war, and the reputation of the Aliyevs is declining day by day after corruption scandals, reports of international organizations, external financial obligations.
In addition, this situation is getting worse due to the declining prices of oil, oil extraction and the economy of Azerbaijan. Aliyev’s situation is ridiculous. The more he pays for lobby, the faster Azerbaijan and himself are unmasked. In addition, it has become known that different plans developed by famous think tanks and international organizations on Azerbaijani money have failed to affect the policy of countries, including on the Karabakh issue.
There is another circumstance which is the direct consequence of corruption revelations. In this context, any pro-Azerbaijani speech or publication will immediately be ascribed to bribing and corruption schemes.
Nobody cares for Azerbaijan but for its money which they take out of their country in one way or another. Only the Armenian political class is up for handing its territories to Azerbaijan.
In addition, it is interesting that according to The Guardian, the Azerbaijani bribe money also flew via Russian pipes.