The Aliyev family has been in power in Azerbaijan since the 1960s, when Heydar Ali held the post of head of the country's Security Committee, otherwise known as the head of the KGB and then secretary general of the Azerbaijani Communist Party.
Young Ilham was studying at the Moscow State Institute during those years and enjoyed his father's money. Later, Ilham Ali worked in Istanbul for many years, and in 1991 returned to Azerbaijan as the son of an independent country's president.
By 2003, Aliyevs wealth was growing slowly but steadily, reaching $ 500 million. It was a period when Azerbaijan was considered one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty rate in the population exceeded 45% in 2003, while the wealth of the ruling families of the Alievs and Pashaevs, was growing exponentially. As President, Ilham Aliyev concentrated the country's oil and banking resources in his hands, diverting the proceeds to the offshore areas of Panama and the Virgin Islands.
"In attachments to a "High Importance" email sent to Mossack Fonseca in February 2005 by a lawyer representing the Azeris, documents proposed that then six-year-old Heydar Aliyev, the president's son who is known in the files as "A1," be made the beneficiary of 20 per cent of the foundation's proceeds. The plan also proposed that the president's two daughters, Leyla, then 19 and Arzu, then 17, would hold 15 per cent each".
Mossack Fonseca, cited by the British newspaper, is a Panama-based law firm that handles offshore transactions with the Aliyev family. In 2015, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung managed to obtain 11.5 million secret documents from Mossack Fonseca, in which the ruling family of Azerbaijan was the first among the 12 countries involved in financial fraud. It also caused a stir in Azerbaijan, but was immediately silenced by the arrests of journalists and human rights activists. RFE/ RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, but was released in the summer of 2016 under pressure from international organizations. The Azeri journalist continued to speak out about the corruption crimes of the Aliyev's clan.
Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijani journalist, 2017 - "Corruption is open in this country. Journalists who talk about it are arrested and persecuted".
A joint study by the Center for the Study of Corruption and Organized Crime, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the British newspaper The Guardian lists 26 offshore organizations led by the Aliyevs. The Guardian has revealed that Leyla and Arzu Aliyevas owns the largest Pasha Holding in Azerbaijan, along with banking, construction and insurance companies. Aliyev's daughters also own Ata Holding, Pasha bank, Atabank, Xalqbank, Bank Silkway, Kapital bank, Azenco, Azerbaijan Global Investments construction companies with assets in excess of $ 5 billion.
"At the end of a difficult month of work, 46-year-old geologist Jumshud Asgerli, a father of three, was in despair, knowing that he will not receive his next salary from a large gold mining company. Along with 300 other employees, he received a letter that payments would be delayed for at least 2 months. Two years have passed, but the miners not only did not receive their salaries, but they were sent to forced idleness to avoid payments. Many have lost everything, sold their property and found themselves in a hellish state”.
An Azerbaijani media outlet in Europe reveals that the mining industry in Azerbaijan is also in the hands of Ilham Aliyev's daughters, who exploit ordinary citizens mercilessly and often refuse to pay their meager salaries.
At the head of the financial pyramid of Aliyev's children is 23-year-old Heydar Aliyev Jr. According to the American "Washington Post", the Aliyev family owns 11 private houses on the famous Palma Island in Dubai, valued at $ 75 million. A number of investigations revealed real estate of various uses in London, Paris and Moscow.
According to another publication of the British "The Guardian", the secret fund created by the Aliyev family spent $ 3 billion to bribe some European politicians to make statements in their favor, as well as to make anti-Armenian calls.
FS - "Minister of Labor and Social Protection Salim Muslimov stated that 90.1% of the country's population can be considered poor."
This is a confession of the former minister in 2017, after which he was fired. Dissatisfaction among the population of the neighboring country is growing against the background of the luxurious lifestyle of the ruling family and the tragic poverty of ordinary citizens.
Russian investigators have revealed that Ilham Aliyev's son has lost more than $ 9.5 million in casinos over the past two years.
By Nairi Hokhikyan