Yet another money laundering scheme by Aliyevs revealed

05.09.2017 | 11:11 Home / News /
#AzerbaijaniLaundromat #Guardian #Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan’s ruling elite operated a secret USD 2.9bn scheme for lobbying, buying luxury goods and laundering money, British the Guardian reveals.

“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,” The Guardian informs.

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 travelled to the British companies via the western financial system. One of Europe’s leading banks, Danske, processed the payments via its branch office in Estonia.

According to the Guardian, the revelations once again highlight “the use of the lightly regulated British corporate landscape to move large sums of money around, beyond the purview of regulators and tax authorities.”

Danske Bank said “money laundering and other illegal practices” had taken place. It first noticed the irregular payments in 2014. Estonia’s financial regulator said systems designed to stop money laundering at the branch had failed.

The scheme has been nicknamed the Azerbaijani Laundromat. Confidential banking records were leaked to the Danish newspaper Berlingske and shared with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Guardian, and other media partners.

The data covers a 30-month period. According to the Guardian, it may show “the tip of an iceberg.”
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