The leakage of what is known as the Pandora Papers is causing extreme discomfort to some extremely wealthy people this week.
Earlier this week, we recorded how an alleged friend of Vladimir Putin’s amassed a portfolio of real estate and other assets valued at over $ 100 million. Yesterday we reported on the King of Jordan’s secret US $ 140 million real estate portfolio, which includes three side-by-side villas in Malibu on the cliffs.
In today’s hot seat? The ruling family of Azerbaijan.
Ilham Aliyev has been President of Azerbaijan since October 31, 2003. He was elected after the death of his father Heydar, the former president. Ilham’s election is said to have been marked by an extraordinary degree of fraud. Not a good start, and his tenure wasn’t exactly a shining example of leadership. During his tenure as president, Aliyev was accused of corruption, bribery, human rights abuses, torture of journalists and election fraud.
The Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe and Human Rights Watch reported the arrests of Aliyav’s opposing candidates, widespread electoral fraud and abuse, and police violence against journalists and people attending election rallies. In 2012, Ilham Aliyev was named Person of the Year for Organized Crime and Corruption by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. The Aliyev family was also involved in a complicated money laundering program in 2017 that bribed prominent European politicians to convey a positive image of his presidency.
The country is rich in oil. This oil made the ruling family rich. Extremely wealthy.
Over the years, expanded members of the Aliyev family have built enormous fortunes thanks to their possession of several state-owned industries. The Aliyev family owns large portions of several Azerbaijani banks, construction companies, and the country’s oil and gas industries.
Their wealth is hidden by an intricate network of offshore companies. Before the Pandora Papers leak, we estimated that Ilham Aliyev was personally worth $ 500 million. We may need to double that number, especially if you include his children and other family members.
According to the Pandora Papers, Aliyev’s three children, Leyla, Arzu and Heydar, are listed as shareholders in 44 companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. Five of these companies are believed to have purchased $ 120 million worth of high quality real estate in London between 2006 and 2009.
According to the Panama Papers, the Azerbaijani ruling family owns more than $ 500 million in real estate in London alone.
In Dubai, his children are believed to own $ 75 million in real estate.
Queen Elizabeth was also dragged into the mud thanks to the Pandora Papers and Ilham Aliyev. It is reported that The Crown Estate, which manages all of the Queen’s finances and real estate holdings, paid $ 91 million through The Crown Estate in 2018 for an eight-story office and retail building in the Mayfair borough of London. The sellers were allegedly members of the Aliyev family. The sellers took home a profit of $ 42 million from the sale of the property to Queen Elizabeth. The property was bought for $ 48 million in 2009 by a company owned by Aliyev’s daughter Arzu.