24 September 2020, 15:59
Makhmudov's case is example of mutual cover-up of Azerbaijani authorities
Eldar Makhmudov, a former head of the Ministry of National Security (MNS) of Azerbaijan, whose son turned out to be the hero of the publication by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has lost political influence in the country, but his family retained business assets, journalists have noted.
Information about money laundering schemes through American banks and multimillion-dollar dubious transactions, in which Russian businessmen took part, was made public within the framework of the ICIJ's "Cassandra" Project. The transaction reports of the FinCEN (US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) revealed payments of USD 5.3 million from the Russia's largest telecommunications company, MTS, to an offshore company close to Anar Makhmudov, a son of the former MNS head of Azerbaijan, Eldar Makhmudov.
According to Emin Guseinov, Director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), despite the loud resignation of Makhmudov senior and reports about his imminent arrest, nothing of the kind has happened; and most of Makhmudov's arrested subordinates are back at large.
"In Azerbaijan, the corrupt system works on the principle of mutual cover-up. All are somehow tied with each other. Someone may fall into political disgrace, but economic interests of those fired are respected," Mr Guseinov has stated.
Khafiz Babaly, a journalist, has noted that journalistic investigations draw attention to the facts of corruption, but in Azerbaijan no criminal cases were opened, and even no checks were conducted. Because of this, the funds removed from the country are almost never returned back.
Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent