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“According to an investigation carried out by a consortium of European newspapers, members of Azerbaijan’s ruling elite used a secret $2.9 billion slush fund — nicknamed the Azerbaijani Laundromat — to pay off European politicians, buy luxury goods, and launder money.” (See RFERL article further below).
While we don’t know yet if this implicates the Trump family, it is suggestive of how things operate in Azerbaijan, and that anyone dealing in Azerbaijan is probably at least somewhat dirty, as is probably the case for Russia.
How to explain this bizarrely located, and unfinished Trump Baku Tower in Azerbaijan? Note the tower in relation to the highway, railroad, shipping containers. It has been suggested that this location is proof of it being a money-laundering enterprise, rather than a serious project, although one cannot exclude sheer stupidity. And, reportedly, the Agalarovs are Baku Azerbaijan born intermediaries between the Trumps and Putin-Russia. Emin Agalarov was married to the President of Azerbaijan’s daughter until May of 2015 and they have twin sons. Emin attended High School in New Jersey, and a private College in Manhattan.
Born in Baku Azerbaijan, Emin Agalarov was married to the President of Azerbaijan’s daughter until mid 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emin_Agalarov According to emails released by Trump, Jr., on Jun 3, 2016, Rob Goldstone wrote to Trump, Jr.: “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras [Agalarov] this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin [Agalarov]. What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly? I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first. Best Rob Goldstone” On Jun 3, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. wrote back: “Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back? Best, Don”
The Washington Post warned over a year ago that Trump brought his Miss Universe pageant to Russia and tweeted Putin an “invitation to attend the pageant, and a one-on-one meeting between the New York businessman [Trump] and the Russian leader was scheduled…. Putin canceled at the last minute, but he sent a decorative lacquered box, a traditional Russian gift, and a warm note, according to Aras Agalarov, a Moscow billionaire who served as a liaison between Trump and the Russian leader …. Read here: “Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin” By Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Birnbaum June 17, 2016 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-trumps-financial-ties-to-russia-and-his-unusual-flattery-of-vladimir-putin/2016/06/17/dbdcaac8-31a6-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html
From RFERL: https://www.rferl.org/a/european-parliament-callsl-for-probe-into-azerbaijani-laundromat/28734030.html
“European Parliament Calls For Probe Into ‘Azerbaijani Laundromat’
September 13, 2017 21:17 GMT, RFE/RL
European lawmakers have called for a parliamentary investigation into an alleged secret fund operated by Azerbaijan’s ruling elite to pay off European politicians and make luxury purchases.
They made the call in a resolution approved on September 13 by 578 votes to 19, with 68 abstentions, according to a press release issued by the European Parliament.
According to an investigation carried out by a consortium of European newspapers, members of Azerbaijan’s ruling elite used a secret $2.9 billion slush fund — nicknamed the Azerbaijani Laundromat — to pay off European politicians, buy luxury goods, and launder money.
The report, published on September 4 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), said that “at least three European politicians, a journalist who wrote stories friendly to the regime, and businessmen who praised the government” were among the recipients of the money.
It said thousands of payments were allegedly channeled through four shell companies in Britain between 2012 and 2014 to buy “silence.”
Government opponents and rights groups have accused the government of the oil-producing Caspian Sea country of systematic corruption, vote-rigging, and the politically motivated persecution of opposition politicians, activists, and journalists.
The report alleged that there was evidence of a link between the fund and the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
The Baku government rejected the findings of the report.
In their resolution, the European lawmakers denounced “attempts by Azerbaijan and other autocratic regimes in third countries to influence European decision-makers through illicit means.”
They also called for the adoption by parliament of “robust measures to prevent the occurrence of such corruption, which would undermine the credibility and legitimacy of parliament’s work, including on human rights.”
The resolution calls on the EU to ensure that existing anticorruption conventions are enforced, add an anticorruption clause to its deals with non-EU countries, monitor EU-funded projects “closely and permanently,” and “use sanctions or suspend deals in cases of systemic corruption leading to serious human rights breaches.” Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036”
EU Parliament Press Release:
“MEPs call for an investigation into Azerbaijani ‘Laundromat’
Press Releases PLENARY SESSION AFET 13-09-2017 – 16:33
Azerbaijani ‘Laundromat’: EP to investigate and prevent corruption
‘Magnitsky list’: MEPs reiterate call for EU sanctions against 32 Russian officials
Collective action is needed to prevent and combat corruption
EU should add an anti-corruption clause in deals with non-EU countries
The recent ‘Azerbaijani Laundromat’ revelations should be investigated and the ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions list adopted by the EU, urged MEPs on Wednesday.
MEPs condemn the recent ‘Azerbaijani Laundromat’ revelations, “attempts by Azerbaijan and other autocratic regimes in third countries to influence European decision-makers through illicit means”, in a resolution approved by 578 votes, to 19, with 68 abstentions. The European Parliament should investigate and adopt robust measures to prevent such corruption occurring, they add.
Call for adoption of the ‘Magnitsky list’
Corruption is “one of the most neglected causes of human rights violations” and the European Union should foster international cooperation to fight it, urge MEPs. They call on the EU to:
* ensure that existing anti-corruption conventions are enforced;
* add an anti-corruption clause to its deals with non-EU countries;
* monitor EU-funded projects closely and permanently, in cooperation with local anti-corruption agencies;
* as a last resort, use sanctions or suspend deals in cases of systemic corruption leading to serious human rights breaches;
* support and protect independent media, civil society organisations and whistle-blowers who expose corruption cases, despite risks of reprisals;
* bring the Magnitsky sanctions list against the 32 Russian state officials responsible for the death of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky to the Council as soon as possible for its adoption, and impose targeted sanctions against these officials.
Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE, LT), rapporteur, said: “With Lux Leaks, Panama Leaks, Russia and Azerbaijan Laundromats, we realise that corruption stretches far across state borders, and has dramatic repercussions on policy decisions. Through this report, we call for the highest possible ethical and transparency standards to be upheld in international and national bodies and for the EU to set up a legal framework to deter any type of corruption and fraud.” http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20170911IPR83516/meps-call-for-an-investigation-into-azerbaijani-laundromat