Azeri president linked to real estate tycoon in offshore scoop

By bne IntelliNews April 5, 2013

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Leaked information on secret accounts in the British Virgin Islands has revealed a link between Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and Hassan Gozal, whose business empire benefitted heavily from Azerbaijan's construction boom.

The Consortium of Investigative Journalists has obtained documents showing that Gozal is a director of three BVI companies set up in 2008 in the names of Aliyev's daughters, who were aged 19 and 23 at the time.

Iranian-born Gozal is vice president of vast company Intersun Holding, while his brother Abdolbari is president. Companies owned by the Gozal brothers have won construction contracts worth around $4.5bn in Azerbaijan, including with state oil company Socar.

Aliyev and his wife Mehriban also acquired a BVI registered company, Rosamund International Ltd, in 2003, when Aliyev was a member of the Azeri parliament. Aliyev may have broken constitutional provisions preventing members of parliament from owning businesses, RFE/RL reports.

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