The Revelation of "Azerbaijani Laundromat" Should Have Its Logical Continuation
During the recent days Azerbaijan is at the center of attention of international media. The fact that due to petrodollars the Azerbaijani authorities are able to silence many people and make them work for their interests is not a secret. At the same time it is not surprising that both on international platforms and in international media very little is talked about this. However, it seems this tendency is changing.
The scandalous publication of The Guardian about bribing the European partners by the Azerbaijani authorities was quite interesting. It is noteworthy that the publication not only superficially referring to Azerbaijani caviar diplomacy, but it talks about more than 16,000 covert payments made from 2012 to 2014: money that was given to the European politicians and journalists to silence the criticism about Azerbaijan and to create a positive image of the country. It can be claimed that the scheme of money laundering and illegal practices speak about the professionalism and the experience of Azerbaijan on the issue.
The scheme called “Azerbaijani Laundromat” operated in the following way: the cash money was transferred through a network of opaque British companies (Hilux Services, Polux Management, Metastar Invest , LCM Alliance), then the money was spent in different countries to bribe journalists and officials. Not to raise any doubts, one of Europe’s leading banks, Danske, processed the payments via its branch office in Estonia.
Though the data presented by anonymous source refers to the years from 2012 to 2014, it is more than obvious that such deals did not start and end in that period, they are continuous. The logical continuation of this revelation should be serious and deep investigation of the issue and carrying out corresponding actions towards those involved in the scheme, because this incident once again showed how Azerbaijani authorities work and what the result of the permissiveness of the international society towards Azerbaijan can be.
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