Azerbaijan 'operated secret $3bn slush fund'

(EBC; September 5, 2017) - Azerbaijan's ruling elite operated a secret $2.8bn (£2.2bn) slush fund for two years to pay off European politicians and make luxury purchases, an investigation shows.

The money was allegedly channelled through four UK-based opaque companies.

People said to have been paid include European politicians who adopted a favourable attitude to the government.

There is no suggestion that all the recipients were aware of the original source of the money, it added.

The secret fund, nicknamed the Azerbaijan Laundromat, operated for two years until 2014, according to the investigation, carried out by a consortium of European newspapers and published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

The origin of the money was unclear, the report said, but there was "ample evidence of its connection to the family of President Ilham Aliyev".

There has been no immediate reaction from Mr Aliyev or Azerbaijan's government.

Source: BBC