Aliyev’s Empire Grows, As Daughter Joins The Game

BAKU—According to an investigation by RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service using documents obtained by the State Committee on Financial Securities, the bank’s owners include two women with close ties to the country’s leadership. One is Zarifa Hamzayeva, the wife of the president of Azerbaijan’s AZAL state airline company. And the other is Arzu Aliyeva, the 21-year-old daughter of the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev. (The remaining owner and current majority stakeholder is Silkway Airlines LLC, which is registered abroad.)

The rise of SW Holding, which has seamlessly absorbed many of AZAL’s former businesses, has raised questions about dubious privatization practices in Aliyev’s Azerbaijan. It also serves to underscore how the political elite continues to use close friends and family members to preserve its hold on the country’s most valuable assets — despite Azerbaijani laws that list nepotism by state officials as an offense punishable by up to 12 years in jail.

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  1. Onnik Krikorian said:

    Actually, I doubt any pro-democracy forces in Azerbaijan call it democracy. Instead, hats off to some very brave and professional journalists there. There are many such people, in fact, who are actually fighting against corruption and for democracy. Some of them are very inspiring, indeed.

  2. Paul said:

    azaris democracy freedom!!!,how naive,and stupid nation,21 century they live slave’s of aliyef family and his relative’s,and if some body ask Q? they kill him or her,already 20 yr past. “viva” kingdom of aliyef family!!

  3. Areg Minasyan said:

    Well job Aliev!… Keep the Azeri people busy with war rheotic while milking the wealth of Azerbaijan..

  4. Krikor said:

    Who says Azerbaijan is not a” democratic” country. It is as much “democratic” as its sitser coutry ,Turkey, is.
    Enough said