One is a regular on the professional poker circuit.. His brother is a debt collector.
Others run hotels and restaurants, invest in record stores and IT solutions. For fun, one of them watched a British royal play polo.
They are the Aliyev cousins, descendents of the brothers and sisters of Heydar Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan until shortly before his death in 2003 and father of the current president Ilham Aliyev. They’re not as rich as Azerbaijan’s ruling family, but they often show up in social media photos with them. And the cousins have enough money to do their own investing.
Heydar’s sister Rafiga died in 2017. Her daughter Sevinj is a professor. Her husband Rauf Hajiyev has been Deputy Manager of Ecology and National Resources since 2011.
Their oldest son Ramin, 30, has been a regular on professional poker tours the past two years. His total earnings from 66 tournaments is $2,636,628 with a single-tournament best of $366,469.
Although his name is not on the registration documents, social media entries show him accepting congratulations in 2015 for establishing the Beer Basha restaurant in Baku. The operator of the restaurant is Murad Babayev, a director of Beat Group, which manages well-known restaurants, retail boutiques and magazines.
Beat Group also promotes concerts for pop star Emin Agalarov. He’s the former husband of Leyla Aliyeva, the current president’s daughter. In America, he’s famous as one of the organizers of a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and several Russians with alleged ties to the Kremlin.
His younger brother Rustam, 28, is a 50 percent owner of Baku Collection Agency, believed to be the first registered debt collection agency in Azerbaijan. He’s not a professional poker player, but one of his former partners, Ilkin Garibov, won $1,105,040 in a single tournament in 2015. Ilkin’s father is Unibank director Eldar Garibov.
Heydar Aliyev had four brothers. Hassan, who died in 1993, was a geology professor. His 83-year-old son Rasim Aliyev is a well-known architect who according to Turkish media reports is preparing to open a restaurant in Istanbul.
His son Jomard is deputy director at the State Housing Construction Agency. Their oldest son Nuran was one of only 300 VIP guests invited to watch Prince William play in a 2014 charity polo match in London sponsored by De Beers Jewelers.
In 2011, Nuran established the Azalt Energy LTD company in Baku. iFact.ge hasn’t found any company activity. He’s been more active in the United Kingdom.
In 2012, he and his younger brother Rasim Aliyev established the venture capital company Caspian Capital LTD. Nuran invested 854,466 pounds and Rasim later invested 333,048 pounds.
One of their major projects was investing in Iconic Mobile companies in the UK, Azerbaijan and Russia. They offer IT consultant services. In 2014, he became a director and shareholder in both the British company. (There are no signs of activity by the Azerbaijan company). He resigned one year later.
Iconic Mobile was credited for technical support in a 20,000 manat (about $US25,000) Azerbaijan government grant given in 2014 to Urkhan Seyidov. His father is the head of Azerbaijan’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe (PACE).
Iconic Mobile closed in the UK in 2017 but is still active in Russia.
Nuran used Caspian Capital Limited to buy as many as 390,088 shares in Work Angel Technology, a mobile platform specializing in hiring and retaining employees.
On March 1, 2016, Nuran and five other directors resigned.
For one day in 2013, he was a director of a restaurant company that operates Grill Market LTD and Grill Market Chelsea LTD, but resigned immediately and instead became an investor through Caspian Capital Limited. That investment lasted until 2017.
His younger brother Rasim Aliyev is married to the daughter of former National Security Minister Eldar Makhmudov. In 2014, he registered Salut Payments LLC in Baku. Three months later the company won a 20,000 manat (about $US25,000) grant from the State Fund for Information Technology Development. According to a project description, Salut Payments developed a mobile payment platform in Azerbaijan and the grant was for mobile device development.
Another brother of Heydar, Jalal Aliyev, was a businessmen and member of parliament when he died in 2016. Media reports suggest his only daughter Izzatkhanim Javadova inherited her father’s food and clothing companies, but there are no public records.
Javadova, 38, is married to a son of a Deputy Minister of Energy. She lives in the UK.
An identical name is listed on registration papers for two Baku hotels, the Giz Galasi and the Azeri. Until 2015, the Azeri operated as a guesthouse. But after a major renovation, its name changed to Hotel Jireh and it added deluxe apartments around Baku and a tourism agency that specializes in three-country Iran-Azerbaijan-Georgia packages. In 2017 the company opened a Hotel Jireh in Tbilisi. Jaradova’s name is no longer on company documents.
Javadova also registered the companies “Love the Underground Records LTD” in the UK and the Spanish island of Ibiza. According to the 2014 UK registration document, it was a sound recording and music publishing company.
But according to documents, the UK company reported losses of 975,821 pounds in the first year and the deficit grew to 1,470,335 pounds by 2016. The company was dissolved in 2017.
Heydar’s brother Agil was a scientist. At one time his son Ilgar worked in the Attorney General’s office. Media reports also tied him to Riad Pharm, a chain of drugstores that abruptly closed in 2015, allegedly because of a huge debt to International Bank of Azerbaijan.
Heydar’s brother Huseyn was a famous folk painter, His grandson Adalat serves as president of Lider TV and Radio Azerbaijan LLC.