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AZERI OLIGARCHS, WEDDINGS AND TIES

This article was published on 26 January 2018 at 03:30 PM. It has 234 views so far.

On his wedding day last August, life must have looked good to 28-year-old Abdul Aliyev. Already the owner of several businesses in the United Kingdom, he was marrying Seljan Khatun Mammadova, the daughter of Azerbaijan’s Minister of Taxes Fazil Mammadov, his father’s boss.

Two months later, life became more complicated. First Mammadov in his role as head of the Azerbaijan Wrestling Foundation dismissed Namig Aliyev as vice president, a position Aliyev had held for 10 years.

Abdul Aliyev and his new wife Seljan Khatun Mammadova
Abdul Aliyev and his new wife Seljan Khatun Mammadova.

On 5 December, President Ilham Aliyev abruptly fired Mammadov himself as Minister of Taxes. Then on 12 January, the new minister fired Namig Aliyev from his position as Deputy Minister of Taxes, a position he had held since 2004. Before that he served for 13 years in a variety of prosecutor’s jobs.

It remains to be seen if this will affect Abdul Aliyev’s business interests. He opened his first company in the United Kingdom on 24 February, 2014. According to its own website, Butarose Limited was established to work on property development and investing in start-up businesses. The site spoke of the company’s “unique access” to the “vibrant country” of Azerbaijan.

Company records indicate Butarose Limited had over 800,000 pounds in the bank in 2016 . But there are no visible records of any company work in Azerbaijan.

Namig Aliyev was fired by his son's father-in-law
Namig Aliyev was fired by his son’s father-in-law.

Other businesses established by Abdul Aliyev in the United Kingdom include Butacare Limited (elderly residential care) and Buta Hospitality and Leisure Limited (food services). These companies along with Grocr Holdings and Bridge Street Restaurant Limited share an address at 2 Jordan Street, Knot Mill, Manchester, England M15, 4PY. Other businesses listed in his name include Verso Investments and Optimet Finishing Limited.

In 2017, his Bridge Street Restaurant Limited partner James Murray took a loan from Barclays Bank for an unknown amount, using the restaurant as collateral.

Good family connections surely helped Abdul Aliyev launch his businesses. Now those connections seem to be slipping away.