Turkish President Erdogan’s secret offshore deal exposed

The oil tanker Agdash, tip of the ice berg?

A new investigation into the Erdogan family business using papers from the #MaltaFiles collection, analysed by the European Investigative Collaboration Network (EIC) shows that through offshore companies in the Isle of Man and Malta, the Erdogans secretly own an oil tanker worth nearly 25 million USD called the Agdas, according to a report published on the web site The Black Sea.

The deal was constructed with Erdogan’s close friend and Turkish businessman, Sitki Ayan, and an Azeri-Turkish billionaire called Mubariz Mansimov, owner of Istanbul-headquartered shipping conglomerate, Palmali Group. Documents show that since 2008, the cost of the Agdash deal for the two businessmen totals nearly 30 million USD, with seven million from Ayan, and nearly 23 million from Mansimov.

The Erdogans obtained the Agdash from Mubariz Mansimov in October 2008, using a company in the Isle of Man called Bumerz Limited – named after its principal owners – the president’s son Burak Erdogan, his brother Mustafa Erdogan, and brother-in-law Ziya Ilgen, according to the report and supporting documents in the report.

Mansimov, who is a friend of US President Donald Trump and was present at his inauguration in Washington DC in January this year, extended his operations to Turkey in 1998 and obtained Turkish citizenship in 2006.

The business between the billionaire and the Turkish ruling family is based on a complicated structure now revealed to the public for the first time using research and documents from the “Malta Files” and other sources, states the report.
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is rich. How rich is unknown. Critics estimate his wealth at several billion Euro, the product of rampant corruption and cronyism in the Turkish state since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power in 2003,” says the report hinting that the secret deal exposed through Malta files is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Malta Files is the name of a financial scandal that revealed the content of several hundreds of thousands official documents showing the procedures developed in Malta to organise tax evasion within the European Union. The Malta Files were released in May 2017 after investigations conducted by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC).