Even if it was shown by facts and evidence that there was strategic partnership between the SOCAR and Palmali Group of Companies the president of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev, as well as his cousin Anar Alizade persistently deny this. First we note that after the arrest of Mubariz Marsimov on march 18, 2020 in a press release published by SOCAR, it was noted that there were commercial relationships between SOCAR and Palmali Group of Companies and at the same time the parties never built joint ventures.
And the president of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev during his explanation to the Turkish Internet channel MGTV noted that due to the fact that Palmali refused to fulfill its financial obligations to the SOCAR Group in 2018 SOCAR launched arbitration proceedings against thePalmali Group in London and Dubai during which he noted that the Palmali Group does not return SOCAR and indirectly to the Azerbaijani state its debt in the amount of hundreds of millions.
In addition the CEO of the “SOCAR Turkey” Group of Companies Zaur Gahramanov in his interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency noted that Mubariz Mansimov does not have any relations with SOCAR and is not their partner, but Mubariz Mansimov has a debt to SOCAR.
There was a harsh answer to Zaur Gahramanov in Mubariz Mansimov’s letter distributed by his lawyers: “The head of SOCAR in Turkey – Zaur Gahramanov gave some explanations regarding me, I read it. I knew him as a good person. I want him to say the sentence “Not a SOCAR partner” standing in front of the mirror and looking at his face. You know very well which kind of companion is everybody. How quickly did you grow up and sat at the same table with your elder brothers and began to talk? You grew up before my eyes, child. Everyone knows perfectly well who is who. The one who denies our partnership in the old days with SOCAR, denies himself. ”
SOCAR AND PALMALI LOCATED IN ONE BUILDING IN SWITZERLAND
It is to be recalled that a letter written by Mubariz Mansimov in prison noted that he refused to obtain Swiss citizenship and accepted Turkish citizenship.
For this reason we conducted the search for a joint venture between Palmali and SOCAR in the Swiss Commercial Registry. According to the information received by us from the Swiss Commercial Registry Palmali International SA was founded in Switzerland on 02.09.2008. The head office of Palmali International SAis located at the same address with SOCAR Trading SA(rue de Villereuse 22, 1207 Genève).
In 2008-2011 the post of the General Director at Palmali International SA was performed by Emin Damirov, in 2011-2018 by Elshad Hajiyev. It should be noted that both persons also performed the functions of manager of SOCAR Trading SA at the same time. In 2008-2013 Zaur Gahramanov also served as vice president of economic affairs at SOCAR Trading SA.
According to the report of “Global Witness”organization, 50% of the shares in SOCAR Trading SA and also its owner- Supra Holding Limited belonged to SOCAR, 25% to Anar Aliyev (after 2014 changed his last name to “Alizade”), the cousin of SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev, the founder of Union Grand Energy, and 25% of the shares – to Valery Golovushkin, the former vice president of Lukoil,. Later Anar Aliyevincreased his share in SOCAR Trading SA to 40% by means of shares purchased from Valery Golovushkin. In 2012, SOCAR paid $103 million and $ 30 million respectively to Anar Aliyev, Valery Golovushkin and became the single shareholder of SOCAR Trading SA.
According to the information provided in the SOCARannual report on its own activities (page 47) in accordance with the Agreement on the transportation of crude oil and oil products between Palmali and SOCAR signed on march 20, 2008 LIBOR + 4.5 percent loan agreement in the amount of 120 million dollars was signed between Palmali International Holding Limited and SOCAR on october 5, 2009. As a part of the loan agreement 340 of the 514 shares issued by Palmali International SA a Swiss company were listed as collateral for a loan purchased from SOCAR and transferred under the control of SOCAR. The repayment term for this loan spent on the purchase of 14 tankers for Palmali International SA was considered for 12 years. According to the report, at the end of 2015 Palmali Group’s loan obligation to SOCAR amounted to AZN 122 million ($ 78 million). Thus in 2009-2015 Palmali Group of Companies fulfilled the loan commitment of at least 42 million dollars.
However in 2017 Mubariz Mansimov transferred 14 vessels and all shares of Palmali International SA to SOCAR Trading SA and terminated its partnership. The names of some of these vessels: Heydar Aliyev, Zarifa Aliyeva, Gunashli, Azerbaijan, Baku, Absheron, Shah Deniz.
Note that Mubariz Mansimov also gave explanations to the press about creating a joint company with SOCAR previously.
“We had a joint company with SOCAR, the share ratio here was 35/65. The bilateral agreement was reached, due to my departure from that company I transferred 14 SOCAR tankers to SOCAR. I made the decision to leave myself. ”
These words were spoken by Mubariz Mansimov during an interview with “Gafgazinfo” in 2018.
Explaining the reason for the termination of his cooperation to BBC Mubariz Mansimov noted that the SOCAR senior management every time changed the partnership documents in the name of family members, acquaintances. The Palmali Group of Companiesconcerned about this and refused the partnership.
And SOCAR in response to the request of BBC Azeri, noted that 14 tankers were redeemed by SOCAR on the basis of an agreement. “There has never been a joint company between SOCAR and Palmali Group” the company representative said. In addition the company representative noted that Palmali has a huge debt to SOCAR. Mubariz Mansimov noted that he has no debt to SOCAR: “Which debt may I have to SOCAR? SOCAR issued a loan during the purchase of these 14 tankers. Who has the tankers now? Who has the company? Which debt? On the contrary, they did not return me my money. Palmali Group incurred a loss from the partnership with Azerbaijan State Oil Company.”
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MANSIMOV TO ABDULLAYEV: STOP STEALING FROM THE PEOPLE!
Recall that in the information published by Mubariz Mansimov in his own social network account last year he accused Rovnag Abdullayev’s cousin Anar Aliyev and the head of the SOCAR Marketing and Economic Operations Department Adnan Akhmadzadeh in stealing the resources of the people and explained the termination of cooperation with SOCAR as follows:
– “Stop stealing from the state and get into the people’s pocket! If I write about your antics in “SOCAR Trading”, the companion of which I used to be, and which I left upon seeing that you were thieves, you won’t find a place for yourself in this world. Anar Aliyev, who once waited at my door, now boasts that he created “SOCAR Trading”. You couldn’t move if there weren’t my network. Abusing the trust of the state you have created a kingdom for yourself due to the state of my people. The same Adnan Ahmadzade the whole world is talking about your lifestyle. About your cars, companies, possessions. For the past 4 years you have been trying to destroy the Palmali. It will not work! “
In connection with some points indicated in the article, we also present to you a number of documents we received in a sequential order:
The ships handed over to SOCAR are: