There has been some discussion about the leak of the Pandora Papers, which featured the OOCRP report as well as multiple partner news sources, as well as the practice of using firm’s registered outside of the country, while the data leaked from journalists revealed the reality of cooperation with the firms, which was to handle the authentic economic states all across the country.
The Pandora Papers leak, which was highlighted by the OCCRP and several other relationship outlets, revealed the practice that using companies registered in the USA and Europe as offshore aspects for politically-exposed individuals (PEPs). Among the many news articles based on the trove of information released to investigative reporters focused on Turkmen’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s nephews, who were secretly linked to foreign-registered companies benefiting from the export/import of fertilizers and petrochemicals.
Turkmenistan has the most isolated authoritarian government in Central Asia. Berdymukhamedov has governed practically unopposed since the passing of the state’s first iron-fist ruler, Saparmurat Niyazov, who governed from 1991 to 2006.
The OCCRP report details how documents obtained through the Pandora Papers scandal link sales of mineral fertilizers to the nephew of Berdymukhamedov, Hajymurat Rejepov, and Shamyrat Rejepov, a system that could have resulted in thousands of dollars in state contracts.
Turkmenistan launched a new, export-oriented U.S $1.5 billion chemical plant specializing in the manufacturing of urea, an organic fertilizer, in September 2018. The plant produces 2,000 tonnes of ammonia per day, which is then perfected into urea using natural gas, which Turkmenistan has abundant reserves of.
Amazingly, Scotland was the primary target country for the firm’s exports. More specifically, an ambiguous Scottish Limited Company has become the biggest urea trader in Turkmenistan.
Sooner in May, OCCRP and its associates revealed in a report issued that Hajymyrat Rejepov benefitted immensely from a food importing system, which is a subsidized contract among external suppliers and governmental agencies. Greatcom Trade, Rejepov’s owned company in the United Kingdom, was run by two offshore firms he controlled. Greatcom was granted a $25.7 million contract by the state in 2016. “It was most likely not a one-time contract,” the report contended.
Global Witness, an anti-corruption watchdog, released its report on Niyazov’s dealing of the state’s gas wealth in 2006. It influences Germany’s Deutsche Bank, which allegedly managed to hold the approximately U.S $ 2 billion of Turkmenistan’s natural gas sales proceeds. Hola News, a popular news website in Kazakhstan, was banned for 10 days after publishing an article showcasing an OCCRP study based on the Pandora Papers. The article claimed that the state’s former president could be implicated in an offshore strategy. Following the removal of the article from the official site, Hola News’ founders and editor stepped down, citing their lack of willingness to operate under government pressure.
The Pandora Papers, along with previous articles, have given the public a glimpse into the world’s economic schemes that have channeled capital out of the grasp of government agencies and into the wallets of PEPs.