Prosecutor General’s Office: Investigation into suspected banking transactions of RFE/RL Inc Azerbaijan Office continues

Baku: The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office has released information on suspected banking transactions of Radio Azadliq’s Baku Bureau.

A state body which executes the relevant authority in the prevention of illegally acquired funds has said of the RFE/RL Inc (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty) Office in the Republic of Azerbaijan carrying out suspected banking transactions, the Prosecutor General’s Office told APA.

From 1 January 2010 to 9 December 2014, the head office of the RFE/RL Company has transferred AZN 3,555,688 to the bank accounts of the RFE/RL Inc Office in Azerbaijan.

Some AZN 189,100 out of those funds was withdrawn from treasure by Mirzayev Yahya Hidayat oglu (legal representative), financial manager of the office, and spent officially on a variety of directions.

The facts that only one person, financial manager of the office, withdrew AZN 89 100 cash from depositary, this money was formalized as spending on photographs, video recordings, purchase of drinkable water, tea, sugar, barbershop payments, they didn’t submit reports on individuals’ income to relevant tax authorities, the office distributed the “Fərqli Düşüncə” (Different Thinking) newspaper free of charge are reasonable suspicions to assume that officials of the office appropriated a large amount of funds by preparing fake documents.

There are reasonable suspicions that financial manager of the “RFE/RL Inc” Azerbaijan Office, Mirzayev Yahya Hidayat oglu, appropriated AZN 7,785, abusing his power.

In connection with the suspicious banking operations, under the decision of the Nasimi District Court dated 27 December 2014, experts of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Taxes audited the banking transactions of the RFE/RL’s Azerbaijan Office as well as its individual partners, assignment of expenditure of funds, compliance with the requirements of tax laws and the legality of other revenue assignments, and the operations on the Office’s bank accounts at the International Bank of Azerbaijan (OJSC) were temporarily suspended. The initial results of the audit give rise to the grounds of suspicion that the Office has evaded from paying taxes to the state budget.

The Investigation Department on Grave Crimes under the Prosecutor General’s Office is conducting preliminary investigation into the criminal case.