Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials arrested in Azerbaijan for bribery, embezzlement – claim they were ‘helping ministry’
A number of high-ranking officials in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry have been arrested as a result of an anti-corruption operation.
Farhad Mollazade, chairman of the Foreign Ministry’s tender commission, Salim Alizadeh, head of economic affairs department, and Nurupasha Abdullayev, head of the legal section of the Consular Department, were arrested on July 3 for bribe taking, the State Security Service of Azerbaijan reports.
According to the State Security Service, Mollazade and Alizade are suspected of having appropriated money allocated for various structures in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
In addition, “when purchasing certain goods, the suspects demanded business owners transfer them a sum of the total amount in the form of a bribe.”
The houses of the suspects have been searched and documents found attesting to the bribes and the money received for their ‘work.’
A criminal case has been opened against Farhad Mollazade and Salim Alizadeh under the articles “abuse of official position”, “embezzlement” and “bribery”, while Nurupasha Abdullayev faces bribery charges.
The detainees have already confessed their crimes on camera. In a video circulated in the media, they spoke in detail about their actions.
Elkhan Шахahinoglu is a political scientist, head of the Atlas Research Center, writes on his Facebook page, quoting from Farhad Mollazade’s confessions:
“‘They gave money to Salim, and he brought the money to me. I kept 10 percent for myself and gave 10 percent to Salim. We spent the rest on solving the problems of the ministry.’
“This is the statement by Farhad Mollazade, Head of Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was caught taking bribes. The last sentence means that the Foreign Ministry, it turns out, was solving its problems through bribes. Wow! What is going on in the ministry that represents Azerbaijan in the world? And instead of resigning, Elmar Mammadyarov [ed. the head of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry] is holding an online conference today with some European organization.”