Turkmenistan has the most isolated authoritarian government in Central Asia. Berdymukhamedov has reigned virtually uncontested since the death 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 leak link sales of inorganic fertilizer to nephews of the Berdymukhamedov, Shamyrat Rejepov, and Hajymurat Rejepov, a plan that could have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in state contracts.
Turkmen’S President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s nephews are involved with offshore Scottish and British companies and own 16 apartments in Dubai worth approximately $ 5.5 million. According to an investigation conducted by OCCRP, Gundogar.org, and Turkmen news based on the Pandora File.
In the Turkmen’s city Garabogaz, a government plant for the processing of urea fertilizer was inaugurated in September 2018. Turkmenistan shipped over 1.6 million tonnes of urea in 2019-2020, according to statistics from the UN Comtrade file.
The journalists discovered that the main fertilizer export industry was the Scottish firm Caran Holdings that even does not have a site. According to media reports, Khadzhimurat Rejepov, the President of Turkmenistan’s nephew, has become the company’s sole shareholder in 2019.
According to the records, Caran Holdings agreed to the export of 1.2 million tonnes of urea manufactured at the plant via Russian and Georgian ports, as well as the import of amorphous fertilizer worth $11.4 million.
Several journalists also concluded that the younger brother of the Khadzhimurat Shamurat Rejepov is involved with the British Delanore company, which trades in petrochemical products produced by Turkmen state-owned businesses.”The name Shamurat Rejepov had never been mentioned in official records in relation with this company.” “As in the scenario of Caran, the advantageous owners in Delanore’s internal files, which were made available to journalists, have been non-public Turkmen residents, about whose actions nothing is identified,” researchers write.
In February 2020, journalists discovered a written and signed authority to act approved by Delanore to Shamurat Rejepov in the “Pandora’s Archive” – the same record his brother earned from Caran.
It is unknown how much money Khadzhimurat and Shamurat Rejepovs made by supplying urea and petroleum products from Turkmenistan, but the research found information about their Dubai real estate. According to media reports, Khadzhimurat Rejepov owns nine apartments in five housing developments, while Shamurat possesses seven apartment buildings in three complexes. “By going to compare the Redzhepovs’ 16 apartment buildings to equivalent apartments in these structures that are now for a special offer, OCCRP reporters and partners approximated the real estate of brothers at around $ 5.5 million,” according to the text. The lifestyles of the well-connected brothers are very different from the lives of most Turkmens. Human rights groups rank the state as one of the most autocratic on the planet. President Berdimuhamedov has complete control over Turkmenistan’s social and economic life, down to the layout of banknotes and awards for show dogs.
Turkmenistan began publishing almost no official documents and has no freedom of the press, making it especially difficult for reporters and civil society to learn about what is going on inside the state.
Shamyrat and Hajymyrat Rejepov, and also President Berdimuhamedov’s government, did not immediately respond to the statement. Rejepov brothers were in news but their non-response caused many problems.
Over 600 reporters from 120 countries participated in the “Pandora’s Archives” inquiry. Those who happened to come into their range of view included Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kazakhstan’s first President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and Czech Prime Minister Andrei Babish.