And this ain’t a fairy tale.
They’re seems to be a problem when you hear someone buying nine mansions in one year… especially when he’s only eleven years old. And it’s not somewhere in Las Vegas where property values have plunged so deep, mansions look like a barn for billionaires on a home shopping spree. The palaces are located in the Palm Jumeirah, one of the most luxurious real estate locations in Dubai.
The Washington Post uncovered the news and revealed the Heydar Aliev to be the owner of the mansions according to Dubai Land Records. Incidentally, the Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic, has one famous boy whose name is Heydar and he happens to be the son of President Ilham Aliyev. Get the picture?
The total cost of the mansions may startle you. The report states, “The total price tag: about $44 million—or roughly 10,000 years’ worth of salary for the average citizen of Azerbaijan. But the preteen who owns a big chunk of some of Dubai’s priciest real estate seems to be anything but average.. Ilham Aliyev’s annual salary as president is the equivalent of $228,000, far short of what is needed to buy even the smallest Palm property.” If you’re jaw hasn’t still dropped, read this: the president’s two other children have homes in Dubai too and all of them were paid upfront.
The Post repeatedly contacted Aliyev’s spokesman but all that they heard was a resounding “no comment”. But the newspaper didn’t let the mystery pass behind so it detailed how years of corruption on the oil-rich country have mired the ruling family. It states, “(The country) blessed with plentiful oil and gas reserves yet blighted by widespread poverty outside its glitzy capital, has long had a reputation for corruption. But the Dubai purchases, which have not been reported before, could provide a rare concrete example of just how much money the country’s governing elite has amassed and of the ways in which at least part of this wealth has been stashed overseas… Transparency International, in a 2009 survey of global corruption, ranked Azerbaijan among the worst at 143 out of 180 nations.”
Whatever their government releases in the coming weeks, there’s no point in naming the property titles to a nine year old especially when you’re head of state. Was this a careless move on Aliyev’s camp? In the words of The Heritage Foundation, “Judicial and police corruption are widespread. Arbitrary tax and customs administration create opportunities for graft, regulatory practices favor monopolies, and corruption appears at all levels. Politically connected businesses seem to have benefited from government regulatory and other decisions and have achieved control of several lucrative sectors of the economy.”
There’s more revelation to come. And more mansions to uncover.