Israel questioned companies participating in military deal with Azerbaijan

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Baku / 24.09.20 / Turan: The Israeli state company Israel Aerospace Industries (İAİ), the largest Israeli manufacturer of aerospace and aviation equipment, transferred $ 155 million to two companies Jet field Networks and Lark Stone. These companies have been linked to massive money laundering for the Azerbaijani government, according to bank reports in 2012-2014.

The reason for the payments remains unclear, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports, citing a report from the Shomrim Center for Media and Democracy. The story surfaced after thousands of bank documents were leaked into the hands of an international consortium of investigative journalists.

The investigation reveals that the remittances began shortly after İAİ entered into one of the largest arms deals in its history, worth $ 1.6 billion, with Azerbaijan. According to Israeli and international media reports, the deal included the sale of unmanned aerial vehicles and missile defense systems.

These payments figure in more than a dozen reports from Deutsche Bank; and were submitted to the Financial Crimes Unit of the US Treasury Department.  The report highlights that the person or company named in the document has done something illegal. These transactions may have been part of a legitimate business activity, but raised the suspicion of the financial institution.

In early February 2012, Israeli and international media reported the signing of a large contract between an Israeli company and the Azerbaijani government, the details of which remained largely closed to the public.

Israel buys oil from Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijanis buy weapons and agricultural machinery from Israel. The Israeli government attaches great strategic importance to Azerbaijan due to its long border with Iran. The human rights violations that occur in Azerbaijan are not an obstacle to establishing ties, the newspaper said.

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