www.turan.az-Emin Mammadyarov, the eldest son of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister, is not the only Azeri with lavish Trump Place apartments, who calls Manhattan home.
According to the New York Finance Department records, obtained by TURAN’s Washington correspondent last week, another Azerbaijani named Zaur Akhundov owns a $3.3 million worth apartment unit (31A) at the Rushmore building, an impressive twin-towered residential condominium development located at 80 Riverside Boulevard that occupies the blockfront between 64th and 63rd Streets.
The building has a swimming pool, La Palestrina Fitness and Wellness Services, a billiards room, a bicycle room and a theater, entertainment suite, etc.
Until recently, Akhundov had also been owning another $2 millions worth apartment (#9S) at 120 Riverside Boulevard – often referred as the Trump building – a property that he appear to have sold in 2013, just after purchasing his $3.3 million cost unit in New York’s resonant heartbeat, paid in full.
TURAN couldn’t immediately verify the identity of Zaur Akhundov, however, in an 2013 selling agreement that was found in the New York Tax Department’s database regarding his Thump building apartment, Mr. Akhundov’s affiliation was linked to The Wicks Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law and consulting firm, which happen to also represent Azerbaijan’s Silk Way Airlines in the U.S. with regulatory and transaction assistance.
Glenn Wicks, managing director of the Wicks Group, attended at the 8th Caspian Air Cargo summit in Baku late last year, along with the several high-level officials and VIPs, including the President of Silk Way Holding, whose name also happened to be Zaur Akhundov.
Neither Akhundov, nor the Wicks Group could be reached by phone on Monday for comment to this story. Silk Way Group did not respond to TURAN’s request for comment either.
According to a Silk Way Airlines’ press release posted by Prnewswire in September 2018, Mr. Akhundov was “critical to the founding of Silk Way, has been a leader of the Silk Way team from the beginning, and brings decades of valuable experience in developing the aviation industry in Azerbaijan.”
Interestingly enough, just a week after the above statement, Akhundov was reportedly sacked from the company, according to local media, and was mysteriously restored to his position as a the president last summer, claims that TURAN couldn’t verify independently.
Yet it isn’t entirely clear whether the mysterious New York apartment owner is indeed the same man who must be utterly busy running the Silk Way Group, a state-endorsed “leader” in the private sector of Azerbaijani economy, which is deemed to be closely associated with the country’s ruling family.
Headquartered in Baku, the Silk Way Holding Group has been too careful, over the years, to maintain its reputation as a scandal-free company.
Most recently though, the company’s name drew public attention with the political arrest of Tofig Yagublu, a prominent opposition leader and ardent government critic, who has been detained in Baku, and was accused in “hooliganism”, as Elkhan Jabrayilov, his accuser, is happened to be employed by the Silk Way Construction, one of two dozens of enterprises run by the Silk Way Group.
Both the United States and the Council of Europe have called on Baku to release Yagublu. In a statement to TURAN, the State Department made it clear that it was “troubled by circumstances surrounding Yagublu’s arrest”, something that the Azeri government doesn’t seem to agree with.