Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tracking "Turkmenbashi's" billions -- the trail leads to the usual suspects in Israel

Tracking "Turkmenbashi's" billions -- the trail leads to the usual suspects in Israel

When Turkmenistan's all-powerful and nepotistic leader Turkmenbashi (Father of all Turkmen) Saparmurat Niyazov died suddenly on December 21, 2006, there was a great deal of speculation that outside forces may have been involved in the death of a strongman who sat on one-fifth of the world's known reserves of natural gas.

On December 23, 2006, WMR reported: "The Turkmen opposition, their neo-con supporters, and international bankers like [George] Soros will surely be interested in Niyazov's multi-billion dollar secret bank accounts. It is estimated that Deutsche Bank, alone, holds $3 billion of Niyazov's secret foreign accounts."

WMR has now learned from sources with high-level contacts with the governments of Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan that Niyazov was assassinated, probably through the use of poison, by elements linked to the Israelis. On July 10, 2009, WMR reported that Niyazov was likely done in by a Department of Defense Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) working closely with the Israeli Mossad: "The poison team may have also been behind the sudden death on December 21, 2006 of Turkmenistan's dictator Saparmurat Niyazov or "Turkmenbashi." Niyazov maintained a position of strict neutrality and forbid the U.S. from using Turkmenistan territory for military operations in Afghanistan or the use of Turkmen airspace in operations against Iran." Niyazov's official autopsy stated that the president died from "acute cardiac insufficiency."

Niyazov narrowly escaped assassination on November 26, 2002, after his motorcade in Ashgabat came under gun fire from several buildings and other vehicles. A visiting American from Newton, Massachusetts, Leonid Komarovsky, described as a businessman, journalist, and Czech beer importer, was arrested by Turkmen security for involvement in the plot. On April 24, 2003, Komarovsky was turned over to the U.S. embassy in Ashgabat.

WMR's sources also report that Niyazov's accumulated fortune, estimated at between $3.4 and $3.7 billion was siphoned away from Niyazov's secret bank account shortly after his death.

After five months in office, Niyazov's successor, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, fired the head of the National Security Service (NSS), Lieutenant General Akmurad Rejepov, Niyazov's personal security adviser. Rejepov and his son, an ex-NSS officer, were jailed for 20 and 13 years, respectively. It is certain that unfavorable information on Rejepov and his son was passed to Berdymukhammedov the day before their arrest by visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who met the Turkmen president in the city of Turkmenbashi (the former Krasnovodsk).

Shortly before Niyazov's death, Alexander Zhadan, the chief of Niyazov's "property management department," a bureaucratic name for Niyazov's personal financial adviser and aide-de-camp, disappeared from Ashgabat with some important documents.

Shortly after Niyazov's funeral on December 24, 2006, Zhadan, according to our sources, secretly met with the reclusive Mrs. Niyazov and her son. The widow and son had flown to Ashgabat from abroad to attend Niyazov's funeral. WMR has learned that Zhadan, who is Jewish, fled from Turkmenistan to Israel with upward of $3.7 billion in Niyazov's personal wealth. The current Turkmen government is attempting to track down and seize the stolen money.

Israel's high-stakes involvement in receiving and laundering Niyazov's stolen loot from Turkmenistan likely played a significant role in the naming by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, himself no stranger to fraudulent financial deals, of former Mossad agent Reuven Dinai, as Israel's first ambassador to Turkmenistan. Dinai is close to ex-Mossad officer Yosef Maiman, the head of the Israeli company Merhav Group that has a significant stake in the energy sector in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The news that Zhadan absconded with Niyazov's billions to Israel could jeopardize Merhav's attempt to exploit Turkmenistan's large Serdar natural gas field, along with the Israeli firm's newly-found Caspian region energy partner, PetroSaudi, which is owned by Saudi King Abdullah's son.