May 14, 2024 - 13:06 AMT
Family of Ilham Aliyev’s security chief owns vast property in UK

As head of security for Azerbaijan’s president, Baylar Eyyubov is closely trusted by one of the world’s most authoritarian leaders, Ilham Aliyev. An investigative report from the OCCRP found that Eyyubov’s family owns three posh mansions all on one street in north London — and much more.

According to the investigation, offshore companies owned by Eyyubov’s wife and daughter spent $114 million on real estate in the United Kingdom. The family, including Eyyubov himself, also own over $46 million in properties in Dubai.

In a new investigation based on corporate documents and land records in multiple countries, OCCRP, its Azerbaijani partner Mikroskop Media, and its Georgian partner iFact can reveal the Eyyubov family’s holdings for the first time. The Eyyubovs own real estate in the United Kingdom and Dubai that cost at least $160 million to acquire.

In Dubai, where real estate ownership data is normally not available to the public, Eyyubov and several family members own villas and office space in their own names, according to leaked documents.

Eyyubov’s wife also holds shares in two businesses: a well-reviewed London cafe and an upscale hotel in the Georgian resort town of Batumi. Neither of these was in operation before 2014, meaning they couldn’t have contributed to bankrolling the family’s real estate purchases.

So for now, the source of the Eyyubovs’ wealth remains a mystery. At least until 2020, the last year this information is available, Eyyubov’s official annual salary has never exceeded $22,000. His wife’s current employment status is unknown, but in 2016 she was listed as an employee of Azerbaijan’s State Institute of Botany. His daughter Elvira is a U.K.-based life coach.