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Azeri millionaire sets foot in Malta

Businessman Ahadpur Khangah, close to the Azerbaijani establishment, sets up seven companies with IIP agent

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
4 February 2015, 7:00am
Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangah
Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangah
Azeri businessman and polo enthusiast Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangah has set up seven holding companies in Malta over the past week, under the auspices of one of the Individual Investor Programme’s accredited agents, Nexia BT.

MaltaToday has confirmed that Khangah, 62, is so far not applying for Maltese citizenship under the IIP. A US embassy cable leaked to Wikileaks in 2010 suggests he holds both an Azerbaijani and Iranian passport.

But the Dubai resident and chairman of the Az Group of Companies last week set up six different holding companies, all under a familiar musical nomenclature – the Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Vivaldi investment holding companies – falling under parent company Mulsanne Investments. All of them are registered in Malta.

Born in Tehran, Khangah graduated from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK, specialising in highway and traffic engineering. From 1975 until 1986 he worked in Iran building highways, as well as on other construction projects. He has lived in Azerbaijan since 1993 and is currently chairman of the Az Group of Companies, which has interests in the food, plastics, wood, and construction industries.

In 2013, Khangah’s dairy production enterprise AZFCO was certified by the US Army to supply US soldiers in Afghanistan with dairy products. AZ Plas, his group’s packaging factory, exports to Georgia, whereas AZMDF exports MDF and parquet laminate flooring to Georgia, Iran, and Turkmenistan.

 

Wikileaks cable

In a US cable that profiled the most powerful families in Azerbaijan back in 2010, Ahadpur Khangah was said to be in business with the children of Minister of Emergency Situations Kamaladdin Heydarov.

The US cable claimed that Khangah was the CEO or “front man” of a substantial portion of the Heydarov family conglomerate.

In one example, Kamaladdin Heydarov’s two sons Nijat and Tale wanted to buy two Gulfstream jets, valued at $20 million each. Ownership of the Gulfstreams was to be shared between a Dubai-registered company Shams al Sahra, owned by the Heydarovs, and Ahadpur Khangah.

“Khangah was not previously known to the Embassy, but according to information from Gulfstream appears to be a citizen of both Iran and Azerbaijan (unclear if he also holds other passports). Purportedly as part of Patriot Act compliance, Gulfstream asked the Heydarovs for information that would confirm the lawful sources of their wealth.

“The Heydarovs provided Gulfstream an overview of their family holdings, and it appears they own more businesses than any other Azerbaijani family, including companies in food canning, construction materials, concrete, asphalt, chemicals, bricks, textiles, CD and DVD production, milk processing, tourism, gypsum materials, leather, agriculture, pianos, alcohol and spirits, juices, banking, insurance, and construction,” the US embassy cable read.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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