In just two weeks early last year, an 11-year-old boy from Azerbaijan became the owner of nine waterfront mansions in Dubaiâ€™s Palm Jumeirah.
His name is Heydar Aliyev. That also happens to be the name of the son of Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev.
Furthermore, Dubai records show the purchaser’s date of birth to be the same as that of the president’s son.
Two more Aliyevs – with the same names as the president’s daughters – also have popped up in more land deals.
In all, Aliyev’s children, or at least some people with similar names, have amassed $75 million worth of real estate in Dubai.
The Presidentâ€™s official salary in Azerbaijan is about $228,000 a year, not enough to buy even the smallest property in the luxury zone of Dubai.
Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic blessed with plentiful oil and gas reserves yet blighted by widespread poverty outside its glitzy capital, has long had a reputation for corruption.