State agencies partnered with a drug trafficker
The State Committee for Work with Religious Associations (SCWRA) has outsourced events promoting Islamic unity to a company headed by a man who has been imprisoned for using and selling drugs.
The most recent activity sponsored by SCWRA and carried out by the company in question was held on 12 June 2017. The seminar, held at the Heydar Aliyev Center, was titled “The Primary Directions of the Activities of Religious Communities in the Promotion of Islamic Unity.” The Sirabad Regional Executive Authority also cooperated on the seminar.
The company that organized the event was Qen Tex Servis, which was founded in September 2015, and is registered at 23A Ahmad Rajabli St. in Baku. Its director is Sumgayit resident Jabir Gayibov, 45. In April 2017, Qen Tex Servis had won a tender for 115,000 AZN ($67,600) from the SCWRA for organizing such seminars.
But on 16 June 2017, four days after the event at the Heydar Aliyev Center, Gayibov was sentenced to 11 years in prison by the Baku Grave Crimes Court.
On 11 January 2018, at SWRA's annual reporting meeting, the head of the SCWRA, Aliheydar Zulfugarov, announced that 27 seminars and conferences had been held in 2017 on the topic of “the primary directions of religious association’s activities promoting Islamic unity.”
The 2017 conferences organized by Qen Tex were preceded by an earlier contract for 134,000 AZN ($78,800) in 2016, under which Qen Tex Services also organized seminars for SCWRA.
The SCWRA is not alone. In 2016, the Police Academy under the Ministry of Internal Affairs paid the same organization 84,000 AZN (about $49,380) for books, textbooks, journals and other publications for its library, and another 50,000 AZN ($29,390) to organize cultural events on the topic of “cultural connections with foreign countries and receiving foreign guests,” according to the state registry of tenders.
SCWRA's administration did not respond to requests for information on its relationship with Qen Tex, what it was contracted to do, and whether or not the committee continued to work with Qen Tex after its director went to prison on drug charges.
The Police Academy’s administration also failed to respond to questions about is relationship with Qen Tex Servis.
A person who refused to reveal his name called and introduced himself as the director of Qen Tex Servis, proposing a “chat over tea.” Yet the state registry of commercial entities still lists the imprisoned Jabir Gayibov as the director of Qen Tex Servis.
Other companies tied to Gayibov
At least two other companies are registered at Qen Tex Servis’s Baku address: Marsan and Marsan Services. They performed various services for the SCWRA as well as other state agencies in the period 2015-2018. To hold events for the SCWRA alone, Marsan and Marsan Services received 71,000 AZN ($41,700).
And Gayibov is connected to other companies as well. According to the Tax Ministry's database, he is director of three more companies: Kontakt Servis PP, Smart Poliqraf (VÖEN 1201423051)and Cardinal Servis. The latter is registered at Gayibov’s home address in Sumgayit - 51st region,. There is no openly available information about the activities of any of these companies, which were founded almost simultaneously with Qen Tex Servis.
The director of Marsan, Ilahim Mehraliyev, also runs a company with the same name as one of Gayibov’s companies, Smart Poliqraf (VÖEN 2903444981).
Mehraliyev’s companies have a tax debt of 13,000 AZN ($7,640), for which Mehraliyev was placed under a travel ban in 2016.
Who is Jabir Gayibov?
Gayibov, 45, has been in prison for over a year. His latest drug troubles began on 10 March 2017, when the narcotics division of the Sumgayit police force found 2.045 kg of heroin and 3.17 kg of marijuana allegedly belonging to Gayibov in the courtyard of his apartment building. On that day, Gayibov was detained carrying a “black plastic bag with 0.965 g of heroin.”
A representative of Qen Tex Servis signed the contract with SCWRA for the Islamic unity events on 14 April 2017, after Gayibov was arrested on the drug charges. The identity of the person who signed the contract on behalf of Qen Tex could not be ascertained.
Gayibov had his sentence shortened on appeal from 11 years to 10. The Sumgayit Appellate Court’s decision states that “from the moment he was arrested, he was subjected to moral and physical torture and he was forced to give testimony in a way that corresponded with the personal interests of the interrogator and the detective.” The appellate court ruled that the Baku Grave Crimes Court’s sentence was unjust and relatively harsh.
Gayibov lived with his family in Sumgayit. The door to his apartment was opened by Firangiz, the wife of Jabir’s brother Elkhan. Firangiz, who has lived in the house for nine years, said that she knew Jabir was addicted to drugs.
“He’s been in prison for drugs before, and he has been treated for it. I’m hearing from you for the first time that there were companies in his name,' she said.
Gayibov's sister-in-law further said that Jabir Gayibov has a middle school education and is skilled as a tiler. She said the family knew nothing about the companies and did not see him show any profit from them..
“I don’t know, maybe he had friends who opened companies in his name, but he never said a word about it to us. His mother and brother are sick, and we don’t have any high-placed, well-off relatives who might have a company,” Firangiz said.
A young man collecting scrap metal near Gayibov's home named Samir said Jabir Gayibov was quiet and did not speak to neighbors.
Last year a court ordered mandatory drug treatment for Gayibov, but his family does not know whether he received the treatment.
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