S&Ds call for full European Parliament investigation into Azerbaijani Laundromat scandal

Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev

Reacting to the new revelations in the Azerbaijani money-laundering and lobbying scandal published by the Guardian, Le Monde and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament call for a full investigation. Leaked data reveals thousands of covert payments, including to European politicians and journalists, by Azerbaijani’s ruling elite.

S&D vice-president on globalisation and Panama Papers committee co-rapporteur, Jeppe Kofod MEP said: 

“Europeans rightfully expect banks and politicians involved in the Azerbaijani Laundromat scandal to be held accountable. The Socialists and Democrats are calling for a formal European Parliament investigation into the affair. We will push for quick, preliminary hearings with the banks and politicians involved to be held in the Panama committee – starting immediately before the mandate for the Panama inquiry ends. Based on those findings we can then properly decide on the best format for further investigations.

S&D Panama Papers committee co-ordinator Peter Simon MEP, added:

“This scandal comes after a long line of international money-laundering and tax-evasion scandals. The EU needs to adopt tough new laws to empower authorities to punish and ultimately ban banks involved in such dealings from operating in the European market. We must have zero tolerance for money laundering.”