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Cablegate: Turkmenistan: Former Deputy Chairman for Oil And

VZCZCXRO8512
PP RUEHAG RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL
RUEHSR
DE RUEHAH #1288 2861231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131231Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3600
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5773
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3485
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 3349
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4016
RHMCSUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3992
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASHGABAT 001288

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN; EEB; NEA/IR
ENERGY FOR EKIMOFF/BURPOE/COHEN
COMMERCE FOR EHOUSE

EO 12958 DECL: 10/13/2019
TAGS PGOV, PINR, ECON, ENRG, TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: FORMER DEPUTY CHAIRMAN FOR OIL AND
GAS TACHBERDI TAGIYEV ARRESTED
REF: ASHGABAT 0876

Classified By: Charge Sylvia Reed Curran for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Former Deputy Chairman for Oil and Gas Tachberdi Tagiyev was arrested in mid-September allegedly on suspicion of corruption, according to multiple sources in the expat business and foreign diplomatic community. Tagiyev was serving at the time as head of the oil refinery at Turkmenbashi. According to our sources, Tagiyev’s houses and vehicles in Ashgabat were also seized.

2. (C) Always also mentioned in the same breath as Tagiyev’s arrest is a rumored internal investigation of Berdimuhamedov’s son-in-law, Dovlet Atabayev, who heads the London office of the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources. Supposedly, the young man is in trouble for having acquired some nice real estate in the London area.

3. (C) COMMENT: When Tagiyev was fired in July (reftel), the suspicion was that it was connected with the dispute with Gazprom. Someone had to take the blame for the problems with Russia, and it could not be the President. Suspected corruption could also have been a factor. It was widely known during Tagiyev’s time as Deputy Chairman that in order for energy companies to get high-level meetings (including with President Berdimuhamedov), a little “something, something” should be offered to the various gatekeepers, including Tagiyev. Since many officials are involved in corruption, corruption itself is rarely the issue. Sometimes the official has irritated the President for other reasons, and corruption is the handy excuse for prosecution. Often, as may have been the case with Tagiyev and may be the problem with the son-in-law, ostentatious corruption lands these officials in hot water. END COMMENT. CURRAN

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