GAP Report Details Azeri Privatization-World Bank CorruptionToday, GAP filed a report with the U.S. Treasury Department that exposes the World Bank’s role in the widespread corruption surrounding privatization in Azerbaijan during the late 1990’s. The report shows that James Wolfensohn, then president of the World Bank, personally assisted a rogue financier in his efforts to gain control of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). While these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, documents show that Wolfensohn silenced Bank staff members who spoke out about corrupt government officials working with Viktor Kožený, a notorious financial operator who had allegedly defrauded investors in the Czech Republic of nearly $1 billion only three years earlier.
Click here to read the report
Click here to read GAP's press release
In response to James Wolfensohn’s contention that World Bank staff members did not warn Azeri officials and others about the risks inherent in an investment with Viktor Kožený, GAP is posting the following documentation:
Letter from Kozeny to Bodmer showing Kozeny team's efforts to affect World Bank opinion
Letter from Chairman of Azerbaijan State Property Committee to Kozeny advising him of World Bank staff member warnings
Letter from Kozeny attorney Andre Wahrenberger to Kozeny attorney Frank Chopin about World Bank staff member allegations against Kozeny
In addition, GAP points out that Johannes Linn, the Vice President of the World Bank cited by Wolfensohn’s spokesman as responsible for verifying Bank staff members’ comments about Kožený, told GAP, when interviewed, that he had “never heard” of Viktor Kožený.