Erdogan’s son-in-law messes with Somali Port

Mogadishu port officials reveal to Al-Arabiya that Albayrak is looting the port’s revenue.

Mogadishu Port

The documents .. Erdogan’s son-in-law has tampered with the resources of a Somali port

January 26, 2020 (AlArabiya.net) – In September 2014, Somalia’s Minister of Ports and Marine Transport announced that the Somali government had handed over the tasks of managing Mogadishu’s international seaport, which has been out of operation for many years, to the Turkish company “Albayrak” for twenty years.

The Somali minister said in a press statement at the time that the Somali government officially handed over the port’s operation to Albayrak for 20 years, and that port employees would continue their work, under the management of the Turkish company owned by the family of Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of the family of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The agreement stipulated that the Turkish company would give 51% of the port’s revenues to the Somali government, and that the company would provide the government with a copy of its annual accounts to know the revenues and expenses, thereby calculating the difference and determining the percentage due to both parties.

What has happened over the past five years has been otherwise, as the company withdraws its funds from local banks daily so that its revenues are not known on a monthly or annually basis that can be calculated.

President Erdogan, right, with Mr. Albayrak, Turkey’s finance minister and his son-in-law. According to The New York Times, Mr. Albayrak, 41, is often referred to in Turkey simply as “the groom”. But he acquired a new nickname after Mr. Trump’s election: Erdogan’s Kushner. Credit…Ozan Kose/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

 

According to Somali sources stated to “Al Arabiya.net”, the port’s revenues per month range between 12 to 15 million dollars per month, which means 180 million dollars annually, noting that what the Turkish company provides to the Somali government is less than the actual percentage of its revenues and the agreed ratio, without providing official accounts with its annual budget.

Meanwhile, port officials reveal to Al-Arabiya.net that the port’s revenues in 2018 were $95 million, while the amount that the company delivered to the government was $29 million, confirming that the remainder of the amount had been looted by the Turkish company.

They add that the company, whose branch in Mogadishu runs by Turkish Sami Erol, provides forecasts of profits that are not entirely proportional to the size, expansions and businesses that are taking place in the port. For example, it made profits in 2015 about 61 million dollars, and in 2016 about 57 million dollars, and in 2017 about 75 million dollars, and in 2018 about 95 million dollars, and these are the real profits, while the company provided the Somali government with various other figures, including that it achieved in 2018 about 29 million dollars, which is less than it actually achieved by about 66 million dollars.

It also provided the Somali government with information that it achieved profits of about $ 26 million in the year 2019. And until now it has not provided its real revenues for that year, as well as its expectations of achieving profits of about $ 20 million in the current year 2020, an amount that is not commensurate with the size of the increases and expansion and the size of the business at the harbour.

It is noteworthy that Mogadishu port was permanently shut down after the fall of the government in 1991, then reopened during the work of international peacekeeping forces due to the civil war in the country in 1992, then closed in 1995, following the departure of international peacekeeping forces, and the Islamic courts that took control of Somalia were reinstated. It re-emerged in 2006.

In earlier remarks following the signing of the deal published by Turkish and Somali websites, Sami Erol, the company’s director in Somalia, said the company will provide the port with the latest technology to attract world trade, as the port will see expansions, in addition to the restoration of parts affected since the civil war. Ignoring the percentage allocated to Turkey in the project, he said only that 51% of the port’s revenues would go to the Somali government treasury, and the remaining 49% would be allocated to the development of port services.

Somali media revealed that the company has established a hospital of 200 rooms; while the director of the company, Sami Erol, said at a press conference, that this project is part of the projects that the company aims to raise the services of the international port of Mogadishu, and make it the most important port in East Africa; adding that after the completion of the project the port’s capacity will increase from 4 and 5 ships to 8 and 9 large merchant ships.

Source: Cairo – Ashraf Abdel Hamid

Description of source: Arabic news and information portal covering news, politics, business, sports, variety and transcripts of Al Arabiya programs. Country of origin: United Arab Emirates
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