Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan earns billions of dollars every year from selling its natural gas, but its citizens do not know where the money is going because revenues are managed in secret. En savoir plus

Global Witness’s 2006 report, It’s A Gas, exposed how former president, Saparmurat Niyazov, controlled most of Turkmenistan’s earnings from gas in off-budget funds. At least US$3 billion of Turkmenistan’s money was held in Frankfurt by Deutsche Bank, in a famous example of authoritarian regimes consolidating their power with the help of western financial institutions. These funds, ostensibly state accounts, were under the personal control of Niyazov. He used this control to prop up his police state and fund a lavish personality cult, which included glittering palaces, the promotion of his own holy book and an infamous gold statue of himself that rotated to face the sun. Global Witness’s advocacy led to an investigation by the German banking authority into the Turkmen accounts held by Deutsche Bank.

Since then, due to rising gas prices and increased exports to China, the value of Turkmen off-budget funds in Deutsche Bank is likely to have increased several fold. Questions remain over how they are managed under current president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, and why Deutsche Bank continues to bank for one of the world’s most repressive regimes.

In collaboration with renowned satirical cartoonist, David Rees, in 2009 Global Witness released All That Gas?, a briefing showing why the European Commission should not turn a blind eye to Turkmenistan’s brutal regime in its bid to secure future gas supplies. In part due to pressure from NGOs, the EU’s Partnership agreement with Turkmenistan has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament.