Bill for watch at center of Turkey's graft probe belongs to boat captain of Iranian suspect Zarrab
BODRUM - Doğan News Agency
AA PhotoThe recipient of a 700,000-Turkish Lira watch at the center of a graft probe involving senior government officials of Turkey was the driver of Iranian-Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, the main suspect in the case, according to new details.
Turkey's former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan is accused of being bribed by Zarrab with a customized watch worth 700,000 liras (around $300,000). Last week, the former minister told a special parliamentary session that he paid for the entire sum himself even though the bill was not in his name.
“Zarrab bought the watch, but I paid for it. The guarantee certificate is in my name,” Çağlayan told deputies during a critical session on graft allegations May 5, while showing a document he referred as the watch’s bill.
The name on the bill was Murat Yılmaz, while the address listed was in Bodrum. Doğan News Agency has learned that 38-year-old Yılmaz, who is living at the address, is a boat captain working for Zarrab.
Meanwhile, an official from Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe, which contradicted Çağlayan’s statements last week, has questioned the authenticity of the bill shown by the minister during his defense in Parliament. In a statement to daily Aydınlık, Bernard Ruf reportedly said the bill looked “strange.”