Aviation company of key figure in Turkey graft probe purchases 58-million-dollar jet
Fırat Alkaç ISTANBULA civil aviation company belonging to Reza Zarrab, the Iranian-Azerbaijani businessman at the center of Turkey’s suppressed corruption probe, has purchased a new plane worth $58 million.
Are Aviation has added to its fleet the Gulfstream G550, which is a business jet aircraft produced by General Dynamics’ Gulfstream Aerospace unit, before Zarrab’s Royal Holding shared photos of the aircraft on social media.
Are Aviation, which was founded in 2012, is planning to increase the number of its jets to three in 2015, according to a statement on its website. Before the Gulfstream G550 was purchased, the company had only one business jet, a Challenger 300 registered as TC-RZA.
In the huge corruption probe that hit headlines in December 2013, Zarrab was accused of paying bribes to officials in Turkey, including a number of former Cabinet ministers, but all related lawsuits have been dropped.
During the graft investigation, the court issued a temporary injunction on the assets of Zarrab and it was revealed that TC-RZA had been purchased with a loan from state-run Halkbank. The former manager of Halkbank, Süleyman Arslan, was another suspect in the probe.
Zarrab reportedly covered the unpaid instalments after being released from prison, after which he took back the plane.