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AKIPRESS.COM - Data from the Bank for International Settlements show that $23bn from Turkmenistan has accumulated in accounts in Germany, although the data do not reveal who the account-holders are, The Economist reports.
With the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves and a population of just 5m, Turkmenistan should be prosperous. But its rulers have fallen out with both Iran and Russia, leaving China as their sole customer for gas. Much of the revenue from sales to China goes towards repaying the loans taken out to build the pipeline through which the gas flows.
Some of the rest has been squandered on white elephants, such as a vast, empty, falcon-shaped airport and a ritzy but ghostly beach resort on the Caspian Sea. And a good chunk of the money has been stashed away abroad.