Filthy rich: Britain’s favourite dictatorship had so much oil its heiresses bathe in it… but beneath the fabulous wealth of Azerbaijan lurks very murky secrets

Engineering Evil

  • Oil generated £19  billion in revenues last year, yet much is believed to have gone straight into  the pockets of President Ilham Aliyev and his family
  • Azeri government  has threatened journalists and activists are tortured
  • Leaked documents  recently compared President Aliyev and his ruling clan to the mafia family in  the Godfather films

By  Will Stewart

PUBLISHED: 17:00 EST, 24  November 2012 |  UPDATED: 17:58 EST, 24 November 2012

Cleopatra, queen of ancient Egypt, bathed in  asses’ milk for the good of her complexion, but here in Baku, capital of  Azerbaijan, an even more surprising treatment is on offer. Disrobing from their  Gucci or Oscar de la Renta outfits, the ladies who lunch lie naked in baths of  crude oil, believing, as did Marco Polo, that the warming effects of 40C crude  cure skin diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and even ‘nerves’.

Medical science says that, beyond ten  minutes, the effects are…

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