Team Russia22:50 13.06.2017
Tevfik Arif was born Tofic Arifov in Cambul in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in May 1953. He received an international relations degree from a Moscow university. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Arif worked for the USSR’s Ministry of Commerce and Trade for 17 years. He served as the deputy director of its Department of Hotel Management. Arif resigned from the ministry in 1991 and founded Speciality Chemicals Trading Company, an export-import business trading in rare metals, chrome, and raw materials. He then worked as an «agent on the ground» in Kazakhstan for Trans World Group, a natural resources company run by David and Simon Reuben.
Arif moved to Turkey in 1993. He had owned the Turkish jewellery business Alset Dis Ticaret since 1979. In 1999, Arif partnered with the Rixos hotel chain to open the Labada luxury hotel in Antalya, Turkey.
Following the independence of Kazakhstan, Arif and his brother secured ownership of ACCP, a chromium plant in Aktobe that had headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. The brothers developed ties to the Kazakh Trio — Alexander Mashkevitch, Patokh Chodiev, and Alijan Ibragimov. They later established offshore real estate companies to fund high-end developments in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.
In 2001, Arif moved some of his businesses to the United States and founded the Bayrock Group, a real estate development company. He began developing property in Brooklyn, first redeveloping Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza, a waterfront shopping center in Sheepshead Bay. Arif was originally the sole employee of Bayrock, later hiring Felix Sater as managing director.
After moving the Bayrock Group to Trump Tower, Arif developed a relationship with billionaire businessman Donald Trump. Trump provided a licensing deal for theTrump SoHo hotel in a joint venture between the Bayrock Group and the Sapir Organisation. In 2007, Bayrock traded future profits from Trump SoHo and other projects in exchange for $50 million in financing from Icelandic company FL Group. The arrangement led Bayrock’s finance director to file racketeering lawsuits, alleging that money was diverted to people outside the company, including Salvatore Lauria, an associate of Sater’s.
Trump and Bayrock later developed the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale. Arif also worked to introduce Trump to investors from Russia. Through Bayrock, Arif collaborated with Trump on projects in Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Arizona, Colorado, New York, and Florida.
Arif is believed to live in Turkey.In 2012, he had links to the ownership of Port Washington mansion.
The former Soviet commerce and trade official founded Bayrock. In the early 1990s, Arif emigrated from Kazakhstan to Turkey, where he developed a hotel chains. A couple years later he moved to New York, founded Bayrock, and eventually opened up an office in the Trump Tower in NYC. Arif appears to have links to Kazakhstan, and in particularly, the Eurasia Group.
He also was accused of running a sex trafficking ring in Turkey.