Five Key Principles !! Must Read

“Industrial revolution – transition to green economy” is one of the most important panel sessions, held at the VI Astana Economic Forum.

At the forum the President announced the adoption of theImage Concept for Kazakhstan’s transition to “green” economy. The Minister of Environment Protection Nurlan Kapparov said this initiative is beneficial in many ways. According to the Government’s estimations, economic effect of “green” modernization will create 400-600 000 new jobs by 2030, and additional three-percent GDP growth by 2050.

The “green” course will be based on five key principles, in particular, the “Resource Efficiency”, “New generation technologies”, “Social benefits”, “Market price of resources”, and the “New ways of thinking and education”.

It is planned to restore water and land resources, reduce emissions into atmosphere, create a modern industry for disposal of domestic and industrial wastes.

– We will reduce energy intensity by 30% by 2030 and by 50% – in 2050 the share of the total production of alternative and renewable energy sources will be increased up to 50% by 2050, the minister said.

UN Deputy Secretary-General – Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission Sven Alkalaj said transition to the “green” economy is the third industrial revolution, which is discussed much lately. We have to build a model where the renewable resources will be used without any harm to the environment. If we keep consuming thoughtlessly as before, the ecosystem will be destroyed completely.

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Wilhelm Molterer believes the “green” economy alone is able to give an adequate response to the crisis. He talked on the bank’s support for environment protection projects, for example, in Bucharest, with the participation of the EIB, a thermal power plant is under construction to supply power in 20 000 apartments and reduce the cost of utilities. There are also some projects in Finland and Egypt.

The head of the ESCAP Sub-regional Office for North and Central Asia Nikolai Pomoshchnikov talked on the same issues and offered to act together.

– Joint partnership can reduce risks, associated with transition to “green” economy, – he said.

The managing director of Carbon Limit company T. Hoagland brought up compliance of the dependence on cheap energy on the one hand, and the “green” growth – on the other. In this regard, the expert noted that radical strategies are always associated with some challenges and risks. Therefore, staking on alternative energy sources such as wind and helium stations, a back-up power is need. After all, there are not always sunny and windy days.

Another important aspect is competitiveness of the new generating capacities. In this regard, the natural gas is the most profitable source in the “green” economy context. But even the gas can not hold competition to coal – traditional source of power of Kazakhstan thermal stations.

N. Kapparov said “green” modernization requires involvement of joint public and private investments of up to 2% of GDP annually.

Vice-Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Madina Abylkasymova, director of the Munich office of McKinsey & Company Martin Stuchtey, Dr Promode Kant- director of the Institute of Green Economy and others made presentations at the meeting.

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Nazarbayev’s Youngest Grandson Getting Married

Kazakhstan President’s youngest grandson Aisultan is getting ready for the wedding ceremony, KazTAG reports citing Nazarbayevs’ family friends.


“Aisultan has decided to get married. The pre-wedding ceremony has already been performed and the wedding preparations have started. We cannot give the name of the bride yet. We can just say that she is well-raised and educated,” the family friends said and added that the bride’s father headed of one of Kazakhstan-Russian joint ventures.

“The most important is that they respect their parents and love each other,” the speakers said. 23-y.o. Aisultan Nazarbayev is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Great Britain. After coming back to Kazakhstan, he served as a lieutenant in the military intelligence system of Kazakhstan Defense Ministry.

Back in England Aisultan played in the youth division of English football clubs Portsmouth and Chelsea and used to be in the reserve team of Astana club in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has three daughters (Dariga, Dinara and Aliya), three grandsons (Nurali, Altai and Aisultan), five granddaughters (Venera, Deniza, Alisha, Tiara and Alsara), great-granddaughter Laura and great-grandson Alan.

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Why Park of Innovation Technologies is Gaining Pace ?

Special economic zone “Park of innovative technologies” near Almaty has made a significant breakthrough in its development in recent years.

Kazakhstan News

The active construction of new facilities on its territory is an encouraging fact. This is a clear sign that the business believes in the state’s intention to develop and introduce innovations.

According to general director of SEZ PIT Nurlan Kopbosynov, convenient location of the park – half an hour drive from the largest city of the country, which has a powerful intellectual potential, gives great promise. Those who have innovative ideas or developments can safely come here to implement their plans in reality.

If, before 2006, there were 28 companies, today their number increased to 167, – he said. – This breakthrough has been achieved thanks to the personal attention of President Nursultan Nazarbayev who is the chairman of the board of trustees, the tools of state support, in particular innovation grants and the state program of business -incubation.

The Park has also two manufacturing modules for innovative production and this year they have been loaded at 100%. According to Kopbosynov, the work goes on schedule; new productions are launched and there are a lot of interesting projects in SEZ. Thus a subsidiary of the JSC “Kazakhtelecom” is building a modern center for information technologies’ management. The Oil and Gas Institute, KBTU, International University of Information Technologies launched the construction of their facilities.

– One domestic firm is ready to transfer their business on the manufacturing of fiber line from Singapore to our park and such global company like LG also intends to place their production there, – said director of the park.

Although PIT operates as a special economic zone, where the companies are exempt from the corporate and property taxes, they pay the individual corporate tax, social security tax and VAT. In 2012 alone KZT 800 million of taxes was paid to the budget. And since its establishment the state budget has already received from the residents of the park more than 2 billion tenge of taxes and other obligatory payments.

The shareholders of the first national technology park study the experience of similar international projects. One of the immediate tasks is the creation of design bureaus to promote and implement engineering ideas and solutions in specific models and prototypes.

As known, the state allocated on a competitive basis the innovation grants for these purposes. By the way, last year the engineers who won a similar grant and installed off-line energy-efficient lighting equipment in its territory, now plan to commercialize this invention.

The SEZ has concluded a memorandum of cooperation with all national technical universities in Almaty. The main objective is to find ideas among students and young scientists. Their projects are discussed at special seminars. The students have an incentive and real opportunity to embody their ideas. Thus, only in 2012 three innovative applications came from the International Institute of Information Technologies.

As known, even the most brilliant start-up project requires initial capital. And one of the main goals of the PIT is to facilitate obtaining of supportive tools for these projects. These resources are provided by the NATR, Fund “Damu” and Fund of science.

The upcoming exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana is one of the main priorities of the SEZ, which by its nature must be at the forefront of “green” technologies. The construction of the second phase of the Park is planned for the near future, and according to designers’ idea these buildings will have the elements of “smart home” and “green” technologies. Another good piece of news is that the village Alatau will soon be supplied with gas, which in turn will significantly reduce energy costs for producers.

It is expected that a new bill, developed by RK MINT on the status of SEZ PIT will provide its rapid development. It should be noted that this project has a great social impact, including the creation of new jobs for local residents. Last year, about 100 citizens, mostly young people were employed there with an average salary of about 100 thousand tenge. It is planned that the park will open about 12,000 new jobs.

To support domestic producer

Today the work of any modern industry is unthinkable without the use of IT. The branches “responsible” for communications, telecommunications and the Internet provide information security; therefore it is important for any country to have its own production in this area. According to Nurlan Zhanibekov, director of the company ELTEXALAU, involved in the development and production of telecommunication devices (more than 60 items in total), in quality and price domestic products are not inferior to European and Chinese analogues, and even higher in many parameters.

– Unfortunately, support of domestic producers is often narrowed down to the organization of presentations, exhibitions, and summary reports. But it must be daily work on the study of procurement plans of national companies, analysis of entrepreneurs’ proposals on cooperation, the number of contracts signed with them, and the products purchased abroad – said the businessman. – If we set the task to raise domestic production, it is necessary to take firmer actions.

For example, in South Korea, from where he returned a few days ago, the mechanism of state support to promote domestic producers actually works. There they provide the loading of companies with orders, attraction of investments and consumers. And this policy is supported by every official in this country. -I wonder, what prevents our national companies from showing patriotism and buying domestic products? – He asked rhetorically.

Preserving traditions

The scientific community in the Alatau village was formed on the base of the Institute of Nuclear Physics. According to its Deputy Director for Research and Methodology, Professor Nasurlla Burtebayev, this institution, established over fifty years ago and its intellectual potential played a significant role in creating a special culture environment in this town.

There is still that scientific atmosphere and aura, for which the town has always been famous, – said the scientist. – And the Park’s creation breathed a new life into it and filled it with a new content. Therefore, it is advisable to keep for the village the status of science city.

Today the Institute of Nuclear Physics employs about 300 scientists and soon campuses and dormitories of the leading technical universities will “settle” there. The preservation of traditions and continuity between generations is a fine example for the new residents of the village.

N. Burtebayev quoted a remarkable fact. It turns out that according to statistics, the health and lifetime of its population are higher than the average figures for Almaty city. He believes this is the result of high level of culture and atmosphere that prevails in the village, created by the intellectual environment.

The life in the village at the foot of snow-white peaks of Alatau has got a second wind. The energy of young people and their intellectual potential are the components of any success.


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Nuclear Power Stations May Produce Cheapest Energy in Kazakhstan

Nuclear power stations may produce cheapest energy in Kazakhstan

Nuclear power stations may become a source of cheap energy in Kazakhstan, reports citing the National Nuclear Center.

The scientists said that heat energy produced by thermal power plants working on coal is considered the cheapest energy in Kazakhstan. These stations produce 80 percent of the country’s energy. The cost of one kWh of electricity at heat power plants is around 5.5 tenge ($0.04). This value is mainly based on fuel costs, as all the plants were built dozens of years ago and do not require investments return. However, taking into account the worn-out state of the thermal power plants and their poor environmental friendliness, Kazakhstan needs to build more advanced thermal power plants or switch to other energy sources.

“Cost of the energy produced at nuclear power plant’s energy blocks with the capacity of 1,000 MW is quite competitive by the cost with the energy produced by thermal power plants. The energy blocks with less capacity are more efficient and are good for local needs (Western energy zone of the country considered for construction of the energy blocks with a capacity of up to 300 MW in Aktau),” the experts said.

According to the scientists, self-cost of the nuclear energy is mostly defined by the costs of the station’s construction costs rather than its fuel costs, unlike in cases of the existing thermal power plants. “The fuel component in the cost of the energy produced by nuclear power stations does not exceed 25 percent, while it makes 50-80 percent in the thermal power stations working on organic fuel,” the experts said. The global experience shows that the cost of 1 kWh of nuclear energy makes around 3.5 cents or 5.25 tenge. That means that the energy at new nuclear power stations may be cheaper than at the existing coal thermal power plants that require additional investments for modernization.

Wind, hydro and solar stations could be sources of renewable energy in Kazakhstan. However, the energy generated by such stations will be much more expensive. The cost of the energy has to include the investment component. For example a wind generator unit will require significant investments and the equipment will cost around $2-2.5 thousand per every kW of the capacity. With this aspect included the cost of the generated energy will reach 20-25 tenge ($0.13-0.17) per 1kWh.

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First nuclear power plants may be built in Balkhash and East-Kazakhstan oblast

Apr 18. Tengrinews

By Dmitriy Khegai

Balkhash, Aktau and Kurchatov (East-Kazakhstan oblast) are being considered as likely locations for construction of nuclear plants in Kazakhstan, reports citing Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center.

The areas of possible construction of the nuclear plants were defined considering the oblast’s energy consumption and development of power networks in the region. “Construction of the nuclear plants as the key points of the energy networks close to big cities (at Balkhash lake, in Kurchatov) is preferable as it is practical to create the core generating capacities based on unified nuclear power station blocks with the unit capacity of up to 600 MW to be increased to 1,000 MW after modernization of Kazakhstan’s energy system,” the experts said and added that a power plant could also be built in Aktau, but the capacity of its energy blocks should not exceed 300 MW.

The researchers also named several countries that were expected to take part in the international tender for construction of the nuclear power station in Kazakhstan. “Relying on the global experience of the nuclear energy development and considering the fact that it is based on the light-water reactors (80 percent of the existing energy blocks), it is practical to develop nuclear energy in Kazakhstan on the basis of LWR-type reactors of II and III+ generation. There are not many such projects in the world and not many countries have them: Japan, the U.S., South Korea and the EU,” the experts said.

According to the forecasts, the power energy deficit will be faced by Kazakhstan in general and by several of its regions in particular starting from 2015. The required cumulative capacity of the new plants to eliminate the deficiency will make around 6,600 MW by 2030.

Earlier head of the Nuclear Energy Institute of Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center stated that Kazakhstan may become a leader by export of energy among CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries in the post soviet space after switching to nuclear energy.

Yergazy Kenzhin thinks that nuclear power stations are feasible as basic energy sources that could become a “core” for the whole energy system of Kazakhstan.


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A Man Who Fulfilled His Dream

Serikbai Bisekeyev has become the first Kazakhstan businessman to win the Ernst & Young Company’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Bisekeyev who is based in St. Petersburg, founded and runs the Arman (Dream) Company.

man with his dreamThe most famous in the world independent international award “Entrepreneur of the Year”, by the way, also called a business “Oscar”, was handed to Serikbai Bisekeyev by experts of Ernst & Young – one of the largest professional service firms in the world and one of the “Big Four” accounting firms (along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Today Serikbai Bisekeyev is the founder and owner of a company with highly symbolic name “Arman” (translated as “dream” from Kazakh), involved in the manufacture of equipment in the field of system integration. First the company “Arman” only supplied similar equipment from Germany. Just in a few years, already in 2005, the partnership evolved from the supplier of innovations to their producer with the access to foreign markets. But it was later…

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A certificate with honors at school and achievements in sports in the oblast center Kustanai, opened broad opportunities for the young man: to be admitted to any university of the republic without entrance exams. But he did not want to go with the stream and left for Leningrad to study in the Polytechnic Institute named after M.Kalinin, which was famous then throughout the Soviet Union. He dreamed of becoming a design engineer in mechanical industry. “I wanted to invent a Soviet Mercedes,” – he said. But time made corrections in his plans.

There was a difficult period of the 90’s with empty shelves, food coupons, the worst in the CIS criminal situation and not the best attitude to newcomers…. Business shrewdness and restless temper did not allow him to “sit still”, and forced to permanently look for new niches to apply his talents. He worked in the student construction teams, and then was engaged in commerce and sport activity.

After the graduation he established a brokerage company together with his friends and also with his partner, as a provider of cell phone services, he participated in the development of GSM cellular communications in the CIS, and a little later opened a unique network of shops which sold cell phones.

– We always financed our business with our own money, unlike other competitors who took loans and at that period were ahead of us in development. But crisis in 1998 changed everything. Despite the fact that we were making good progress, I decided to continue my study as I was distinctly aware of my lack of business knowledge – says Serikbai Bisekeyev.

In 1999 after training course at the Stockholm Business School he decided to create his own project.

– Why did you turn your attention to commercial communications and what prompted you to establish your own production?

– I had a major resource – knowledge of how to build a company in accordance with international practice. I knew that any business based on the principle of “buy/sell” can not be innovative, but I wanted to create innovative technologies. Yes, we had a prospering company at that time, in addition to mobile communications, we sold mini-ATS and equipment for mass market, but nobody was seriously engaged in industrial solutions then. This niche was free and I decided to take it.

As it has been already mentioned, in its early years the company only sold imported equipment of dispatcher services to industrial enterprises, as most of them invested in production technologies and continued to use the Soviet analogue connection. At the same time, oil and gas companies had large investment budgets to modernize facilities and Serikbai Bisekeyev, anticipating a good market conjuncture, decided to focus on them. Time has proved correctness of this strategy.

For 5 years of distributing the international brands of industrial communications, the firm “Arman” became a supplier of the largest companies in the country and gained sound experience. Then Bisekeyev, as he himself said, “dared to a mad step” – to organize production of the Russian digital dispatch communications under the brand “Armtel.” He gathered a team of the best programmers from around the world, contractors to make mainframes and manufacturers of communication boards.

– We did not employ the staff for all stages of production, in contrast to our competitors, and thereby we expanded the field of maneuvers with manufacturers, and concentrated on the quality of products – says Bisekeyev. All this took effect, and the reputation and brand image of our company began to grow, as well as the number of our customers.

Over the years of its activity, the company of our compatriot rose from the supplier of German communication equipment to the manufacturer and world leader in the industry of technologies and system integration. At present “Arman” company employs 230 specialists who implement turn-key projects. Working on modern standards they created their own product and solutions that are in demand around the world. And Serikbai Bisekeev does not intend to rest on his laurels.

Recently, during the national TV teleconference, RK President Nursultan Nazarbayev has tasked the government with finding entrepreneurs to promote Kazakhstan’s innovations at international level, emphasizing that the task for the republic is to form a critical mass of innovators and to introduce the latest technologies and expand production, while the state will support domestic producers.

– I was happy to know that Kazakhstan won the bid to host EXPO 2017, and doubly happy about its theme – “Energy of the Future.” Kazakhstan has the best conditions in the world for the development of alternative energy. So we decided to participate in this program and to build a wind farm in Kazakhstan, – says our countryman. In addition we take an active part in the creation of productions in Kazakhstan.

For instance we established near Almaty city the production of energy units with new generators that are cooled by air. Usually the generators used around the world are cooled by oil. And as known the cost of the contract for annual maintenance and service of oil generators is equal in monetary terms to the price of the generator itself. We offer the state to move to the concept of “cost of ownership”, which includes the capital costs, expenditures on fuel and consumables, and service of personnel during its operation. In this case the state will not have to conclude contracts for expensive servicing. Moreover, it will receive an effective solution and save public money.

You work in different countries, what do you make of the economic situation in our republic and where it is easier to do business: in neighboring states or in Kazakhstan?

– Kazakhstan invites knowledgeable consultants, and they help to choose the right trend, but the laws are somewhat behind. Kazakh President is making in this direction effective steps to increase Kazakh content, create skilled jobs, which is not observed in Russia. And I am impressed by this. Also effective control is necessary over the execution of his initiatives and orders.

– What would you wish to the younger generation of Kazakhstan?

– Kazakhstan has a plenty of possibilities. I am sure that hard-working, dedicated people will always have the opportunity for self- fulfillment. We need to learn, to gain knowledge, to strive for becoming professionals.

We need to realize that everything depends on us and we can influence all the processes around us. Nobody will build the future for us.


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The Khrapunov case’s Swiss laundering allegation challenge: where did the cash come from?

Both on the Interpol wanted list on behalf of the authorities of Kazakhstan, with a formal request for extradition from their hide-out in Switzerland, the former mayor of Almaty Viktor Khrapunov and his spouse Leyla are now also the subject of a judicial investigation in their hideout in Switzerland for alleged money-laundering. The burden of proof, however, lies by and large on the side of Kazakh prosecutors and their investigators. While the money has been transferred to Switzerland in a regular-looking manner and invested into objects not of criminal or otherwise illegal origin, it is now up to the Kazakh side to supply sufficient proof that the money has indeed been obtained by illicit means, not just to Kazakh but also to Swiss legal standards. Only in this way Swiss authorities can proceed with money laundering charges, which could make the couple end up in a Swiss prison for a maximum period of five years.


Kazakhstan News

In (American) legal jargon, what Khrapunov has on his record in Kazakhstan could best be defined as a so-called scam. “A scam is a deceptive or fraudulent business scheme, related to swindles, cons, fraud and the like,” – according to a global legal NGO called Global Legal Resources ( which serves as a communication link for lawyers around the world, The most common intent of the scam artist or con artist is to obtain money, property and/or goods through illegal or deceitful means.” In the case of Khrapunov, the main tool to accomplish the scam has been abuse of public authority – leading to plots of land with high speculative value at undervalued prices, to be sold later through “connected” corporate chains at market value, with the revenue to be funneled to Swiss bank accounts with the cooperation of Khrapunov’s spouse and two children. Since 2007, the entire family lives in Switzerland where they have applied for political asylum while pouring hundreds of millions in Swiss francs into real estate and project development assets. The Swiss authorities have opened an investigation into the origin of all that money – but the burden of proof remains on the shoulders of Kazakh prosecutors, currently engaged in gathering proof enough to make a case of money laundering in the Helvetian Confederation.

Exemplary schemes include a nursery centre on the upside of Almaty’s Furmanova Street, located in the uppity business neighbourhood under development. On December 26, 2001 – more than four years after Viktor Khrapunov entered Almaty’s City Hall, a tender written out on his instruction was won by a firm called KazRealIncome, which obtained the site for the price of 52 million Kazakh tenge, with the commitment to reconstruct, refurbish and expand the centre at the cost of 464 million tenge (at the time, the tenge stood at around 120 to the US dollar). Nothing happened afterwards, until on September 26 2003 the site appeared on KRI’s list of “fixed assets”. Not that fixed, though, as it would appear – for on 1 October KRI sold the property for 52 million tenge to another private enterprise called Karasha Plus, which in turn the same day resold the plot for the same sum to a third firm called Building Service Company. According to documentation provided by the Almaty prosecutor’s office, there was little more and little less than the mayor’s spouse, Leyla Khrapunova, behind the three firms involved. On October 16, Madam Leyla finally sold the BSC, including all its property, to an outside party, apparently of good faith, called Stroytekh, for the total sum of 2.079 billion tenge.

The money was to be transferred by Stroytekh in chunks to a number of accounts at the Eurasian Development Bank, which is the property of three Kazakh tycoons, Patokh Chodiyev, Alizhan Ibrahimov and Alexander Mashkevich (the two former are of ethnic Uzbek origin while the latter comes from a Russian Jewish family), who also control one of Kazakhstan’s largest mining and metal enterprises Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. From there, the cash was transferred to bank accounts in Switzerland on the name of Elvira Kudryashova, Viktor Khrapunov’s daughter from his first marriage.

The nursery centre was by no means the only asset that determined the sales value of the Building Service Company by Almaty’s first lady. On August 25 2003, also on Viktor Khrapunov’s order, though apparently with the complicity of a number of City Hall officials, a small but blue-chip site with a glossy plaza building under construction, was confiscated “for public interest” – apparently with the project developer, whose name has not appeared in the public domain, having run into trouble which is nothing unusual in Almaty, or anywhere else in the world for all it matters. On September 25, the plot was sold on behalf of the municipality for 15.6 million tenge to Karasha Plus, which in turn sold it to Building Service Company, thereby adding an estimated half billion tenge to its asset value.

The list in the latest package of I nformation from the authorities is far from complete. Downtown Almaty, at least 16 prime sites have been allocated in closed procedures circumventing all open bidding requirements through corporate stock swaps, facilitated by municipal authorities on Khrapunov’s order and carried out by companies under control of the mayor, in most cases through his spouse and relatives. Some of these larger objects appropriated by the Khrapunovs included a plaza on the corner of Gogolya and Panfilova Streets, apartment and shopping space blocks on Furmanova Street Dostyk Avenue, both on the edges of the uppity business neighbourhood of Samal-2. Further uphill, property, comprising parts of protected natural zones, included a forest site named Wood Fairy Tale and another one known as Oak Grove were purchased by a company called Gulmira Ltd., run by one of the Krapunov pair’s associates by the name of Shebityevov and believed to be closely affiliated to VILED the Khrapunovs’ longstanding key instrumental property enterprise, for the negligible amounts of 1.8 and 2.1 million tenge respectively. Public property has also been sold illegally to another one among Khrapunov’s shell firms called Phoenix Unlimited, run by a certain G. Mukashev, who in particular obtained blue-chip locations with permission to demolish the kindergardens, pensioners’ homes and other social facilities located on them, with the aim to build commercial glamour objects on them.

Over summer 2003, Viktor Khrapunov started to look a bit further beyond the outskirts of Almaty, towards the Tien Shan mountain range where a number of rivers and lakes are located which provice the city with the bulk of its drinking water. All zones concerned are public property and their sale is strictly forbidden by law. Yet, in the second half of 2003 Viktor Khrapunov and his team of associates managed to sell on the municipality’s behalf a number of sites located within the area totalling 8.7331 hectare, to a company (either KazRealIncome, Karasha Plus or yet another unnamed firm) in which Leyla Khrapunova initially had a stake of 51 per cent and later of 100 per cent, which subsequently sold most of the plots of land for the total sum of 1.18 billion tenge to BSC, while the remainder was bought by a company called Asian Development Holding for 111 million tenge. It is not clear whether the assets resulting from the deal came to BSC before or after Leyla Khrapunova sold the enterprise. What has become clear is that the Asian Development Holding was under control of Ilyas Khrapunov, then already residing in Switzerland with his half-sister, and that little later he sold the enterprise to Elias Import Export, a firm based on the British Virgin Islands and also believed to be owned by Ilyas. The revenue of that sale is supposed to have stood at 7.57 million US dollar, $5.32 million of which was wired to Ilyas’ Swiss bank account and $2.2 million ton Elvira’s.

According to the latest information made available by Kazakh authorities, the last known property scam took place in 2004, not long before Viktor Khrapunov left the City Hall of Almaty to obtain the post of minister of emergencies in the Kazakh cabinet. In early spring, he singed a decree for the sale of 2.6321 hectare of land, consisting of two plots, also located in freshwater resource-holding zones. In late 2005, both sites were sold to a certain A. Khachaturian for the sum of 1.223 billion tenge. This time, the trail of corporate tools apparently having been liquidated, the money was directly transferred to Leyla’s personal accounts, from where it found its way to Switzerland. In all, between 2003 and 2007, Elvira Kudryashova alone appears to have received 40.873 million US dollar and 7.769 million euro on her accounts at Banque Schroeder & Co and Crédit Suisse.

The overall aim in revealing the abuses the Khrapunovs are being charged with can be seen as threefold: 1/ to bring the culprits to justice, 2/ to get the stolen property and cash back and 3/ to discourage others from following the culprits’ example. The task is global, and enormous it is, encompassing a kaleidoscope of issues including sense, behavior, strategy and harmonization. Worldwide, economic crime, better known as white-collar crime as opposed to traditional cloak-and-dagger crime, has existed since the dawning of civilization, mainly in the form of swindle in trade, market orchestration and administrative extortion and kickbacks on various levels. Today, geopolitical protectionism, often accompanied by economic protectionism, is being abused by crime which is becoming better and better organised with the often successful aim to outmatch law enforcement. Sacrificing nations’ territorial integrity for the latter’s sake is out of the question – since the harm in terms of loss of control by populations over their authorities would exceed the benefit of limitless law enforcement globalisation by far – most of all because there is no such thing as global law in the legal sense of the term.

Finding a formula, therefore, that leaves the principle of territorial integrity intact while facilitating the race against those who mean to abuse it to protect ill-gotten gains, is a task which politicians with clout in the world so far have failed to meet. Harmonising legislations could be a first step – meaning bringing excessive penalties in some countries back to more humane levels and closing gaps and loopholes in some other jurisdictions – especially tax havens where bounties can easily be kept out of reach. Furthermore, globalizing jurisdiction is a measure that should be taken with extreme caution and with plenty of safeguards against political abuses and only to be applied in well-defined cases. Academic institutes, other think-tanks and individuals could help to formulate rules and conditions needed for such an operational structure – even though they should realise from the very beginning that the last word is to the people and people’s “organic motivation” to create a society where opportunities are available with realistic limits to opportunism and subsequent abuse.

In this regard, the Swiss Criminal Code in its prohibition and penalization of money laundering (see below) stretches pretty far – even further than in many a country having a better reputation for its measures against corruption and other forms of financial and economic crime. In Britain, where two Kazakh banks, Alliance and BTA, who have been victimised by multi-billion-dollar embezzlements committed by their former managements and controlling shareholders (for all it matters, it should be recalled that Ilyas Khrapunov is married to the daughter of former BTA president and controlling shareholder Mukhtar Ablyazov, now on the run from Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian and English justice alike, and some observers tend to suspect “synergies in crime” between the two families), the location of the crime is closely connected with jurisdiction over it – leading to legal battles between accused and their victims with no end in sight. In Switzerland, however, the location of the money laundering operation (these days, the cyberspace could be considered the location where money changes hands and colour) does not belong to criteria of jurisdiction – which should give the Kazakh side in the causa Khrapunova some hope for justice to be carried out.

Art. 305bis Swiss Criminal Code

1. Whoever carries out an act that is aimed at frustrating the identification of the origin, the tracing or the confiscation of assets which he knows or must assume originate from a felony, is liable to a custodial sentence of up to three years or to a monetary penalty.

2. In serious cases, the penalty is a custodial sentence of up to five years or a monetary penalty. A custodial sentence shall be combined with a monetary penalty of up to 500 daily penalty units. A serious case is constituted, in particular, when the offender:

a. acts as a member of a criminal organization;
c. acts as a member of a group that has been formed for the purpose of the continued conduct of money laundering activities; or
e. achieves a large turnover or substantial profit through commercial money laundering.
3. The offender shall also be liable to the foregoing penalties where the principal offense was committed abroad within a jurisdiction provided such an act is also an offense at the place of commission.


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Hello world

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