European Themis Is After Oligarchs from Central Asia

In Europe investigations have been started in relation to several current and former oligarchs from the countries of Central Asia. Gulnara Karimova, Maksim Bakiyev and Rakhat Aliyev are suspected to have broken the law.


The year of 2012 has given several unpleasant surprises for the oligarchs from Central Asia, who earlier eagerly transferred their funds to Europe, and in case of prosecuting applied here for political asylum.


Swedish Surprise for Uzbek Business-Lady


The eldest daughter of the President of Uzbekistan, a famous business-lady Gulnara Karimova has become the object for Swedish reporters’ investigation.  And following Mass Media the bodies of prosecutor’s offices of Sweden and Switzerland got down to study the circumstances of the deal of Swedish-Finnish telecommunication company TeliaSonera and Swiss company Takilant, founded there by two persons of closest environment of the daughter of Uzbek President.


Investigators are searching for proofs of giving a bribe by TeliaSonera to Ghulnara Karimova via a mediator represented by Takilant in order to get a license for operation of Scandinavian company in Uzbekistan. Mass Media report that in Sweden officially two managers of TeliaSonera are being suspected under this case, that in Europe already significant amounts of money from the accounts of Takilant have been arrested, and that the same investigation is in the process in Switzerland related with this company and Karimov.


FBI and GW against Maksim Bakiyev


In its turn British justice spoils the spirit of Maksim Bakiyev. But its increased attention to the son of the former President of Kirgizia was attracted not by reporters, but by  the detectives of FBI. They are grounding on that Bakiyev jr. took part in a criminal conspiracy to perform a fraud with securities and impede justice. In October the USA forwarded in London the request for Maksim Bakiyev extradition.


December 7th, London court postponed hearings on extradition till May 2013. A source in Washington at terms of anonymity informed DW that Bakiyev has a possibility one more time to appeal against the court’s decision, however the bodies of justice in the USA are convinced that there are more than enough legal grounds for extradition and that it will take place in 2013.


In Great Britain itself the clouds are also getting darker over the head of Maksim Bakiyev. November 19th a nongovernmental organization (GW), dealing with the issues of corruption, in its press-release listed the arguments in favor of that the activity of the oligarch should become the subject of attention of detectives in Britain itself. According to GW a part of suspicious money operations performed with the help of Bakiyev jr. is connected with this country.




Just as Maksim Bakiyev, Mukhtar Ablyazov escaped from Kazakhstan also to London, although the former main shareholder of BTA-Bank went there not as a person recently having relations with power, but with the reputation of a long-standing critic of Kazakhstani authorities. But Astana demands from London not only extradition of the opposer-banker but also return of the money withdrawn from the country, as the prosecutor’s office of Kazakhstan states with the help of fraud schemes.


London’s High Court in February 2012 convicted Ablyazov to 22 months of prison for disrespect to the court (as it became known, Ablyazov presented to the court faulty information about his bank accounts). But the court’s decision wasn’t fulfilled as the disgraced banker escaped already from London. Since then his location hasn’t been known. And this didn’t impede the Court of Appeal of Great Britain on November 6th, 2012 to leave the decision of the High Court in power. But as DW was reported by one of the sources, related to London case, British detectives are not going to start active searchs of Ablyazov in near future.


Rakhat Aliyev’s Secrets


And German MPs have got interested in another Kazakhstani escaped oligarch – Rakhat Aliyev. In the beginning of 2000 then the son-in-law of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev influenced policy and business in Kazakhstan not less than Maksim Bakiyev in Kirgizia in the end of 2000s. But having got into disgrace in Astana, Aliyev in 2007 moved to Europe. Now here they have a whole list of investigations and court processes towards him. Also in Germany.


The source of DW in Berlin, who asked not to uncover his name, reported that the Krefeld prosecutor’s office leads an investigation towards Aliyev on the case of money laundering. According to the source, in 2013 the prosecutor’s office shall release its decision on whether they have enough evidences to issue a charge or the case is to be closed.


The wish of people possessing information on these cases to remain anonymous also attracts attention. Partly it can be explained by the collision happened with the deputy’s request in the end of November 2012 forwarded to the government of the Federative Republic of Germany and related to the information on criminal cases towards Ablyazov and Aliyev in the EU states, as well as on investigations, led by German justice in relation to Aliyev.


In the document forwarded on December 13 to Bundestag the government reports that to reply the deputy’s request they used data from the Federal Investigation Service (BND), and the reply itself is not subjected to go public, as the persons interested can extract information from its content and affect successful work of authorized bodies.


The government of Germany is ready to give information, which is classified to the special storage of Bundestag (to visit which the deputies will have to get a special permission). Further the government notified the deputies that it was not authorized to express its line on the investigations, led by German justice against Aliyev. And it doesn’t possess information about allegedly started investigations towards Ablyazov and Aliyev in other EU states.