Hasn’t Khrapunov Managed to Legalize Dubious Funds?

Switzerland has arrested the accounts of the ex-Akim of Almaty.


The Prosecutor’s Office of Switzerland has started investigation towards the ex-Akim of Almaty Viktor Khrapunov. According to Swiss TV Channel RTS, the Prosecutor Jean-Bernard Schmid shall analyze the sources of funds, invested by Kazakhstani family into Swiss business-projects.


The TV channel reports that the accounts have been arrested in the banks Credit Suisse, and also Schroder & CO, except for that bank documents have been withdrawn. Edition’s journalists report, that the Khrapunovs, who have lived and perfectly accommodated in Geneva for many years, will have to explain the sources of their fortune which is estimated to be more than 300 million francs (about 324 million USD). Justice of Geneva shall find out, whether the Khrapunovs family enriches itself in a legal way.


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It’s specified that the authorities of Switzerland act on the basis of first aid request, sent this spring by the authorities of Kazakhstan. RTS TV Channel reporters have managed to learn the details of how Viktor Khrapunov, ex-Governor of Almaty (from 1997 till 2004) used his position to help his wife Leila Khrapunova to become even more reach. “More than 70 land parcels and buildings, belonging to the budget of Kazakhstan, were captured by Viktor Khrapunov … Profits of these deals reach the amount of 250 million USD”, – the reporters of the TV channel quote a part of the document.


The TV channel reminds, that Viktor Khrapunov arrived in Switzerland in 2007 together with his wife Leila, who is considered a successful businesswoman. Their 27-years old son Ilyas, an employee of Geneva developing company, is also under investigation. Fame came to the young man during his activity over the project Genève-Plage, which is now in stand-by. His developing company works within the direction of improvement of luxurious realty objects within the total territory of Switzerland. The Prosecutor Jean-Bernard Schmid hopes that soon he’ll meet Viktor Khrapunov, who by the way, refused to comment on the situation.


Except for that the reporters of the TV channel possess other documented samples of illegal activity of the ex-Akim. Thus, for example, it was found out that in 2001 a building of a kindergarten was privatized, when Mr. Khrapunov, being an Akim of Almaty, helped the company related with his wife Leila, to win an auction for a greater amount – almost 400 million USD.  Except for that according to the documents, in 2003 Mrs. Khrapunova sold property for more than 14 million USD without investing promised amounts into the objects. These millions, according to the investigation, within the period between 2003 and 2007 flew to the accounts in Geneva banks Credit Suisse and Schroder & Co Bank AG, registered for the daughter of Khrapunov Elvira. In July of 2011 Kazakhstan under the line of Interpol issued an arrest warrant on Viktor Khrapunov. Switzerland, as reporters of the TV channel specify, hasn’t received an extradition request yet.


Meanwhile the family of ex-Akim of Almaty denies all the accusations, underlining that they were the victims of political revenge of Nursultan Nazarbayev and his family, referring himself to the to the category of “political opponents”. “The Government has initiated against me a legal action to fear me and force me to keep silent. Justice of Kazakhstan is under control of the Government”, - said Viktor Khrapunov for the RTS channel in June. “People like me, who know, where did the funds of Nazarbayev family come from, are of trouble for them”, - he added.


Ex-official declared that family happiness was built for the funds of his wife – Leila Khrapunova, whom the ex-Akim called “a forward-looking business-lady”… Channel’s reporters reminded, that Khrapunov trapped in banishment of the President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev in 2007 and was forced to leave the country “due to health”. Khrapunov’s son Ilyas, notes the TV channel, is married to Madine – daughter of a billionaire Mukhtar Ablyazov, escaped from prosecution to London.