On Maksatbekuulu Case

The law-enforcement “dance” around BTA Bank it seems has started its second round. This time though, the investigation will not concern those who worked at the bank when Mukhtar Ablyazov was in charge. It will affect the so called “rescuers” who came to the bank after its nationalization. The “hit” list is promising to be a long one.

On July 3, 2017, the Sputnik news agency, citing the Almaty public prosecution office, announced a new criminal investigation against unnamed BTA bank employees. “The criminal case against former BTA bank employees is now pending investigation at the anticorruption national bureau in Almaty. A pretrial investigation is currently being conducted on the matter”, the official prosecutor’s comment says.

The prosecution explains that “in the interest of the investigation and in compliance with the criminal code of Kazakhstan, the details of the pretrial investigation cannot be disclosed”.

Based on our sources, former BTA Bank managing directors Ulugbek Maksatbekuulu and his wife Zhamilya Maksatbek (Sarsembayeva) are the key suspects of this investigation. At that, Ulugbek Maksatbekuulu is currently in jail in Astana even though the investigation of his case is being conducted by another agency.

Another oddity lies in the fact that, even though Zhamilya Maksatbek (Sarsembayeva) had been working at the bank starting from 2000, she was nowhere near the top management positions. At the beginning of 2009, she resigned voluntarily and, on February 23, 2009, when the bank was already under the state’s control, she came back to the position of the chairman’s adviser. As for Ulugbek Maksatbekuulu, he had been working at the bank starting from April 7, 2009 when he was employed as the head of analysis and monitoring at the asset restructuring department.

Thus, neither Ulugbek Maksatbekuulu nor his wife had anything to do with what was happening at BTA Bank when it was led and controlled by Mukhtar Ablyazov. Therefore, the Almaty national anticorruption bureau has concerns about what was going on at the bank after its nationalization and under the control of the Samruk-Kazyna national welfare fund.

It is yet hard to predict who else will appear on the suspect list. Perhaps the investigators will have questions for former BTA top managers Arman Dunayev, Anvar Saydenov, Nikolay Varenko, Pavel Prosyankin, and others.

There could be questions as to the correctness of the bank’s assets sale before its first restructuring, the expenditures to pay the lawyers in the UK, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries.

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