Will They Come for Daulbayev?

The sentencing of former Chief of Kazakhstan National Security Nartay Dutbayev has been widely discussed both in Kazakhstan and abroad. There is nothing surprising here – it is not customary, even for the post-Soviet countries, to send former security senior officers to prison. This recent development, however, may be just a beginning.

Based on our sources, the criminal case filed against former BTA Bank managers Ulugbek Maksatbekuuly and his wife Zhamilya Maksatbek (Sarsembayeva) by the Almaty branch of the National Bureau of Anti-Corruption Agency for Civil Service Affairs may become a precedent and surprise us with some new dominant names.

We had already informed the readers about this affair in our July article “On Maksatbekuuly Case”.  In it, we pointed out that the aforementioned persons assumed the senior positions in BTA Bank after its former disfavored Chairman Muhtar Ablyazov had left it.

In other words, the crimes they have been accused of have nothing to do with Ablyazov. These crimes had been committed during the time when the bank was run by such well-known Kazakhstan financiers as Arman Dunayev (former Deputy Minister of Finance) and Anvar Saydenov (former Chair of the National Bank).

The problem is that, starting from February 2009, groups of “rescuers” formed in the bank middle-management had constantly been coming and going. Therefore, it is practically impossible to predict who, apart from Ulugbek Maksatbekuuly and his wife, may become the target of the law-enforcement agencies. There is talk among former BTA employees and people close to them that Nikolay Varenko and Pavel Prosyankin (former deputies of the bank’s chairmen) are now forbidden to enter Kazakhstan. We, however, cannot verify these rumors.

At the same time, based on the information from our sources, two more people have now become persons of interest for the National Bureau of Anti-Corruption Agency.

First is Askhat Daulbayev, former Attorney General.

Second is Andrey Kravchenko, former Deputy Attorney General.

We have information, that Ulugbek Maksatbekuuly who prior to coming to BTA Bank had worked as a designated employee in the Public Prosecution Office gave exhaustive testimony against them.

Note that this testimony covers not so much the embezzlement on the part of Daylbayev and Kravchenko as the abuse of their power including the unlawful and inappropriate spending of the BTA funds that were, supposedly, used for judicial persecution of Mukhtar Ablyazov and his allies around the world. Keep in mind that we are talking about a gigantic sum here – about half a billion dollars.

We will not try to predict how the further investigation of the criminal case against Ulugbek Maksatbekuuly and Zhamilya Maksatbek (Sarsembayeva) is going to unravel and who will eventually end up on the wrong side of the bar with them. Obviously, the decision on who will be held responsible will be made in the Akorda’s highest circles. And this decision will, not least of all, depend on the power balance and the private interests among Nursultan Nazarbayev’s nearest circles.

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