Some may say (and quite justly so) that KZ.expert devotes too much time and attention to the investors’ «fight» for Vavilonskoye polymetallic ore field in the East Kazakhstan region. Nonetheless, we do not want to stop commenting on the matter. Our reasons are multi-fold.
First, there is idle curiosity; we would like to know how this story is going to end and who will win «the battle». Second, examining this matter presents a great opportunity to demonstrate, by way of this individual example, how Kazakhstan’s «super-presidential» vertical operates in reality.
The thing is that, in our opinion, the case at hand is typical for modern Kazakhstan since most state officials involved in the decision-making process seem to be corrupt. And they take bribes not only and not so much because they need the money. It’s just that the Kazakh ruling elite does not perceive embezzling governmental funds and abusing authority as a wrong-doing.
Moreover, if a particular official can be «bought», it means that he «belongs», that he is not to be feared and that one can (and should) find common grounds with him.
On the other hand, the reason why the Kazakh ruling elite is so lenient towards thieves and embezzlers of public property, to corrupt officials and other «bad guys» belonging to the «circle of trust» lies in the fact that everyone — starting from the main architect of the authoritarian political system and the «super-presidential» vertical (Nursultan Nazarbayev) and ending with the least influential rural akim — have been involved (and continue to be involved) in this ignoble work.
And they will continue behaving this way until the process of initial accumulation of capital is finished. And the latter can be finished only upon the following conditions. First, when thieves and bribe-takers are removed from power, second, when everything that can be privatised is privatised, third, when most citizens accept the way the public property has been redistributed, fourth, when the market-based relations start dominating most sectors of the economy.
However, we are yet to see it happen. And since we do not believe that Akorda and the Library may independently, i.e. without the public’s involvement, without democratising the political system and practices, defeat corruption and abuse of authority, we will continue analysing and commenting on the «fight» among the investors for such lucrative a project as Vavilonskoye polymetallic ore field.
Especially since the story has taken on a new perspective and introduced a new «character».
In our two previous publications — The Baymishev Show and The Baymishev Show — 2 — we mention the name of Ruslan Nurashevich Baymishev, Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Now then, it looks like we have underestimated the role that this official plays in the «fight».
It can be inferred from the new audio recording that our insiders have shared with us.
But first, let us present several quotes from our articles describing Mr. Baymishev’s role and input in the case at hand.
«According to our insiders, Baymishev maintains official and unofficial contacts with the two key persons — Chairman of MTS-Ertis LLP A. Khatkin and Chairman of SK Atrium LLP Zh. Dzhakishev. Allegedly, both of them intend to obtain the right to sell 90% of MTS-Ertis’ ownership capital to SK Atrium from the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development».
«Consequently to all these events, a new clinch has been formed — the Ministry of Industry is playing the side opposing the foreign investor. The thing us that, when GTEEN Technologies Investments Limited asked the state agency not to grant SK Atrium and MTS-Ertis the right to sell 90% of the company’s ownership capital, the agency stayed on passive defence. And continues to do so today.
According to our insiders, the reason lies in the fact that new Vice Minister Ruslan Baymishev, acting as the main point guard, has now got an opportunity to make some extra cash».
«What is even more shocking is that Vice-Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development Ruslan Baymishev who has replaced Timur Toktabayev not only as the deputy head of the Ministry but as the shadow fixer of the fate of the said business-project did not lobby the decision to prolongate the duration of Contract 4473 to explore complex ore deposits thus confirming MTS-Ertis’ right for the subsurface use just for the sake of it.
Apart from other documents, we have received two audio recordings in which the go-betweens, certain Anet Marsuly A. And Chingis D., mention the head of the subsurface use department (in other words, Mr. Baymishev) and receive the upfront fee in the amount of 10$ thousand from the interested parties.
By the way, the fact that, soon after this, in February 2018, Ruslan Baymishev received Erzhan Kumarov’s lawyer in the Ministry building and then had been actively helping him is also indicative».
The thing is that we received dozens of different documents, audio and video recordings from the insiders. However, we have never published them since KZ.expert is not a mass media. We have only allowed ourselves to mention them in our publications.
However, we have recently learned that one of these audio recording has been leaked and is freely available online.
It looks like the sources wanted to make the information fully available not only and not so much to us but, through us, to the Kazakh governmental agencies, first and foremost, the law-enforcement structures. However, we, for obvious reasons, have been limiting ourselves to such comments as, for instance, -
«We have received an audio recording of a conversation between the two „heroes“ of this high-profile story, head of MTS-Ertis LLP Ryskali Dzhakishev and Erzhan Kumarov, the chair of the Kazakh branch of the Norton Rose Fulbright global law firm. On the recording, they are discussing the sale of MTS-Ertis’ shares.
Among other things, they are talking about the conditions upon which Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ruslan Baymishev has agreed to permit new investor Tleukabyl Abdulin to join the project.
Since we cannot confirm the authenticity of the recording, we are not going to report on its content. We will say, however, that it may very well send Baymishev to the defendant’s bench (provided the content is verified by the authorities)».
Now then, it looks like the audio leaked on the Internet (which we have downloaded) was recorded in the office of Erzhan Kumarov during his phone conversation with Zhumagali Dzhakishev in February 2020. Among other things, the recording mentions «covering Baymishev’s ass» so he can do what they want him to do with no trouble.
The recording also mentions that Ruslan (i.e. Baymishev) was keeping letter No. 037/2020 of 17 February, 2020, secret from everyone. In this letter, Kumarov, without Babylon Holdings B.V. shareholders’ approval, backs out of the Vavilonskoye polymetallic ore field project on behalf of this company.
If the secret service agencies download this audio recording, it may easily become the basis for conducting a pre-investigation review or even opening a criminal case.
Of course, there is no guarantee that this happens. And even if it does, there is no guarantee that the siloviks will be able to prove Baymishev’s involvement in the fraud. Still, the first step is the hardest as they say. So, let us see how things will unfold.