Behind the Scenes of the Altyn Orda Fight

Indicting and “defatting” certain members of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s clan is a big achievement of “the New Kazakhstan” and its main architect Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Since this subject is being actively promoted in the country’s information space by the media resources and the bloggers, we see no point in developing it further, however, we would like to draw the reader’s attention to one delicate problem. And we will do it by using the example of Bolat Nazarbayev’s case.

We have devoted a great number of publications to Nursultan Nazarbayev’s brother including those in the Respublika. All because this man is one of the most odious and notorious members of the First President’s family. Even during the time when Akorda managed to keep the country’s information space under complete control, the stories of how Bolat Nazarbayev was fighting for his foreign assets with his wives (of whom there were many), would surface and serve as a source of the public’s great amusement (irritation).

And now, after the events of January 2022, Bolat Nazarbayev, from a person loved and respected by few while afraid of by many, has suddenly turned into a pariah. He has experienced a partial “defatting” (partial – because his foreign assets including the bank accounts and real estate) are still out of reach for his adversaries and the Kazakh law-enforcement structures.

However, he has already lost a lot inside Kazakhstan. The Altyn Orda marketplace is one of his main losses.

A number of publications have been written on this high-profile story albeit the fact itself has not been disputed by anyone. And it looks like Bolat Nazarbayev has not accepted this loss. To prove it, let us cite an Orda publication titled “How the Altyn Orda Marketplace Changed after Bolat Nazarbayev Left the Company”.

This is how it starts: “Former director of the Almaty marketplace Daniyar Abdigapov Claims Illegal Takeover and Reaches Out to the President of Kazakhstan”.

Those wishing to know more about Altyn Orda and the fights for this marketplace may read the aforementioned publication as well as the other sources. As far as we are concerned, Orda’s article has caught our attention by the following information (text in bold by 

“As you recall, after the January events and the numerous inspections at the marketplace that uncovered the monopoly-style high prices, the restriction of access, the price coordination, the dictation of the terms and other violations, Daniyar Alpiev has become the owner of the marketplace. His father Altynbek Alpiev owned it in the beginning of the 2000s. According to his son, in 2007, his father was murdered and Altyn Orda underwent a hostile takeover.

On April 22, he gave us a recording of his address to the President in which he claims that his life and the life of his family are being threatened. He blamed the criminals that up until now have been operating at the marketplace and interfering with the work.

The story, however, did not end there. Almost two weeks later, on May 4, former director of the marketplace Daniyar Abdigaparov also reached out to the President and accused the new administration of hostile takeover.

“It is unabashed racketeering. A lot of people have arrived from Kyrgyzstan, I don’t know if they work at the market or not. There are no badges, they don’t identify themselves. They only come and ask for money. The guys have already been working for eight days, the new administration, there is no laboratory inspections. There is a laboratory – they kick you out, raise the prices, people are outraged”, said Daniyar Abdigaparov on the video released by the Yedilov online Telegram-channel.

We are not going to judge who is telling the truth; however, we do suspect both parties of lying. On the other hand, thanks to the internal political changes, the Alpiyev family has managed to take over the Altyn Orda marketplace from Bolat Nazarbayev this year; the marketplace that he took from them many years ago.

We also believe in the newcomers from Kyrgyzstan for the Alpiyev family has got roots in this country.

As to the death of Altynbak Alpiyev in 2007, according to an insider, it happened as a result of the Semey wrangles. Allegedly, the wrangles had to do with the debts that the head of the family was trying to beat out of the borrower - but was met with a rebuff.

After the tragic death of the head of the family, Sovet Akhmatov (who previously worked as the director of the Almaty Zeleny Bazar, the most popular marketplace in Kazakhstan’s former capital) became the director of the Altyn Orda marketplace. Incidentally, our sources claim that he got this very lucrative post thanks to the protection of the current Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Management Board of the Atameken National Entrepreneurs Chamber, Raimbek Batalov.

There are talks that Sovet Akhmatov is quite wealthy and resides permanently in the U.S. But he does visit Kazakhstan quite often.

According to the same sources, in the 1990s, the Alpiyev family also controlled the auto open-air market in Kaskelen and the marketplace in the Korday village at the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border.

Now then, the delicate problem to which we would like to draw the reader’s attention lies in the fact that the legality (or illegality) of the Altyn Orda marketplace existing under control of the Alpiyev family has basically the same validity as the legality (or illegality) of its past existence under control of Bolat Nazarbayev.

In view of this, some questions arise.

How should the state that has proclaimed the course towards democracy, the rule of law and human rights act in such cases?

Whom should it side with? Or perhaps it simply needs to nationalize such assets and sell them anew?

We do not have the answers; however, we will allow ourselves to predict that we are in for an enthralling adversarial process between Bolat Nazarbayev and his henchmen on the one hand and with the Alpiyev family and their henchmen on the other.

There is no doubt that a lot of fascinating details will surface along the way; the details about how and why the opposing clans first received and then lost control over Altyn Orda, what kind of “arguments” they used in order to achieve success and whether these “arguments” were monetary or administrative in nature. And so on, and so forth.

To those who do not believe in our forecast, we will recommend the material of the Ulys Media online-resource titled “Altyn Orda of the Discord: Why Bolat Nazarbayev Needs Protection”.

So, let’s get popcorn.


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