On the rise of Karim Masimov

On May 16th 2017 Committee on national security of Kazakhstan has announced the beginning of joint (with ministry of internal affairs) mass special operation “on the territory of Kyzylorda oblast” on suppressing the activities of several criminal groups, involved in illegal acquisition, transportation, possessing and sale of oil and oil products”.

From the official statement of the institution, it follows that in three cities of the republic, namely Kyzylorda, Taraz and Shymkent, there were simultaneous apprehending of 8 persons of interest, “also 21 search events at their places of residence and at enterprises associated with them, including TOO KAIS service (Kyzylorda, asphalt producing plant and oil-loading station), TOO Karamay oil (Taraz, oil-loading place)”.

Moreover, press release states that Kyzylorda transport prosecutor N. Serikbaev was arrested for patronage of criminal groups. Evidently it isn’t the last apprehension of officials and law enforcement on this criminal charge, since illegal business of processing of stolen oil and the sale of resulting oil products is one of the most profitable in Kazakhstan and cannot exist without patronage from people in power. However, in this case, which promises to be just as resonant as horgos case, there are visible oddities.

First of all, it is the anomalous publicity of the committee on national security aimed both at wider public and at major government officials.

Secondly, CNS officials clearly stepped on the territory jurisdictional to RK agency on civil service and counteracting corruption as well as that of agency on economic investigations of the committee of state profits of the Ministry of finances of RK.

By our estimates, this isn’t a coincidence, but rather a deliberate policy by the chairman of committee national security RK K. Masimov and his allies on increasing the role and influence of the agency.

Essentially, we are talking about creating a counterbalance to the Agency of RK on civil service and counteracting corruption and its head Kairat Kojamuratov, as well as forming of channels of shadow influence on Kazakh business and government official class.

Based on our information, Akorda is currently preparing a decision on strengthening the committee on national security of RK and relegating additional powers on fighting corruption to it, including among law enforcement officials. It is estimated to be approved in July-August of current year, after which K. Masimov will dramatically increase his influence. It is even possible that he will become the de facto first person in the enforcement bloc of the country.


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