Dariga Nazarbayeva and the Olimp Case

A new intra-elite tension with more than serious consequences is forming around the criminal case related to organising illegal gambling business, betting firm Olimp whose owner, according to the insider information we have received, is close to Nurstultan Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter.

As the overwhelming majority of the Kazakhs is now preoccupied with the basic survival, they simply do not have the time to engage in the social, not to mention political, activity, search for the answers what is happening to the country and who is responsible for all these problems. But that’s for now. Pretty soon the citizens will get used to the situation, adapt to it and, again, start the heated discussions related to the topical issues that, temporarily, have become irrelevant.

In the meantime, life in Kazakhstan goes on, just as the internal political developments do; the political developments that, a couple of months ago, interested and intrigued so many people. Among these developments — the undeclared wars against Senate of the Kazakh Parliament Dariga Nazarbayeva.

The fact that these wars actually still going on is evident from the NSC’s press-release of March 31, 2020, (that went practically unnoticed by the civic society) published under the title «Re the Search For the Betting Firm Olimp’s Top Management».

This is the way it begins:

«The NSC Almaty Department is investigating a criminal case related to illegal gambling business, betting firm Olimp, tax evasion and property laundering committed by the organised criminal group with its top managers and members as the main figurants».

Then the document lists the names and the dates of births of the 12 wanted people (that we are going to omit here) and informs:

«Currently, the suspects are evading coming to the law-enforcement agencies». The press-release ends with a strong notice: «Based on what has been said, in accordance with the requirements of Article 205 Part 3 of Kazakhstan’s Criminal Code, we summon the aforementioned parties for conducting investigative activities on March 31, 2020, at 14.00 hours at the Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty, Karasay Batyra St., bldg. 70, office 6».

Something tells us that the wanted citizens did not appear at the time and address indicated in the press-release if only because a) they did not have time to respond: the press-release was published on the same day they were supposed to appear on the summon, b) they are likely reside outside of Kazakhstan. In other words, even if the people are ready to talk to the investigators, they cannot do this due to the emergency rule imposed in the country, the closing of the borders, the termination of the flights and introducing a strict quarantine regime in the Almaty city.

All this means that those who wrote the aforementioned press-release did nothing but imitate heavy activity. Which, by the way, can provoke yet another Intra-elite tension with more than serious consequences in the near future.

Why do we think so?

Because, based on the information provided by our insiders, the owner of betting company Olimp is close to Dariga Nazarbayeva; and the citizens to whose benefit the NSC is now investigating the criminal case against it are close to the NSC Chief Karim Masimov.

We have already touched upon this subject in our article The Backstage of the Lottery Monopoly. Let us quote several paragraphs from this publication:

«The evident disharmony between what the state says and what it does is one of the signs of the current times in Kazakhstan. Let us illustrate that by using lottery as an example. Of late, this small subsector of the national economy and a part of the entertainment sector has become monopolized by a private structure called Satti Zhuldyz JSC».

«What is interesting, Satti Zhuldyz positions itself as a fighter against illegal gaming activities and insists on the liquidation of the black market, in other words, gaming machines. The company’s management believes that „it is necessary to intensify the legal battle with the black market. The law-enforcement structures must work on limiting its expansion especially since minors, basically children, toy with these gaming machines. The same situation has arisen with betting companies that usually do not take sporting bets and operate as a casino or conduct pseudo-lottery activities».

«One could agree with this decision albeit on one important condition: the company-operator must win over its competitors in an open and honest competition. Unfortunately, according to our sources, this is exactly what did not take place. Moreover, when the lottery law was being developed, initially, it was supposed to have three focus areas with different operators. Later, however, the law was changed for the benefit of one player and Satti Zhuldyz JSC has become this player».

Why did it happen? May be it happened since, according to some data, this company is controlled by the people close to Karim Masimov who was then the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who is now serving as the Chief of the NSC and, according to certain experts, can be called the number two man in Kazakhstan after President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev. It is for this reason that the remaining 11 contenders who had had a greater experience in this field did not have a chance in this competition, our sources say».

As for the people that controlled betting company Olimp, one can learn a lot of interesting things about them in a biased yet informative publication of the Azattyq Rýhy resource that was «born» in the middle of last year (already after Nursultan Nazarbayev had habded the chair and the presidential authorities over to Kossym-Jomart Tokayev).

In the article «How the Owner of Olimp Lives in America and How Much He Makes on the Bookmaker Office?», it is states that (quoting):

«Betting company Olimp is Zhauyrovs’ family business that has been operating since 2004. It is managed by Anarbek Zhauyrov, a son of Orak Zhauyrov, a famous kyushi, the Chief Conductor of the D. Nurpeisova Atyrau Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments. Now the businessman resides in the New York City».  

Now then, according to our insiders, previously, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of the Leader of the Nation, was the benefactor of Anarbek Zhauyrov and his business. Dariga Nazarbayeva and Orak Zhauyrov, the Chief Conductor of the D. Nurpeisova Atyrau Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments are tied together by good personal relationships.

Moreover, based on the words of those same insiders, it was Zhauyrov, Jr’s business-capabilities (particularly, the access to a practically unlimited volume of cash inside the country and the opportunity to move out large sums of money through Olimp and the affiliated structures) that had played a huge role in Dariga Nazarbayeva becoming his benefactor.

Of course, it is not at all certain that Akorda and the Library will not interfere with this business-conflict (if they haven’t already done so).

It is also possible that Dariga Nazarbayeva and Karim Masimov will choose not to unleash a top-level war.

However, the risk that the Person № 2 of the informal state hierarchy (in other words the NSC Chief Karim Masimov) may appear among those who take a negative view on the Leader of the Nation’s eldest daughter may turn out to be critical. Especially considering the fact that Ms. Nazarbayeva (if we are to believe the information in the press and social networks) is already at war with her sister’s husband, Chairman of the Management Board of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Timur Kulibayev.


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