According to our insiders, we are soon to witness the next intra-elite collision. This time, it’s going to take place between Nurbol Nazarbayev and the Tasmagambetov clan and an oil refinery will be at the center of the hassle.
More than a year ago, in the article «Tasmagambetov’s Left for Good?», we made an assumption that «judging by the latest events related to Aktobe Neftepererabotka LLP (see here) and its co-founder and director Amlaz Kuzhagaliyev, the former political heavy-weight Imangaly Tasmagambetov has left Kazakhstan’s political foreground for good».
This assumption stemmed from the outcome of the fight for Aktobe Neftepererabotka LLP. The fight that ended in conviction of Almaz Kuzhagaliyev, the firm’s Logistics and Marketing Director.
Those who wish to learn more about the hassle may read our publications –
Later, however, Almaz Kuzhagaliyev’s sentence (19 years in prison) was suddenly overturned. Here is our commentary on the matter (quoting) –
«In our opinion, the fact that the verdict has been overturned and sent to be revised by the court and that, consequently, the accused has rather good chances to be freed, is the result of not only the sight recovery on the part of the Supreme Court (that suddenly noticed the facts and the circumstances unnoticed by the judges of the lower echelon) but the serious changes in the Kazakh domestic policy. Among other things, we are talking about the dismissal of Imangali Tasmagambetov from the post of the Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Russia.
According to our insiders, Imangali Tasmagambetov’s nephew Ilyas Tasmagambetov (Almaz Kuzhagaliyev’s business-partner, the CEO and the co-founder of Aktobe Neftepererabotka LLP) was the initial commissioner of Almaz Kuzhagaliyev’s persecution. Note that, in 2016, when the criminal case against Kuzhagaliyev was „cooking up“, Imangali Tasmagambetov was serving as a Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan and, therefore, carried quite a lot of weight in Akorda.
However, the story turned out to be too high-profile and noticeable. Apart from that, other people and clans started to interfere. As a result, Ilyas Tasmagambetov’s attempt to take away Almaz Kuzhagaliyev’s share in Aktobe Neftepererabotka LLP (by the way, we have at our disposal a scan of the letter with a suggestion to sell the business when Kuzhagaliyev was already in prison — kz.expert). Then, Nurbol Nazarbayev (the son of Bolat Nazarbayev and the nephew of the First President) got involved in the matter. According to our data, he and his people are now in control of the business».
We have chosen to return to this topic because of the information brought to us by the sources close to the participants of the continuous fight for Aktobe Neftepererabotka LLP.
The thing is that, on December 13, 2019, Ilyas Tasmagambetov as the company’s CEO was replaced by certain Serik Erasyl Daurenuly who, according to the insiders, acts as a frontman for… Nurbol Nazarbayev — Bolat Nazarbayev’s son and the First President’s nephew.
By the way, Serik Erasyl Daurenuly (learn more on his appointment here) is a son of Dauren Abdykhamitov, one of the defendants in the high-profile Astana LRT case.
We have repeatedly touched upon this subject, for instance, in the publication «An Amnesty for the LRT Affair Figurants». Here are several quotes related to Abdykhamitov –
«The Judge asked Ayna Irzhanova if she knew the accused, Dauren Abdykhamitov. The witness reported that Dauren Abdykhamitov was a friend of Talgat Ardan.
«Yes, I know him. Talgat Ardan introduced him to me as his friend. I know that, de-facto, he was involved in the Nur Trade and MG Pro companies. When we were being introduced to the companies’ representatives, Dauren Abdykhamitov was also present and Talgat Ardan said — «thanks to my friend, we have found the companies that will help us to implement this project». And during the implementation of the projects, Abdykhamitov was on occasion present in our office where we would discuss their implementation and the contractual performance. He used to visit Talgat Ardan practically every day, he would also come into his office«, said Irzhanova.
She added that Abdykhamitov „had participated in the implementation of our projects personally“. „If Nur Trade and MG Pro had a problem with payments, he would come and inquire what needed to be done for the payment to be completed, which documents were lacking, what was standing in the way and so forth“, said the witness.
Answering the Judge’s question, she specified that Ardan and Abdykhamitov were close friends. „Talgat Ardan had told this to me a number of times. As I’ve said, practically every day, Abdykhamitov Dauren Serikovich would come to the office, visit Talgat Ardan, they would talk. He would wait for our staff meeting to end, and the come into the office“, said Irzhanova. She also said that Nur Trade and MG Pro acted as consultants on the submittals for the LRT project».
The fact that Dauren Abdykhamitov, despite his close friendship with Talgat Arden and the latter’s connections to Nursultan Nazarbayev’s relatives, had still ended up on the defendant’s bench could not but affect his son. For this reason, we have not been surprised by the allegation that Imangali Tasmagambetov is trying to get his nephew back to the post currently occupied by Serik Erasyl Daurenuly. Certain Batyrbek Bizhanov who, allegedly, controls 58% of Aktobe Neftepererabotka through his relatives is to help Tasmagambetov in this undertaking.
If our insiders are correct, we should expect to see a hassle between Nurbol Nazarbayev and the Tasmagambetov clan.
With that, Bolat Nazarbayev’s son, thanks to his familial ties, seems to carry more political weight than the ex-Prime Minister and Ambassador to Russia albeit the latter outweighs the former in terms of his financial capabilities. For Imangali Tasmagambetov is one of those former and acting Kazakh officials whose fortunes exceed a billion dollars yet go unnoticed by Kazakhstan’s tax authorities and aren’t included in Forbes Kazakhstan’s lists of the richest and most influential businessmen in the country.
Imangali Tasmagambetov and Karim Masimov (photo from Respublika archives).