New ‘Babylon’ Audioleaks

A month has passed since the publication of our latest article on the «fight» among the investors for the Vavilonskoye polymetallic ore field in the East Kazakhstan region. In the course of this month, we have been showered with documents, audio recordings and photographs.

The information we’ve received shows that the confrontation is not simply escalating but is starting to take shapes that are not quite in sync with the existing law.

This makes this case even more interesting since it allows us to explain why the Kazakh business practices are so different from those of the civilised democratic countries.

Of course, we have to stipulate one more time that, since practically all the data we have received (extent perhaps the copies of the courts’ decisions and the texts of the legal claims) cannot be verified, we are not at liberty to state anything with certainty.

Let us begin with an extensive audio recording where a person whose voice sounds very much like that of attorney Erzhan Kumarov (one of the major if not the key players involved in the case at hand) tells the other party about his contacts with the country’s influential people and complains about the problems.

He mentions a certain Bekzhan Asylov, a relative of First Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan Berik Asylov. The former, with the help of the latter, can solve and is solving all kinds of problems. 

With that, the person whose voice is reminiscent of that of Mr. Kumarov says that -

— in 1990s, Bekzhan Asylov was the right hand of Gaydamak (most likely, he is talking about the notorious entrepreneur Arkadiy Gaydamak who used to operate in Kazakhstan among other places),

— mentions the name of a friend who is currently residing in Canada and holding his money,

— and, finally, talks about entrepreneur Bekzhan Kulbayev who used to supply oil for yet another notorious business-project mentioned in our publications on numerous occasions — Aktobe Refinery LLP.

Then, the conversation takes a completely unexpected turn.

The person with the voice reminiscent of the voice of Mr. Kumarov talks about some familial ties between banker Bakytbek Bayseitov and former Head of the Presidential Administration and the Elbasy’s longtime ally Adilbek Dzhaksybekov who is currently chairing the Board of Directors of KazTransGas JSC NC. Let us make it clear, if these familial ties do exist, we have never heard of them before.

And then, the name of Bekzhan Asylov is mentioned again. 

According to the person whose voice is reminiscent of that of Mr. Kumarov, Asylov can resolve all the issues related to the sphere of responsibility of the Almaty Department of Economic Investigations.

With that, he is so powerful and influential that the aforementioned Bakytbek Bayseitov if afraid of him. On the other hand, his services are very expensive and, in fact, he is a kind of a «silver bullet» — in other words, he helps resolving particularly important matters. At the same time, he is afraid of nothing, moreover, once he even beat up a financial police investigator in a restroom and got away scot-free.

We have devoted so much attention to Mr. Asylov due to that simple reason that, according to our insiders, he is now directly involved in the fight among the investors for the Vavilonsloye polymetallic ore field in the East Kazakhstan region.

At the same time, he, allegedly, has his own private business. Again, allegedly, he is working with Bank CenterCredit JSC providing legal services to the companies affiliated with this organisation.  

In our opinion, this course of events is normal for Kazakhstan. When a business argument cannot be settled (at all or with reasonable promptness and money), the opponents oftentimes turn to the people who operate within the grey zone between crime and law and are well received in the offices of prosecutors, judges and governmental officials. It looks like this is exactly what happened here.

Apart from the aforementioned audio recording, we have received several others but, at this point, we are not going to reveal their contents. The thing is that they mention bribing of certain judges and we wish to hold on to this information until the judges in question make their rulings.

In conclusion, we would like to remind the reader why we devote so much time to the subject at hand. Let us quote from out previous publication titled «Baymishev «Audioleaked». 

«Some may say (and quite justly so) that 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».


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