Masimov’s 2 Million-Dollar Mystery

On March 10, 2022, the NSC RK published a short press-release accompanied by many photographs and intriguingly titled ‘On Some Results of the Masimov Investigation’. We at KZ.expert believe that this is a fairly good attempt on the part of the state agency to pull the wool over the eyes of the Kazakhs and foreign observers.   

Why do we not take this press release seriously? 

Let us start by saying that it contains no information regarding the main charges brought against Masimov and his henchmen. And this fact alone is very indicative since it clearly shows that the investigators have not achieved any success in this matter.

As for the money, the valuable possessions, the cars and the real estate objects belonging to the ex-chief of the NSC and his relatives that have been found during the search, their list, description and photographs may impress only those who are not familiar with the matter.

You will recall that seven years ago the Respublika Internet-portal published a whole series of articles on the wealthy life of Karim Masimov and his family, their  expensive purchases and trips, their hobbies and the services they buy. 

Back then, however, these publications remained ‘unnoticed’ by the National Security Committee, Akorda and the Public Prosecution Office even though Karim Masimov had not yet been appointed the chief of the former. So, to us, the current recovery of eyesight on the part of the Kazakh authorities seems a blatant mockery of the common sense. 

Moreover, we will say that, in terms of their value, all the money, possessions and real estate arrested in Kazakhstan are unlikely to surpass a couple of percent of Mr. Masomov’s total wealth. And Akorda knows this full well. 

As for the Library, they know this in detail since the former chief of the NSC used to be one of those entrusted with a part of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s multi-billion-dollar fortune. However, it is not this but the following paragraph of the press-release that has caught our attention (text in bold by KZ.expert).

‘ In particular, we are investigating the fact that, in the capacity of the NSC chief, Masimov had recieved a US$2 million bribe from representatives of a foreign state on the matter of one of the non-public contracts. The return of the mentioned funds from Hong Kong to the National bank of Kazakhstan has been arranged.’ 

According to our insiders in Akorda, the NSC statement on Masimov receiving a $2 million bribe and on bringing this money back to the country via the efforts of the secret service agents is a bogus story. 

Since we have not touched upon this subject before, let us discuss it in more detail. However, we will say this from the start - since the info from our sources has not been verified, we cannot claim that it is factually accurate. At the same time, these sources have never let us down before. Apart from that, this information is of a great social significance; therefore, we consider it our civic duty to make it public in the hope of receiving commentaries from the relevant state agencies. 

Now then, according to our insiders, Karim Masimov was the person whom the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev had entrusted with an (allegedly) important albeit über-classified task of providing secret assistance to the Russian defence industry. 

The assistance was that the Soviet and the Russian-produced weapons and military equipment were (allegedly) delivered to the Third World countries through Kazakh structures and their affiliated offshore companies. Usually it would happen when restrictions (embargo) were imposed on these countries or if delivering weaponry to these countries was too sensitive an undertaking for the other geopolitical players.

From Russia, the Rosoboronexport concern was (allegedly) involved in this scheme. Karim Masimov was in charge of the Kazakh part of the scheme, and long before he was appointed the chief of the NSC, too.

According to our sources, the day-to-day operations were handled by Masimov’s trusted man, Kuat Tanysbay, whose name we have mentioned on numerous occasions.

Among other things, the Kazakh intermediaries were involved in preparing the necessary papers including the end-user certificates required when delivering weapons, ammunition and military equipment. Therefore, the $2 million received by Karim Masimov from ‘the representatives of a foreign organisation’ were not a bribe but a payment for the services.

We were not informed what exactly the deliveries were (we suspect our sources were concerned about their safety), however, according to their information, the $2 million were returned to Kazakhstan not through the efforts of the NSC agents but because the information about this particular transaction had found its way to the United States secret service. 

And this leak was the main reason for the people who had received these $2 billion on the Hong Kong bank accounts to choose and return them to Kazakhstan.

Otherwise, this story could have become public and, given the current escalation of the geopolitical conflict between Russia and the collective West (including the military conflict in Ukraine), this leak could have had extremely painful consequences for Kazakhstan.

We do not know who exactly has made the decision to return the money to the National bank of Kazakhstan - whether it was Aygul Nuriyeva or if Karim Masimiv himself had called her on the orders of the pre-trial detention centre investigators. Be as it may, it was not the NSC’s achievement. They, as they say in such cases, have chosen to promote themselves at the expense of others while improving their reputation in the eyes of their fellow citizens. 

The NSC press-release ends with the following words (quoting) - 

‘Simultaneously, they have set up operations to find, arrrest and return to Kazakhstan even larger funds legally moved out to foreign banks by Masimov and his people. Investigations are conducted regarding all the aforementioned facts.’

We at KZ.expert believe this quote means that the NSC investigators continue exerting psychological pressure on Karim Masimov.

And the go-betweens between him and Nursultan Nazarbayev continue persuading the ex-chief of the secret service and his trusted persons to hand over the biggest part of their wealth to the ‘leader of the nation’ - not to the public. Or, at the very least, to the hands of the people close to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, albeit this is less likely.

We are still convinced that, if Masimov fulfils the demands, he will not live for long - he is likely to express serious ‘remorse’ regarding his crimes and commit ‘suicide’ as so many high-rank former employees of these agency have done before. He may also be killed by a cellmate, or a heart attack, or an exacerbation of coronavirus.


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