The Sultanbekov Precedent

Former Deputy Chairman of Kazakhstan Engineering JSC Kanat Sultanbekov sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for taking bribes (the imprisonment was later changed for a fee) was able to effectively pay the sum of 2.14 bln tenge imposed by the court.  He paid the first 959 mln tenge on December 11, 2017; and he paid the remaining 1180 mln via two tranches completed on February 5 and February 6, 2018.

Here is the reply made by the Ministry of Justice in response to Informburo. kz’ request (text in bold – Kazakhstan 2.0).

“State enforcement agent of the Astana Justice Department Nurzhan Abirov handled the enforcement proceedings started on the order of February 5, 2018, made of the basis of the enforcement document specified by the Astana Interdistrict Military Court of Criminal Cases on February 5 on collecting a fee in the amount of 2.14 bln tenge and the procedural expenses in the amount of 354 000 tenge from Kanat Sultanbekov in favor of the state”.

“Due to the execution of the document, the proceedings were stopped on the same day. The first tranche in the amount of 959.6 mln tenge was made on December 11, 2017. On February 5, Sultanbekov transferred 226 mln tenge, 234 mln tenge, and 467 mln tenge. On February 6, he paid another 102.6 mln tenge, later that day – 354 thousand tenge and 110.2 mln tenge”.

Thus, several national records were set in Kazakhstan at once.

  • First, the amount of the imposed and paid fee for committing a corruption crime – 2,14 bln tenge.
  • Second, the speed of the execution of the enforcement proceedings – two days.
  • Third, the court’s forgiveness of a corruption crime – the imposed fee is only twice bigger than the amount of the bribe although usually this ratio is much higher.
  • Fourth, the non-transparency of what had happened.

Let us explain the last statement.

Even though the fee was paid by Kanat Sultanbekov, the sources of where the 2.14 bln tenge came from are unknown. If it was Sultanbekov’s own resources, then, judging by his biography, they must have been stolen or acquired in some unlawful way. If he was helped by his friends, there is, again, the question of the money origin since the sum was too high. Besides, it looks like the last five tranches were paid in cash.

Although, in Kazakhstan, it is not customary to ask about the money sources in such cases, we can assume that Sultanbekov will be the first precedent. Why? Because the speed with which the tranches were completed tells us that not only Kanat Sultanbekov himself but also the people who helped him desired to put an end to this story as soon as possible.

Perhaps it had to do with the risks – had he not received the timely and effective financial support, Kanat Sultanbekov might have started to talk about some “extraneous” matters. For instance, about the armored vehicles purchases at an overvalued price by the Ministry of Defense. According to our insiders, the Kazakhstan competent national authorities have recently become curious about these purchases.

Read also Who Stood Up For Sultanbekov?


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