Copper Business of Nigmatulins

One of the many problems facing Kazakhstan is the high level of abuse of work authority from the high-ranking officials. The reason is the dramatic decrease of the feedng trough due to crisis, while the domestic policy instability pushes people with access to the proverbial trough to try to “fill themselves up” before they are removed from their positions.

Judging from information form the regions, there are processes happening in many places now that are reminiscent of those that took place in Atyrau oblast during the rule of Bergey Ryskaliev there. Since the court sentence of the latter has been officially approved, we can call his clan an organized crime group and call him the head of the organized crime.

So, now we see the formation of new Organized crime groups (OCG) in Kazakhstan headed by oblast and lower akims. The economic sense of what’s happening is the fact that only unlawful non-economic pressure on local business allows officials to quickly make money; long schemes of collecting commission from investment, development and other projects are mostly ineffective now due to lack of profitability.

One of such regions is Karaganda oblast. The difference in what’s going on there and other oblasts is in that the main beneficiary from raider activities there is believed to be the representative of Majlis of KR parliament Nurlan Nigmatulin.

After arrest and sentencing of former prime minister Serk Ahmetov he didn’t have any strong opponents left within the region. Due to inner balance in regional elite being artificially broken, today Nurlan Nigmatulin and his twin brother can allow themselves to almost whatever they want. So, we can confidently predict that in short time the head of the lower chamber of Kazakhstani parliament will be compared with the aforementioned Ryskaliev.

However, the issue of local business will inevitably become the problem of Akorda. The reason is that Karaganda region is not only vast and is close to the capital, but is also complicated in its political configuration. This means that entrepreneurs, from whom Nigmatulin’s “boys” now commandeer money and often business itself, will try to reach out to the enemies of their offender. Also, Majlis itself has plenty of enemies, and some of them have a lot of power.

We can predict that within one year – both Nurlan Nigamatuin and his twin brother will be openly accused of raider activities, i.e. taking over of other people’s business and property and collecting illegal tax from entrepreneurs. However, the key could be an accusation in organized thefts of copper from Balkhash copper pant of “Kazakhmys” company and its contraband import into China.

The problem is that this case isn’t singular. In due time the situation may repeat in other regions, where after appointing new akims and thus resolving current employee issues, president  unwillingly created the situation when his new appointees will take advantage of the local economy and will try to redirect the flow of money into the hands of their people.


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