Daniyar Abulgazin and his role in establishing Ingma Holding as a kickback tunnel

Daniyar Abulgazin, a ‘per­fect lieu­tenant’, accord­ing to the Public Eye, of Timur Kulibayev, began his career as a Felix Derzhinsky Higher School of the KGB of the U.S.S.R. stu­dent in Moscow. He grad­u­at­ed in 1991. The Soviet Union col­lapsed the same year which left young Daniyar briefly unem­ployed. However, his skills and fam­i­ly ties allowed him to progress in finance and cor­po­rate areas. His high­est point in state hier­ar­chy was Vice-Minister of Finance, but he pre­ferred to keep a dis­tance with the state. He under­stood that there is much more income and pow­er in cor­po­rate semi-state busi­ness than in rapid­ly chang­ing Kazakhstan apparatus.

Timur Kulibayev is a close friend of Daniyar Abulgazin

Timur Kulibayev pre­sum­ably met Daniyar Abulgazin in state-owned Kazakh Oil cor­po­ra­tion in 2002. Since then they are nev­er too far away from each oth­er, as we wrote ear­li­er. Daniyar Abulgazin whose per­son­al assets are val­ued more than $400m, gave pres­i­den­tial son-in-law Timur Kulibayev loy­al­ty and exper­tize he required. Those qual­i­ties are rare and thus are in high demand in the Kazakhstan’s oli­garchy. Dias Suleimenov, broth­er-in-law of Daniyar Abulgazin quick­ly joined the ambi­tious trio.

Unfortunately for the com­pa­ny the cor­re­spon­dence between Daniyar Abulgazin and Dias Suleimenov con­cern­ing oil affairs leaked online and became what is known as ‘Kazaworld leaks’. It shines light on the secre­tive com­mu­ni­ty around Timur Kulibayev and the gold­en years of oil-relat­ed affairs.

Timur Kulibayev was appoint­ed as the nation’s wealth fund head, Daniyar Abulgazin fol­lowed him. Abulgazin was the head man­ag­er of oil and gas branch, includ­ing KazMunayGas – Kazakhstan’s state giant. Together Timur Kulibayev and Daniyar Abulgazin act­ed in inter­est of Vitol cor­po­ra­tion while main­tain­ing their own cor­po­rate posi­tions. They enabled Vitol monop­oly over trad­ing of Kazakhstan oil resources for a kick­backs giv­en in sophis­ti­cat­ed scheme to avoid track­ing and prosecution.

Vitol gained con­trol over the two most impor­tant oil fields by pro­vid­ing loan to KazMunayGas. The ‘cash for crude deal’ gave Vitol the priv­i­leged access. It’s noth­ing crim­i­nal in it by itself, it is often prac­tised in cash-hun­gry third-world coun­tries. However the way it was done makes the pic­ture whole. Nearly one bil­lion USD end­ed up in pock­ets of Nazarbayev/Kulibayev clan.

Timur Kulibayev, son-in-law of the pres­i­dent Nursulatan Nazarbayev

Kazaworld archives show that the priv­i­leged posi­tion of Vitol was gained by exploit­ing polit­i­cal­ly exposed per­son. The kick­back scheme was based on mak­ing a joint ven­ture. It was reg­is­tered in 2003 by Vitol in Rotterdam. The name of the com­pa­ny is Ingma Holding BV. It was cre­at­ed to ‘invest in Kazakhstan’ but tru­ly Ingma Holding BV serves for an oppo­site pur­pose as the doc­u­ments shown. Daniyar Abulgazin and his group set it up to divest mon­ey from Kazakhstan and bribe local state author­i­ties. The small and seem­ing­ly unknown com­pa­ny is in fact a hid­den world-class oil trad­er with bil­lions in sales and rev­enue. During the years 2009–2016 its turnover reached $93.3B. It is 1/5th of the total oil export­ed from Kazakhstan. Ingma declared the rev­enue of more than 1 bil­lion USD paid to the share­hold­ers of the pri­vate enti­ty with­out declar­ing who those share­hold­ers are.

We will describe the scheme in depth in the upcom­ing arti­cles. Daniyar Abulgazin and his friends made an out­stand­ing job con­ceal­ing the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the Ingma. However they were unpre­pared to the mail leak that followed.

pho­to cred­its atameken.kz