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Not Elbasy

How rich is the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Everything sug­gests that a real change of pow­er has tak­en place in Kazakhstan. In the last cou­ple of weeks, there were first peace­ful protests in the coun­try, then ban­dit pogroms with shoot­ing and an incom­pre­hen­si­ble num­ber of vic­tims, after which for­eign, main­ly Russian, troops were brought there. Order has been restored, the troops are about to leave, and the leader of the nation (elbasy) Nursultan Nazarbayev has nev­er appeared in pub­lic. Moreover, at the height of the events, the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, who until now was con­sid­ered at best the sec­ond per­son in the state, dis­missed Elbasy Nazarbayev from his offi­cial posi­tion as Chairman of the Security Council.

The founder and first pres­i­dent of inde­pen­dent Kazakhstan ruled the coun­try for almost 30 years. During this time, his fam­i­ly and friends became bil­lion­aires. Suffice it to say that the Elbasy’s mid­dle daugh­ter and her hus­band are on the Forbes list of the rich­est peo­ple, and their over­seas real estate is leg­endary. During recent events, it was report­ed that Nazarbayev’s youngest daugh­ter with­drew more than $300 mil­lion from Kazakhstan through off­shore com­pa­nies, bought a plane, a lux­u­ri­ous house in London and a stake in a Swiss bank.

And what does Kassym-Jomart Tokayev have? He recent­ly became pres­i­dent when, in 2019, Nazarbayev decid­ed to retire, retain­ing the levers of gov­ern­ment. No major assets of Tokayev were known. “Important Stories” inves­ti­gat­ed the issue and came to the con­clu­sion that Tokayev is, of course, not a poor per­son, but def­i­nite­ly not Nazarbayev yet.

His fam­i­ly has real estate in Geneva, and in Moscow, and in Miami, but it still costs not bil­lions, but rather a dozen or two mil­lion dol­lars. There is also a busi­ness, but noth­ing much is known about it. There was a small oil com­pa­ny, but it closed. There is a com­pa­ny with a license for tung­sten, but it has not start­ed min­ing yet. Of course, now that Tokayev has become a real pres­i­dent, a great future opens up for his fam­i­ly. Moreover, some of its mem­bers already hold gov­ern­ment posts and lead­er­ship posi­tions in state-owned com­pa­nies of the republic.

The Tokayevs have not yet respond­ed to a request from Important Stories sent to the pres­i­den­tial press service.

Property in Europe and America

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was a Soviet offi­cial for a long time. He has been mak­ing a diplo­mat­ic career since the sev­en­ties: he grad­u­at­ed from MGIMO, worked in embassies in Singapore and Beijing, as well as in the appa­ra­tus of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the nineties, when Kazakhstan became an inde­pen­dent state, Tokayev head­ed the Kazakh Foreign Ministry and even­tu­al­ly rose to the rank of prime min­is­ter. Then he worked in inter­na­tion­al struc­tures, for sev­er­al years he was UN Deputy Secretary General and Director General of the UN office in Geneva.

The Swiss busi­ness reg­is­ter men­tions the cur­rent Foundation for Innovative Diplomacy (Fondation pour une Diplomatie Innovante), estab­lished in 2013 in Geneva to pro­mote diplo­mat­ic sci­ence “in order to pro­mote peace­ful rela­tions between nations.” Tokaev is still list­ed as the leader there, along with his son Timur. What the foun­da­tion does is unclear, its web­site has nev­er worked, and the foundation’s twit­ter has not been updat­ed for more than four years and sim­ply reprint­ed UN news.

So for the Tokayevs, Geneva is not a for­eign city. In 2018, the Scanner Project found an apart­ment with Timur in a res­i­den­tial area of ​​Geneva in a house on Rue Gilbert-Trollier. According to an extract from the Geneva real estate reg­is­ter, Tokayev Jr. has owned an apart­ment in this build­ing since 2006. Recently, the Tokayevs have a new neigh­bor — the match­mak­er of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Semyon Vinokurov. The Scanner Project esti­mat­ed the cost of one apart­ment in this build­ing at one mil­lion Swiss francs (now it is more than 80 mil­lion rubles).

Houses in Switzerland-Map data: Google, © 2021 Maxar Technologies

In the city of Versoix, on the bor­der of the Swiss can­tons of Geneva and Vaud, Timur owns a sec­ond apart­ment in a house over­look­ing Lake Geneva, he bought this apart­ment in 2010. An inter­est­ing detail can be seen in the Swiss and Kazakh reg­is­ters: Tokaev’s son changed his sur­name to Kemel in 2019, at the time when Tokaev Sr. began act­ing as pres­i­dent (in the reg­is­ters, Timur Tokaev and Timur Kemel have the same mid­dle name and date of birth. Kemel is the name of the father of the Kazakh pres­i­dent). The Swiss town­house in the town of Saint-Prex was already record­ed on Timur Kemel.

Other rel­a­tives of President Tokayev also had for­eign assets. In November 2019, he appoint­ed the ambas­sadors of Kazakhstan. The post of ambas­sador to Bulgaria was retained by a diplo­mat who has been work­ing in Europe since the nineties — Temirtai Izbastin, the hus­band of the pres­i­den­t’s sis­ter Karlyga Tokaeva. The busi­ness­es of this fam­i­ly are con­nect­ed with Bulgaria, as well as with the Czech Republic and Germany.

Izbastin’s daugh­ter, Tokaev’s niece Dana Medeuova owns three Bulgarian con­struc­tion com­pa­nies — SD Property Investments, Dami International and Dami Investment. In 2017, Medeuova trans­ferred almost 700 thou­sand euros from her per­son­al account to SD Property Investments (at today’s exchange rate, almost 60 mil­lion rubles), and the com­pa­ny acquired a land plot in the west­ern part of Sofia oppo­site the Silver Center shop­ping cen­ter. This lot is still empty.

In the Czech Republic, Dana Medeuova and her broth­er Beket Izbastin had two com­pa­nies (Abi Construction Capital and BG Invest Capital). They rent­ed out the prop­er­ty and now do not oper­ate. In Germany, President Karlyga’s sis­ter owned the trav­el agency Dana Reiseservice.

Relatives of the President of Kazakhstan, most like­ly, have real estate in the United States. The wife of Tokaev’s nephew, Kanysh Izbastin, is called Botagoz Karbuzov. According to the Miami real estate reg­istry, a per­son with that name owned an apart­ment (136 square meters) on the coast in Sunny Isles Beach, which received the nick­name “Little Moscow” due to the large con­cen­tra­tion of immi­grants from Russia. According to the reg­istry, Karbuzova owned an apart­ment worth over a mil­lion dol­lars through SSS Chateau Beach.

Property in Russia

The Tokaev fam­i­ly is close­ly con­nect­ed with Russia: Tokaev’s son Timur, as well as nephews Kanysh and Mohamed, also grad­u­at­ed from MGIMO. Timur and Karlyga Tokayev defend­ed their doc­tor­al dis­ser­ta­tions at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. And Mohamed Tokayev defend­ed his can­di­date’s the­sis there. The pres­i­den­t’s sis­ter and ex-wife had Russian pass­ports. And his son Timur trav­eled around Moscow in Lexus 153 and BMW 750Li X Drive cars with diplo­mat­ic numbers.

In Russia, the Tokayev fam­i­ly has real estate worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of rubles. Alexei Navalny’s team dis­cov­ered that the author­i­ties had clas­si­fied real estate data of the Kazakh pres­i­den­t’s rel­a­tives. Any data on the apart­ments of the Tokaevs dis­ap­peared from Rosreestr. But archival extracts show that Timur Tokayev owned an apart­ment of 196.6 square meters in a house on Usacheva Street in Moscow in the Fusion Park res­i­den­tial com­plex. The cost of a square meter here is more than a mil­lion rubles, and the entire apart­ment can be esti­mat­ed at 229.6 mil­lion rubles.

The ex-wife of the Kazakh pres­i­dent, Nadezhda Tokayeva, had a Moscow apart­ment in a club house on Posledniy Lane, two kilo­me­ters from the Kremlin. There are only sev­en apart­ments in the build­ing. Tokayeva has a two-lev­el four-room apart­ment (167.3 square meters) with an approx­i­mate cost of 84.6 mil­lion rubles. Nadezhda Tokayeva was also reg­is­tered in a three-room apart­ment (120 square meters) in Bolshoi Kharitonievsky Lane worth 68.8 mil­lion rubles. Finding out who now owns this apart­ment is dif­fi­cult. According to Rosreestr, it no longer exists.

In the Moscow region, the ex-wife of Tokayev has had at least five large coun­try hous­es since 2000. From 2000 to 2014, she owned man­sions in elite set­tle­ments in the vil­lage of Kryukovo, Istra dis­trict (193.4 square meters), in the vil­lage of Abramtsevo, Sergiev Posad dis­trict (146.1 square meters) and the vil­lage of Tuchkovo, Ruza dis­trict (264.8 square meters) . These hous­es were sold in dif­fer­ent years.

Rosreestr hides infor­ma­tion about oth­er real estate. But, accord­ing to archival data, in the Moscow region, the Tokaevs had at least two more hous­es on land plots of 2,000 square meters each: in the vil­lage of Alekseevka, Istra dis­trict, and in the vil­lage of Ashukino, Pushkin district.

Earning at home

In Kazakhstan, some of Tokayev’s rel­a­tives have been pro­mot­ed to senior posi­tions in key state-owned com­pa­nies. A few months after Tokayev’s appoint­ment as pres­i­dent of the repub­lic in 2019, his nephew Beket Izbastin head­ed the PSA lim­it­ed lia­bil­i­ty part­ner­ship. This is a state-owned com­pa­ny, which is the autho­rized body of the Kazakh gov­ern­ment in the divi­sion of pro­duc­tion at the three largest oil and gas fields — the North Caspian project, the Dunga and Karachaganak fields. Through the PSA com­pa­ny, the state receives its share of the pro­duc­tion pro­duced by for­eign com­pa­nies admit­ted to these fields.

Another nephew of the pres­i­dent, Beket Izbastin’s broth­er Kanysh Izbastin, is also asso­ci­at­ed with state-owned com­pa­nies. From 2015 to 2021, he head­ed KazAgroFinance, which is engaged in leas­ing agri­cul­tur­al equip­ment and lend­ing to the agro-indus­tri­al com­plex. And in March 2021, he became the first deputy chair­man of the Baiterek nation­al hold­ing, the main oper­a­tor of the Kazakh gov­ern­ment in state pro­grams for the con­struc­tion of hous­ing, infra­struc­ture and indus­tri­al enterprises.

Tokaev with his wife Nadezhda, son Timur, and his nephews Beket and Kanysh
Photo: UN Special, Facebook page of Beket Izbastin, KazAgroFinance

The Kazakh busi­ness­es of Tokayev’s rel­a­tives rest­ed on the extrac­tion of nat­ur­al resources. The son of the President of Kazakhstan, Timur, with his cousin Mukhamed Izbastin, owned the Salish oil and gas com­pa­ny (until 2019 it was called Abi Petroleum Capital) since the begin­ning of the 2000s. It was liq­ui­dat­ed in 2020, and before that it was engaged in the explo­ration and pro­duc­tion of hydro­car­bons at the Gryadovoye field in the Atyrau region (the com­pa­ny’s rev­enue decreased from more than 600 mil­lion rubles in 2012 to 280.8 mil­lion rubles in 2016).

Timur Tokayev and the pres­i­den­t’s sis­ter Karlyga Izbastin also had the Kazakhstan Tungsten & Molybdenum Company. Through its sub­sidiaries (Karaoba-2005 and Severny Katpar), it obtained a license to mine tung­sten in two deposits in the Karaganda region. But, judg­ing by the pub­li­ca­tions of the Kazakh media, pro­duc­tion has not yet begun and the com­pa­nies are in a dif­fi­cult finan­cial sit­u­a­tion. Karlyga Izbastin also owns a machin­ery and equip­ment whole­sale com­pa­ny, while Timur Tokayev had sev­er­al unre­mark­able con­struc­tion and engi­neer­ing companies.

Featuring Elizaveta Tsybulina (Transparency International Russia*) and Atanas Chobanov (BIRD.BG)

Editors: Roman Shleynov, Maxim Solius

Original source of arti­cle: https:

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