OFFSHORE LEAKS DATABASE - Mukhtar Ablyazov FORMER MINISTER OF ENERGY AND TRADE, KAZAKHSTAN (1998-1999)

Billionaire banker Mukhtar Ablyazov was Kazakhstan’s min­is­ter of ener­gy and trade from 1998 to 1999. In 2009, Ablyazov fled Kazakhstan after $10 bil­lion was report­ed miss­ing from BTA Bank, where he was chair­man. He was arrest­ed in France in 2013 in response to extra­di­tion requests from Russia and Ukraine. Ablyazov denied alle­ga­tions of loan fraud and embez­zle­ment. He was released in December 2016 after a French court ruled that Russia’s request was polit­i­cal­ly motivated.

Ablyazov owned CFJ Star Trust, which was set up in the Cayman Islands in 2007, with a broth­er-in-law, Syrym Shalabayev. Shalabayev was also accused of involve­ment in the alleged BTA loan fraud. He denied the charges and was grant­ed refugee sta­tus in Lithuania in 2016. CFJ Start Trust became inac­tive in November 2011 and closed in October 2012. “Efforts are being made to resign as Trustees,” an Appleby employ­ee typed in red as part of a 2012 audit of high-risk clients.

Response

Ablyazov did not respond to a request for com­ment from ICIJ before publication.

On 5 Nov., a spokesman for Ablyazov told ICIJ that the trust was estab­lished “in view of a pri­vate place­ment for investors in BTA Bank.” The place­ment did not take place. The com­pa­ny was incor­po­rat­ed off­shore to mit­i­gate the risks of state cor­rup­tion, Ablyazov said. Ablyazov said he did not flee Kazakhstan. “BTA Bank’s finances were in strong shape and the bank was prepar­ing for an IPO on the London mar­ket,” Ablyazov said, and loss­es “were caused not by Mr Ablyazov, but by the whol­ly ille­gal forced nation­al­i­sa­tion of BTA Bank.”

Related documents

Offshore Leaks Database

Related Posts