Kazakh Financial Monitoring Agency Returns Over $211 Million in Illegally Obtained Assets

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Financial Monitoring Agency has returned nearly 94 billion tenge ($211.3 million) in illegally obtained assets and damages since the beginning of the year, said Zhanat Elimanov, the agency’s chair, at a July 27 meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, reported the Akorda press service.

Zhanat Elimanov and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Photo credit: Akorda.

The agency has liquidated five criminal groups, while three related cases are under investigation, including in the fuel and energy, utilities, and gas sectors. Twelve workshops that produced surrogate alcohol were closed down, and the import of electronic cigarettes worth 5.3 billion tenge ($11.9 million) was prevented.

The agency has liquidated 11 underground casinos and two bookmakers to counter illegal gambling, and stopped the activities of 22 financial pyramids to prevent fraudulent schemes. 

Elimanov informed that approximately 1.9 billion tenge ($4.2 million) have been returned to depositors and more than 5,300 websites and accounts have been blocked. The agency also cut prices for 14 types of socially important food products in 14 regions.

According to Elimanov, the country has passed mutual assessment to comply with FATF (Financial Action Task Force) international standards to tackle money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. Kazakhstan has demonstrated an effective system for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. This, in turn, will allow domestic businesses to pass simplified control of cross-border financial transactions.

Kazakhstan has also received observer status in the Asia-Pacific Group on money laundering, consisting of 41 members. This will increase the effectiveness of interaction with the countries of this region.

On July 26, the Kazakh government approved a comprehensive action plan to combat the shadow economy for 2023-2025, which covers measures to reduce shadow transactions in trade, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, and transport areas.

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