Kazakh Government: New Law on Illegally Acquired Assets Will Not Affect Diligent Investors 

ASTANA – The new law on the return of illegally withdrawn assets will not affect conscientious investors, according to a statement on the Kazakh Prime Minister’s website on Sept. 21.

Photo credit: bitdegree.org.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the law on the return of illegally acquired assets to the state in July. The law provides a framework for the government to identify and repatriate assets that have been illegally acquired and taken out of the country. 

“The law is not directed against responsible investors, including foreign ones. In the absence of other conditions, the availability of assets worth over 13 million monthly calculation index (MCI) or 44.8 billion tenge (US$93.9 million) shall not be an independent basis for applying the provisions of this law to bona fide investors,” the statement reads.

The law establishes clear limits on expanding the list of individuals or organizations subject to its provisions. Only those entities and affiliated entities that meet the law’s specific criteria, including the possession of significant assets, can be included in the register to verify the legality of the sources of assets and possibly file a claim for their compulsory return.

Article 2 in the law mandates entities and their affiliated persons to prove the legality of the sources of origin of their assets in court in cases and on the grounds established by this law. 

Illegally acquired assets are defined as assets that are subject to return to the state when a court recognizes these assets as having an unexplained origin, meaning that the court has not been presented with sufficient evidence to establish their legality based on the criteria specified within the law.

In compliance with international standards in asset recovery, the law provides adequate guarantees for the protection of the rights of bona fide purchasers of assets, as well as bona fide creditors. It also includes provisions to safeguard individuals who have reported instances of illegal asset acquisition and withdrawal or have otherwise contributed to the process of  asset recovery.

The law aligns with international standards and draws from the experience of developed Western nations. Emphasizing the rule of law, it aims to promote social fairness and sustainable growth in Kazakhstan. 

It lays a groundwork for eliminating factors that encourage the outflow of assets from the country. It does so by safeguarding the rights guaranteed by Kazakhstan’s Constitution, international obligations, and legislation governing national and foreign investors, businesses and individuals.

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