ASTANA – Kazakhstan has returned assets worth 217 billion tenge ($453.9 million) in nine months of 2023, Financial Monitoring Agency Chairman Zhanat Elimanov said at an Oct. 9 meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, reported the Akorda press service.
During the meeting, Tokayev underscored the imperative of bolstering measures aimed at safeguarding legitimate businesses and combating financial and economic crimes.
According to Elimanov’s report, the percentage of economic activity that occurs outside the formal economy, dubbed the shadow economy, declined to 18.7% during this period.
Kazakhstan has also implemented measures to safeguard its citizens, particularly the youth, from online drug purchases by blocking the financial transactions of drug dealers. A total of 924 bank accounts linked to the laundering of drug proceeds have been closed.
A specialized unit to combat economic crimes involving cryptocurrency assets was established, with a mechanism for arresting crypto wallets and confiscating digital currency. The operations of nine illegal cryptocurrency exchanges, which collectively had a trading volume exceeding 17 billion tenge ($35.5 million), were liquidated.
For the first time, Kazakhstan seized cryptocurrency assets valued at 47 million tenge ($98,318) derived from criminal activities and placed them on the agency’s special account on the Binance crypto exchange.
The agency also identified and blocked 976 attempts to transfer funds to accounts associated with terrorist and extremist organizations.