Kazakh Commission Approves Return of Illegally Acquired Assets

ASTANA — The Kazakh Commission on the Return of illegally acquired assets approved Agreements on the voluntary return of illegally acquired assets worth over 40 billion tenge (US$ 90.5 million) to the state. This was announced at an April 29 meeting chaired by Kazakh Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

A meeting of the Commission on the Return of illegally acquired assets to the state was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov.  Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service

In addition to more than 38 billion tenge ($86 million) in cash, the assets include a 2 billion tenge ($4.5 million) business complex in Astana. Returned funds will be used for social purposes, including mitigating the effects of flooding.

The commission also approved investment agreements worth 7 billion tenge ($15.8 million) to build two infrastructure facilities in Astana and Shymkent by individuals who are subject to the law on the return of illegally acquired assets to the state. These projects are supposed to generate employment and provide an additional influx of tax revenues.

According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, individuals withdraw assets to offshore jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, Malta, Cyprus, Seychelles and other countries, reported Kazinform on April 29.

According to the United Kingdom (UK) National Crime Agency, the most effective tool in such cases is establishing secure channels for sharing information between law enforcement agencies, underpinned by memorandums guaranteeing the security and proper use of provided information.

“The National Crime Agency interacts with law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan, including as part of our work to suppress the activities of corrupt elites and their accomplices. If the National Crime Agency’s activities result in the recovery of assets that have been unlawfully removed from overseas jurisdictions, we will work with partners in the UK and abroad to return them in accordance with agreed processes and legislation,” the UK agency said in a statement at the request of the Kazinform.

Over the past two years, assets worth about 1 trillion tenge ($2.2 billion) were returned to the country. The commission identified 344 movable and immovable property objects, including 131 located abroad, and acquired information on securities worth 448 billion tenge ($994.6 million).

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