New Phase of Struggle for Assets? What Do Sarinzhipov's Claims about Jusan Mean?
The former Minister of Education of Kazakhstan, minority shareholder of Jusan Bank and the head of the Nazarbayev Fund, gave an unusual interview to Ulys Media. The former official of “Old Kazakhstan” gave an “encrypted message” in it. Orda.kz looked into the situation.
In the interview, Sarinzhipov speaks about the withdrawal of Kazakhstani shareholders and managers from the financial organization Jusan. The head of the Nazarbayev Foundation unexpectedly opened up and said that "for far-fetched reasons, Kazakhstanis were removed from the board of trustees of the fund, as a result of which control over the banking group was lost."
"The reason was our attempt to stop the misuse of funds that were supposed to go to support and develop the domestic education system. Instead, the management of the Jusan Technology holding planned to allocate funds for the payment of dividends, and before the return of the assistance provided by the state,"Sarinzhipov said in the interview.
He is referring to more than 172 billion KZT. First Heartland Securities decided to pay itself dividends for 2021 due to the retained earnings of Jusan Bank of previous years in the amount of 172 billion tenge, while the bank earned a little more than 47 billion tenge last year. Jusan Bank had appeared due to the merger of ATF and Tsesna banks. The state spent 1.5 trillion KZT on keeping these banks around.
How Does Jusan Work?
The parent company of Jusan Bank, Jusan Technology, is registered in the UK. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC First Heartland Securities (owner of Jusan Bank) is Shigeo Katsu. He is also the chairman of the Board of Directors of Jusan Bank as well as the president of Nazarbayev University. The head of Jusan Technology is reportedly Yerbol Turmakhanovich Orynbayev, while the chairman of the Board of FHS is his protege, Rustem Khamzin.
The main components of the Jusan Group are:
- NU Generation Foundation (NUGF), a non-profit organization registered in the USA as the parent organization
- The UK-registered company Jusan Technologies (JT), acting as the operational holding of the group
- A bank holding company represented by First Heartland Securities (FHS) and Jusan Bank itself operates directly in Kazakhstan.
NU Generation Foundation is registered in the US state of Nevada, and, according to Sarinzhipov, this non-profit foundation was supposed to finance Nazarbayev University and Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in order to reduce the burden on the republican budget and work freely in the international arena. Things, however, did not go according to plan.
What Went Down
Orda.kz wrote in detail about the withdrawal of Kazakhstani shareholders from the board of directors. The Kazakhstani expert, Denis Krivosheev, confirmed Sarinzhipov’s statements.
"In the summer of 2022, Yerden Kusain was dismissed from the post of executive director of the American foundation, other representatives from the Kazakhstani side were removed from the board of directors without getting to have a say in it. Control over the fund passed to Shigeo Katsu and Yerbol Orynbayev. In one of the press releases of Jusan Bank, issued in the spring of 2022, it was reported that Aslan Sarinzhipov was also removed from the board of directors of First Heartland Securities holding by the decision of the shareholder, that is, Yerbol Orynbayev."
Krivosheev said that he repeatedly addressed questions about the funds of the American fund to both the National Bank and the Cabinet of Ministers, but did not receive clear answers from them.
Sarinzhipov, in turn, says: "Jusan came under the control of people who, after the January events, preferred to change Kazakhstan to a safer country of residence for them. I want to note that I have officially expressed my disagreement with this decision."
Sarinzhipov also claims that the foundation has made official claims to the new trustees of the American organization Jusan, though they have not received a response. Now they are going to file a lawsuit for the reinstatement of representatives of Kazakhstan in First Heartland Securities. Consultations were held with Kazakhstan's Prosecutor General's Office and the process, according to Sarinzhipov, is at the final stage.
Return of Jusan’s Assets?
In his first interview with Kazakhstani journalists, the newly appointed US Ambassador Daniel Rosenblum said that Kazakhstan had not made an official request to American law enforcement agencies for the return of illegally acquired assets. A few days later, the public foundation Elge Qaitaru, which is engaged in the search and repatriation of stolen capital to Kazakhstan, announced that it had sent a statement to the Prosecutor of the state of Nevada for the return of Jusan’s assets.
It seems that Sarinzhipov's claims are a signal for the end of bargaining. The old elite had time to voluntarily return the state money, but the time for reflection is over. Sarinzhipov himself, once close to the family of the first president, drew a line between "Old and New Kazakhstan" and showed whose side he was on. He does not intend to leave the country. Sarinzhipov also knows a lot about where and what the old guard has hidden.
His statements were spread by many Kazakhstani publicists who have never been known for their interest in economics and politics. Perhaps, in this way, the “messengers” with news about the beginning of asset recovery, not amicably, but through the court, wanted to make sure that it would reach the addressee, or, addressees. The stakes for the return of exported assets are on the rise.
Original Author: Maksim Skopin
DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy.
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