How Much Did The Klebanovs Earn On Public Procurement?

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Orda previously investigated which companies Alexander Klebanov and his closest relatives own. Orda has also decided to look into how much money these companies receive from the state

In the prior investigation, we discovered that Yakov, the son of the oligarch Klebanov, through Solis Ltd owns the Rixos hotel in Almaty. He also regularly receives contracts directly from various government agencies such as the Foreign Ministry and the Staff of the Constitutional Council. 

The company received contracts for 14 million KZT through public procurement in 2021 alone.

But this is not the only organization under the control of the Klebanovs that receives public money. It is also not the only company of Yakov’s involved in public procurement. The oligarch's son owns a Stepnogorsk mining and chemical plant in a very peculiar way.

Two offshore companies, GANBERG UK LTD and GEXIOUR UK LTD, are listed as founders of the plant on the e-government website. Both companies were registered on March 1, 2017 in England at the same address. 

The director of both companies is also the same – a certain Maria Milona from Cyprus. Another British company, DEGEVOL UK LTD, is listed as the sole shareholder in both companies.

At DEGEVOL UK LTD we find Maria Milona again as director and the same address in London. But here the final beneficiaries of this entire grid of companies become visible. 

The majority shareholder of the company is Vasily Anisimov, while Klebanov owns less than 50% of the company. According to anonymous telegram channels, the businessmen have divided the company “60/40”. The company is run mainly by Cypriots.

Vasily Anisimov is a Russian entrepreneur and billionaire originally from Almaty. In 2022, he took 52nd place in the list of the richest businessmen in Russia according to Forbes. At the moment, according to the company's documents, he lives in Switzerland and has Croatian citizenship.

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Who Participated in Tenders?

The main asset of the Stepnogorsk Mining and Chemical Plant, which Klebanov and Anisimov own through offshore companies, is a hydrometallurgical plant. The plant produces up to 4,000 tons of uranium and up to a million copper products per year. More than 1,000 people work there.

In addition, the plant acts as a founder for a number of companies. Among them are MoliKen, Kyzyltu, Shantobe-Energo, Shantobe-Remstroyservice, Stepnogorsk Temir Zhol, Budenovskoye joint venture and Crocus-A. They are engaged in the production and distribution of electricity, and the extraction of copper ore, uranium and other minerals. They also run the operation of railways, and trade in cement, sand and gravel. In the first half of 2022, the plant paid 900 million KZT in tax.

The plant used to actively participate in public procurement. But in 2022, the company did not conclude any contracts at all, while one contract for 4 million was terminated after a couple of months in 2021.

Yakov Klebanov is not the only one in the family who participated in tenders. Companies from Alexander Klebanov's CAPECO holding have also taken part. 

The Petropavlovsk Kindergarten “Alakai”, which we wrote about in the previous investigation, signed contracts for 135 million KZT with the Petropavlovsk Department of Education in 2021. The nursery has been receiving multimillion orders annually since 2017.

Astana-ERC, which was previously suspected of financial violations, also annually enters into large contracts. The organization earned about 190 million KZT on public procurement in 2022. The company, which collects payments for utilities, provides services to the akimats of Astana and Almaty. Astana-ERC paid 160 million in tax in the first half of the year alone.

Some Striking Numbers

There are a number of less obvious assets in addition to the companies that Klebanov directly owns. A number of media had been registered to Klebanov but transferred to other owners. Many assume that they are still connected with the oligarch. Orda does not claim anything but decided to check what orders these media receive from the state.

One Effective Media Liaison LLP owns Tengrinews.kz , Vesti.kz , and Massaget.kz. Combined, they received more than 40 million KZT this year only from the Central Election Committee. Apparently this is how much it costs to place an election banner on these sites. The contract was sent directly bypassing competition. Tengrinews.kz received the most finances and there are some interesting details in the contract documentation. For example, the site requires at least 7.4 million unique visitors per month and at least 740 thousand visitors per day.

Rahat-TV and Yelorda Tynysy (Retro FM) also managed to earn money in the elections. The media received contracts from the CEC for 30 million KZT. During the referendum, the CEC also ordered advertising on the radio from Elorda Tanysa, for which it paid about 19 million KZT.

Original Author: Yeleusiz Ramadan-Malik

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