How Stolen Assets Will Be Returned in Kazakhstan

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On October 13, deputies and officials spoke about how the Law "On the return of illegally acquired assets" will work and how the state will confiscate stolen capital in favor of the state.

The Head of state signed the law "On the return of illegally acquired assets" on July 12. It is designed to target gray oligarchs and monopolies. The commission of specialists, deputies and public figures who will be engaged in the search and return of assets has already started operations. Their surnames are kept confidential because of the risks that pressure may be exerted on them.

Now they are forming a register of Kazakhstanis with large resources and assets. It includes all oligarchs who have enriched themselves illegally, for instance, through privatization, since the 90s. It is known that profits of over $200 billion have been withdrawn from enterprises that have been privatized via vouchers since 1995.

There is no statute of limitations on civil confiscation. Although it was 30 years ago. In general, the law does not prescribe exceptions for assets, including objects of privatization, that they will not fall under analysis. This means that we will also analyze this data, explained Alma Mukanova, Vice Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

After citizens end up in the register, they are sent a notification about the need to submit a declaration.

It's vast. It is required to provide complete and reliable information about the availability of assets and sources of income that allowed this asset to be acquired. After that, the commission decides on the committee's claim on which assets should be submitted to a civil court to freeze operations to ensure safety. Because there are risks that these individuals will immediately begin to take action. But within the framework of the law, norms have been adopted that provide for criminal liability for the transfer of property – sale or legalization, Mukanova said.

According to experts, the maximum threat to the oligarchs is the confiscation of illegally acquired assets. They will not be brought to criminal responsibility because of the statute of limitations for bringing forward charges. 

A person who is on the list is given the opportunity to return assets voluntarily. If they do not agree, then a compulsory mechanism comes into force – civil confiscation. Then law enforcement agencies will be brought in, which will have all the necessary tools – up to access to tax and banking secrets,
 the speaker replied.

As of 2022, assets, both cash and real estate, worth 857 billion tenge have been returned to the treasury. In the case of the ROP, 180 billion tenge was returned. Part of it had been spent on preferential car loans. All the money and property returned to the country will reportedly be used for the social needs of the population.

Original Author: Rayana Batyr

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy.

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