Myrzakhmetov Owes 9.4 Billion KZT to Banks and Companies


The ex-head of NCE "Atameken" Ablay Myrzakhmetov, arrested on suspicion of fraud and incitement to bribe, has large debts. Among the claimants are Bereke Bank, Halyk Bank, Tengri Bank, a Special financial company DSFK (dubious assets of Bank RBK JSC are collected here) and BAZIS CONSTRUCTION. His companies are also on the list of debtors.

On May 10, information emerged about the detention of the ex-head of NCE "Atameken" Ablay Myrzakhmetov. According to unofficial data, the criminal offense is a bribe or incitement amounting to $30 million or 13.3 billion KZT at the current exchange rate. The Anti-Corruption Service later confirmed information on the detention.

"He is suspected of fraud and incitement of an entrepreneur to pay a bribe on a particularly large scale, allegedly for assisting in the release of his relative from criminal liability,"

Antikor reported.

On May 12, 2023, the Specialized Inter-district Investigative Court of Astana authorized a preventive measure in the form of detention for a period of 2 months for Ablay Myrzakhmetov.

10 Years in Prison, or The End of Myrzakhmetov's Brilliant Career?

Ablay has two brothers (Askar and Altai) and a sister (Sholpan). Askar Myrzakhmetov just so happens to be the former akim of the Jambyl region, former Minister of Agriculture and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Ablay Myrzakhmetov's career was also impressive until he was convicted. In 2002, he served as Minister of Transport and Communications, but in March he was dismissed due to a criminal investigation. He was only 33 years old.

Shortly before his appointment as minister, Myrzakhmetov headed "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy", and before that, he worked in various positions in this structure. Ablay is credited with dismantling the lighting of railway stations, which eventually led to numerous problems. 

And it was he who allegedly ordered the "Talgos" passenger trains for traveling to the recently relocated capital of Kazakhstan – Astana. The new trains were theoretically supposed to reduce travel time, but in fact, they ended up being problematic. The wheelbase of the wagons was compatible, but the technical specification of the trains from sunny Spain was not suitable for the harsh winter climate of Kazakhstan. They could only withstand -18 degrees of frost. The cars were insulated, but that didn't help either. Later they were redirected to the Shymkent branch and then completely removed.

Five Articles And One Suspended Sentence

Let's get back to the criminal case tied to work at KTZ. Ablay Myrzakhmetov and nine other heads of the railway company were accused of organizing the embezzling of 3.3 billion KZT.

In total, 37 criminal cases were initiated against the suspects under 5 articles. A public trial, a bunch of cameras, and the prosecutor's demand were followed by 10 years of imprisonment with confiscation for the head of the criminal group Ablay Myrzakhmetov. But suddenly, in May 2003, 10 years turned into five conditionally. He owed the state 1,151,145,467 KZT. Myrzakhmetov was banned from holding public office for two years. But the sentence would turn out to be even milder: only three years were conditional, while two were pardoned. The story is also replete with other miracles: the arrest on Myrzakhmetov's accounts in Kazkommertsbank and ATF-Bank was lifted. At the same time, it is unknown whether he paid the money to the state.

The remaining suspects in the criminal case received real terms. Perhaps the other nine executives could not tap into extensive connections. Some media reported that Myrzakhmetov was a good friend of Timur Kulibayev. Former President Nursultan Nazarbayev purportedly lent a helping hand. It was rumored that Ablay Myrzakhmetov told the former head of state about hardships, and Nazarbayev helped him.

The disgraced ex-minister later became an adviser to the General director of CJSC Dala Group and then transitioned into becoming the NCE Atameken Board’s chairman. 

In 2011, Myrzakhmetov signed a memorandum of constructive cooperation with the head of the financial police, Kairat Kozhamzharov. The chairman of Atameken then said that "The National Economic Chamber will protect the interests of Kazakhstani entrepreneurs together with the State Agency of Kazakhstan for Combating Economic and Corruption Crimes." He said quite a bit about the fight against corruption while keeping silent about his suspended sentence in a high-profile case.

Three companies have been registered under Ablay Myrzakhmetov:

  • Altyn Dala Mining LLP for the extraction of loose gold at the Ubinsky site and the exploration of gold and platinoids at the Ashalinsky site in the East Kazakhstan region.
  • LLP "Combine "Farab" engaged in the production of hygienic and cosmetic products made of 100% cotton.
  • OUL "National Economic Chamber of Kazakhstan "Union “Atameken".

All three organizations have borrowed billions of KZT from banks and companies. The co-owner Ablay Myrzakhmetov is listed in the list of debtors along with them. In total, six executive inscriptions have now been written out on it. The amount of debt is 9,451,808,501.42 KZT.

These are joint liabilities:

  • Bereke Bank – 5 071 931 403 KZT
  • Halyk Bank – 1 782 378 008,33 KZT
  • Tengri Bank – 1 355 849 010,79 KZT
  • Special Financial company DSFK – 736 447.3 KZT
  • BAZIS CONSTRUCTION – 1 240 913 632 KZT

It should be noted that the ex-head of NCE "Atameken" was on the list of founders and other enterprises. One of them specializes in growing tomatoes and cucumbers. It owes the state more than 3.3 billion KZT.

A Business Center, Tank Cars, a Gas Terminal, 5 billion KZT…

Dala-Trans LLP transports cargo via the Aktau – Baku port ferry crossing and also transports them for sea transport in the port of Aktau. The company manages a fleet of covered railway cars. But what does Myrzakhmetov have to do with the company?

In October 2012, the Dala Group of companies put into operation a terminal in Kerch, Crimea, for pumping liquefied gas from railway tanks to sea transport for shipment to Europe and Türkiye. The operator of the facility was the private joint stock company "Asia-European Gas Terminal" ("AEGaz-Terminal"), and its owners were "Dala-Trans" and Dala Group. Myrzakhmetov was chairman of the Board of Directors in the latter.

Money was needed for such a large project. Perhaps that is why in December 2011, the subsidiary bank of Sberbank of Russia JSC (Currently Bereke Bank - Ed.) opened a credit line for 3,473,884,716.75 KZT for the freight forwarding company Dala-Trans LLP. An additional agreement was signed in September 2021. The LLP received a loan in the amount of 2,457,425,408.01 KZT.

On February 29, 2012, Sberbank of Russia accepted Altyn Dala Mining LLP’s guarantee for the repayment of 3.4 billion KZT. On May 18, 2015, Ablay Myrzakhmetov and the bank also signed a guarantee agreement. On February 25, 2016, a similar document was signed by Kairat Amirov. And on July 6, 2018, Baurzhan Baymukhanov also acted as a guarantor. On August 19, 2020, each party signed an additional agreement to all the agreements.

Bank Guarantee: an Office, a Building and 100% of Company Shares

Sberbank of Russia, Dala-Trans, Altyn Dala Mining and JSC AEGaz-Terminal signed a pledge agreement.

Dala Trans LLP offered its property:

  • An office in the Yesil district in Astana on Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, 12.
  • 100% of the LLP’s shares. 
  • 12 tank cars.
  • 928 gas terminals located in the city of Kerch in Crimea.

Altyn Dala Mining LLP has given a building in Almaty as collateral. It is on Rayymbek Avenue, building 208a. The total area of the administrative and industrial building is 3,769.2 square meters on a plot of land with a total area of 1,311 hectares with a share of 0.2925 hectares.

Administrative building/Photo

JSC "AEGaz-Terminal" has given a gas terminal with a land plot on lease in the city of Kerch, Crimea and 100% of the company's shares as collateral. 

Dala Trans stopped paying the loan in February 2022. In March, it applied to the bank with a proposal to deposit 200 million KZT on July 30 and postpone the fulfillment of obligations. The bank did not turn the offer down, though they said that the final decision will be made by the collegial body of the financial institution.

And then things went into motion. On March 31, the LLP sent a signed preliminary agreement. According to it, the LLP would undertake to transfer money no later than July 1. On May 31, although Dala Trans did not fulfill its obligations, the bank forewent filing a lawsuit. 

On July 5, the financial institution demanded to repay 5,074,616,799.19 KZT of debt:

  • Principal debt – 2 128 045 601,61 KZT
  • Overdue principal debt – 162,908,902.06 KZT
  • Accrued remuneration – 1 992 944 744,64 KZT
  • Overdue remuneration – 38,256,810.87 KZT
  • Accrued fines – 752,460,740.01 KZT

How Bereke Bank Sued Myrzakhmetov

The financial institution filed a lawsuit with the Esil District Court of Astana for the recovery of all debts. The litigants in the case were Dala Trans LLP, Altyn Dala Mining LLP, Ablay Myrzakhmetov, Baurzhan Baymukhanov, and Kairat Amirov.

On November 28, 2022, the court decided to partially satisfy Bereke Bank's claim:

  • To jointly collect from Dala Trans LLP, Altyn Dala Mining LLP, Ablai Myrzakhmetov, Baurzhan Baymukhanov, and Kairat Amirov 5,041,681,315 KZT.
  • To collect from Dala Trans LLP, Altyn Dala Mining LLP, Ablay Myrzakhmetov, Baurzhan Baymukhanov, and Kairat Amirov in favor of Bereke Bank JSC a state duty in the amount of 30,250,088 KZT from each.
  • To refuse to satisfy the claim regarding the recovery of Dala Trans LLP, Altyn Dala Mining LLP, Ablay Myrzakhmetov, Baurzhan Baymukhanov and Kairat Amirov the amount of the penalty in the amount of 32,935,484.29.
The decision of the Esil District Court of Astana

On March 14, 2023, an appeal hearing of the Astana city Court was held. The petition of Dala Trans LLP was dismissed.

3.3 billion KZT of Debt to The State

Ablay Myrzakhmetov was the founder of Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP from October 2016 to May 2019. The LLP is engaged in agriculture. This asset also has large debts (8.4 billion KZT). The owners even filed for bankruptcy.

KazAgroFinance JSC and Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP signed an agreement on financing an investment project in November 2009. Within the framework of this document, the parties signed several loan agreements for 1,080,715,877 KZT. The company has also leased various items for 910,206,772 KZT. The credit line was in effect until 2014.

Production greenhouses for tomatoes/ Photo

The credit organization could not just hand out this amount, so the LLP offered its property as collateral. Ablay Myrzakhmetov's mother, Sabila, also provided property. The parties have concluded pledge agreements regarding repayment of the principal debt, payment of charges, and other mandatory payments.

Greenhouses, Land and a House

The company owned land and greenhouse complexes in the city of Tekeli in the Jetysu region. There the company grew tomatoes and cucumbers.

– Plot on Konaeva Street, 5 "A". The land area is 4.5 hectares, it was leased for 15 years. The market value is 3,881,000 KZT.

– Greenhouse with a total area of 36,444 sq. m, located on a plot next door – Konayev Street, 5. The plot of 4 hectares is privately owned. Market property - 1,805,883,000 KZT.

– Greenhouse complex, with a total area of 22,986.2 sq.m, on a private plot of 6 hectares. The land is privately owned. The market value is 828,288,000 KZT.

– High-voltage power transmission line in the western part of Tekeli, length 4.2 km. It connects the Karatal hydroelectric power station and the substation of the PS-35 kV greenhouse complex. The line runs through a land plot leased until December 23, 2062, with a total area of 0.0388 hectares. The estimated value is 45,161,000 KZT.

– Equipment of substation PS-35 kV, located in Tekeli, on Konaeva Street, 203. Its value was estimated at 74,308,000 KZT.

The second pledger was the company director's mother. She offered real estate that belonged to her, namely, a residential house with an area of 290.6 sq.m and outbuildings along with a plot. The property is located in the Almaty region, Karasay district, the village of Rahat. Its value was estimated at 131,046,000 KZT.

Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP also needed a guarantor. They were represented by "Business Development" LLP. The contract was signed on December 24, 2006. The guarantor has assumed an irrevocable joint liability to fulfill the monetary obligations of "Green House – Zelyony Dom”.

Show Me The Money

KazAgroFinance JSC demanded to be paid back only in 2019. Perhaps one of the reasons was the fact that Ablay Myrzakhmetov's brother, Askar, held high positions at that time and was even the chairman of the Board of Directors of KazAgro National Managing Holding JSC, whose subsidiary is KazAgroFinance.

Due to the lack of regular payments, by February 25, 2019, Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP owed 1,203,268,556 KZT. This includes 388.1 million KZT of overdue basic debt, 479 million KZT of overdue charges, and 335 million KZT in penalties. The Credit Committee of KazAgroFinance JSC decided to charge a penalty for all contracts in the amount of 20% of the accrued amount – 67,192,290 KZT.

In May 2019, KazAgroFinance JSC filed a lawsuit with the Specialized Interdistrict Economic Court of the Almaty region. The litigants in the case were LLP "Green House – Zelyony Dom" and LLP "Business Development", and the third person was Abzal Myrzakhmetov's mother – Sabila Myrzakhmetov.

On May 27, 2019, the court partially satisfied the claim of KazAgroFinance JSC. Companies must jointly recover 388,127,731 KZT of principal debt, 479,179,373 KZT in charges, 67,192,290 KZT in penalties and 28,042,560 KZT of state duty from the companies. Total: 962 541 955 KZT. Later, this amount increased to 3,334,163,642.30 KZT.

It should be noted that on May 27, 2019, Ablay Myrzakhmetov ceased to be the co-founder of "Green House – Zelyony Dom".

First, Pay The debts to The State

In September 2020, the debts of the agricultural company increased to 5,539,690,836 KZT:

  • KazAgroFinance JSC – 3 334 163 642,3 KZT.
  • The State Revenue Department for the Medeuskmou district of Almaty – 1,406,446,09 KZT.
  • State Revenue Department for Tekeli – KZT 5,119,035.
  • Karatal Transit LLP – 112,000 KZT.
  • Smirnov B.K. – 24,620 KZT.
  • ASPMK-519 LLP – 444,375.63 KZT.
  • Suleimenov M.M. – 1,214,079.50 KZT.
  • Prom Stroy 2050 LLP – 6,166,138 KZT.
  • Tekeli Energy Complex LLP – 10,541,867 KZT.
  • JSC "ForteBank" – 12,810,801.45 KZT.
  • "Qazaq Abyroi" LLP – 883,607,002.40 KZT.
  • Capital Investment Fund LLP – 272,370,536.03 KZT.
  • Accounts receivable – KZT 17,529,007.

The company decided to declare bankruptcy in court but to no avail. The Specialized Interdistrict Economic Court of Almaty dismissed the claim on September 17, 2020. So did The Almaty City Court.

In 2021, 3,666,069 KZT was added to the debt of Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP for electricity to Jetysu Energotrade LLP.

In the same year, one of the greenhouse complexes was put up for sale. 346,021,283 KZT was asked for a greenhouse with a land plot. Poor management, management problems and technical and technological problems were among the reasons for the sale.

In October 2022, the accounts payable of the agricultural company increased to 6,271,585,333 KZT. The management considered that Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP was "unable to repay it on its own." Therefore, it filed for bankruptcy again and in the same Specialized Interdistrict Economic Court of Almaty. On October 26, 2022, the request was dismissed.

Now the company's debt is 8,443,637,696,52 KZT. In the courts, representatives of Green House – Zelyony Dom LLP have repeatedly explained that "the previous head of the partnership made a number of entrepreneurial mistakes, which worsened the financial situation." At the same time, no one mentioned the change of the founder from Ablay Myrzakhmetov to Zhasulan Kurban when said difficulties began.

In the next part of the will discuss other debts of the arrested ex-director of NCE "Atameken". Spoiler: if Ablay Myrzakhmetov had been given the bribe of $30 million (13.3 billion KZT), he would have been able to cover only his debts. But some of the debts of companies affiliated with him would have remained. 

Original Author: Maria Gorbokonenko

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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