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The Race to displace the national disgrace: Bulat Utemuratov arrest in Kazakhstan

Bulat Utemuratov

The story of Bulat Utemuratov serves as a striking illustration of the pervasive corruption and intricate schemes that have plagued Kazakhstan’s development. As one of the pillars of the Nazarbayev regime, Utemuratov’s immense wealth and influence shield him from the consequences of his actions, making any notion of punishment seem elusive.

However, the official biographies of Utemuratov merely present a polished facade, concealing a much more complex and controversial figure. Despite having no real business background, he quickly rose to become the third richest billionaire in Kazakhstan, owed in part to his close association with the authorities. Utemuratov played a pivotal role in capital flight, exporting significant amounts of oil, gas, and metals, while indulging in a luxurious lifestyle across various countries.

The Illustrious Oligarch’s Web of Corruption and Schemes in Kazakhstan”

One of the iconic scams associated with Utemuratov was the sale of ATF Bank to Italian-Austrian entities in 2007. The bank’s value was artificially inflated due to its ties with Kazakh authorities, particularly Utemuratov, Timur Kulibayev, and Karim Masimov. ATF Bank’s assets were believed to be formed at the expense of state-owned companies, diverting earnings away from the state budget. After the sale, the bank rapidly deteriorated, resulting in massive write-offs and questionable practices, leading the Italian tax police to suspect money laundering.

Despite the suspicions and potential bribery associated with the deal, investigations were stifled, and Utemuratov seemingly escaped scrutiny. The Italians eventually sold the struggling bank to Galimzhan Yesenov, and ATF Bank underwent a sudden transformation, being hailed as the “best bank in Kazakhstan.”

Utemuratov’s power and influence remain significant, but with Kazakhstan’s political landscape evolving, questions arise about how he will fare with new leadership in place. As Elbasy’s reign is not eternal, the prospect of holding Utemuratov accountable gains traction, earning the new government favor with a population eager for change. The future of the notorious oligarch hangs in the balance as the nation awaits potential revelations and the possibility of justice finally catching up with him.

Bulat Utemuratov

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