Slogans and problems of one former mayor

Slogans and problems of one former mayor

By Alina Kantor

The tradition of loving the motherland from abroad has swept the runaway criminal officials like the flu during the epidemic. And such an effect of such "painful love" every time is the overestimated temperature of democratization of each fugitive. Viktor Khrapunov, who in Kazakhstan is accused of corruption, fraud and money laundering, is very fond of teaching democracy, burning money from his homeland in Switzerland.

One of the slogans written on the official website of this criminal  says that the author "stands for active political participation of the inhabitants of the Republic in making decisions concerning their own future. I am convinced that Switzerland can become an example for countries that have recently embarked on the path of democracy. "

This curtsey towards Switzerland is understandable - it is where his family live today. And it is there that the Khrapunovs are listed among the richest people in the country. And they became them because of the large amounts of money and valuables exported from Kazakhstan.

At home, the former mayor of the largest city of Kazakhstan, V. Khrapunov, was found guilty of causing damage to the state in the amount of at least $ 300 million. 20 criminal cases have been initiated against him, and V. Khrapunov himself has long been on the international wanted list through Interpol in connection with accusations of money laundering, fraud, organization of a criminal group, abuse of authority, and bribery.

The cunning official worked out very interesting schemes for the withdrawal of funds from Kazakhstan. He through the firm of his wife and a host of other offshore companies acquired property, including real estate, in Switzerland and the United States.

The company of his wife and son (himself V.Khrapunov is listed as a poor Swiss pensioner) is famous in Lausanne for large-scale development projects. Where, judging by the findings of the investigation, part of the money taken from the country by the mayor of Almaty V. Khrapunov gets. This is the transaction with the Belgian company "Tractebel" for the sale of the city's energy complex, as well as criminal schemes for transferring municipal land to private ownership.

But with the United States the Khrapunovs got a problem. The fact is that the American Themis, having checked the claims of the Kazakh side, has long ago seized the property of a runaway family. And there she owns several villas. And now there are courts on charges of the Khrapunovs in laundering proceeds and even bribes to the top leadership of the United States.

Since the property was purchased not directly in the name of V.Khrapunov, but to legal entities through offshore companies, it takes some time to search for irrefutable evidence of the ownership of real estate and everything else in the US it is a fluent Kazakh official. But, judging by the attitude of US prosecutors, these evidence are gradually gaining tangible outlines.

At least three companies used Sochi 3310, Soho 3311 and Soho 3203 to launder money from Kazakhstan, V.Khrapunov and Co. Since each of these companies is a limited liability company, it is easy to hide the real owner. A week after the creation, these firms paid more than three million US dollars for the purchase of an elite apartment in Manhattan, which suddenly turned out to be the property of the Khrapunovs.

The US authorities also found out that the ultimate beneficiary of the company "Soho" was Elvira Kudryashova, daughter of V. Khrapunova. She also paid to the New York law firm Martin Ian, who became an agent and an intermediary in all transactions of the company "Soho". Also the family of Khrapunovs worked in conjunction with another world-famous fraudster - Mukhtar Ablyazov. The investigation in Kazakhstan and Great Britain found out that Ilyas' son Khrapunov is married to the daughter of M. Ablyazov. So the former banker M.Ablyazov drew a relative to the "case" of a "clean" criminal prosecution.

It is known that Khrapunov was the owner of the group of companies "Swiss Development Group", which was created on the money deduced by V. Khrapunov from Kazakhstan. The company itself was looking for prospective investment projects, and their financing. It was for such projects that funds were transferred that fraudulently left Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, where the branches of BTA Bank owned by M.Ablyazov were located.

Pumping Khrapunov's company with Ablyazov's money allowed scammers to implement very large and prestigious real estate projects: Kempinski Park, Residences in Chardonnay, 51 Degres in Los Les Bains, Pinnacle Residence in Saas-Fee, Iglo in France, Rockefeller Estate company (real estate sale), Rockefeller Leving (Owners Club). In general, specializing in investing in five-star hotels-condominiums, private hotels in Switzerland and other countries, scammers managed to turn stolen funds into expensive and "clean" goods.

Obviously, the Khrapunovs were not particularly worried about how to save money stolen on corruption in Kazakhstan. Almost all of them were turned into real estate, shares or new investment companies for frontmen. And together with the millions of ex-banker Ablyazov, a good family capital has turned out. Today it allows not only to comfortably live a simple Swiss pensioner V. Khrapunov, but also from time to time talk about democracy in the country, which he robbed and from whose justice he chose to hide in neutral Switzerland.


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