Friends with dubious benefits
Frankfurt, Paris (8/10 – 11)
A tale of Putin’s Chechens pals, a murder in Moscow, Prince Andrew strawmen buyer for another oligarch, a Israeli pedophile business partner and a few other oddities, Kenes Rakishev role in dubious business dealings adds now a new one, Singapore. The recent billion US dollar scam bust of Chinese criminal syndicates has attracted the Kazakh rich guy to the city state.
Why the city state? Rakishev has funnel bribes to Hunter Biden, for what U.S. Republicans themed is a $142,000 bribe to influence the US administration of ‘brand Biden’. The city state known for its draconian laws has however entertained the dubious Kazakhstan native. In the murky world of Central Asian politics seldom is the amassed wealth probed for its origin.
The largest of the central Asian republics, Kazakhstan has come to life, in a big way, since the miserable (& unexpected) collapse of the USSR. Unlike the feudal, totalitarian neighbor states that surround it, Kazakhstan has uniquely reached out to link up with multinationals, foreign governments and NGOs and is presenting itself as a serious player and reasonable voice on the world stage. Lots of resources to sell and a serious, businesslike attitude.
There is a renewed, if shaky, democratic system of governance in place; the long-serving (and sticky-fingered) Nursultan Nazarbaev has stepped away from the center of power and allowed representative elections to take place.
Benefiting from the liberating and refreshing opening to the world at large have been a number of young Kazakh dynamos, among whom Kenes Rakishev holds a prime place. The “potted history” of this gentleman is a story of skyrocket-to-success: “43-year-old Rakishev is the son-in-law of the former prime minister and former akim of Almaty and Astana, Imangali Tasmagambetov, who is the secretary general of the CSTO.”
“Rakishev is the sole shareholder of Fincraft Group LLP, through which he holds 78.4% of Fincraft Resources JSC and BTA Bank JSC. He is also the president of the Boxing Federation. He is ranked 15th on the Forbes list of the ‘50 richest businessmen in Kazakhstan’ with a fortune of $570 million.”
Nice work if you can get it. There is, alas, a dark side to the story as well, one oozing hubris in a dangerous world which will cut you down with a whisper. Rakishev got involved with the Chechens, aka “…the Sicilians of Central Asia”. Dangerous to have as enemies, maybe the same having them as allies.
In 2014, Rakishev acquired an initial stake in BTA Bank from the government. BTA is a lender with a rich history. In the 2000s it belonged to another Kazakhstani billionaire, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who later feuded with then-President Nazarbayev, was accused of stealing from the bank, and fled the country. The bank was temporarily nationalized, and its new administration started hunting around the world for its lost billions.
Over the next few years, Rakishev gradually grew his share of BTA into a controlling stake and transformed the institution, shedding its banking business. In effect, he turned BTA into an investment company whose main assets were its claims against Ablyazov, estimated at $6 billion.
A considerable portion of the Ablyazov property that BTA was claiming is located in Russia, including plots of land, development projects, and a port. Even before Rakishev entered the picture, a fierce battle over the assets was under way.
“Once Rakishev did get involved, Ablyazov’s own investigators found that he was working with people close to Ramzan Kadyrov, including Krotov. An Ablyazov acquaintance told reporters from The Project that Krotov played the role of someone who ‘…could kick your ass, if needed’.”
The Ablyazov acquaintance also said that the Chechens went on the attack, demanding that Ablyazov’s assets be transferred to Rakishev. Rakishev and Kadyrov have known each other since the mid-2000s, and frequently appear in photographs together.
“In a Facebook post, the Chechen leader heaped praise on Rakishev: ‘He helps our people a lot, he often visits me, always shares with me his joys and sorrows. He’s well-known and respected in Chechnya. The people call my BROTHER a prince’.” Wow.
Better stay out of small planes, Kenes. On second thought, why don’t you drive instead? Airplanes have a history … of things happening to them … mysteriously, fatally…
Rakishev, evidently all pepped-up on his friendly reception in foreign capitals (amazing how nice people can be to you when you smell of great wealth) decided to invest some of his millions in the USA, most likely for two reasons: Americans love to receive foreign investment, as practically nothing of value for export is made in their country any longer, and the balance of payments is eternally in the red. In short, the rest of the world is dolefully supporting a luxurious, opulent, wasteful lifestyle by the obese, entitled Yanks.
The Kazakh money-mogul decided that since he already owned pliant politicians in Europe and Asia, he may as well purchase a few in the USA. Refer to the “business travels” of crooked politicians like former Vice-President Spiro Agnew, who furiously peddled influence in third-world countries even after he was forced to slink away from his executive post.
Vice-President Joe Biden was notoriously and openly “FOR SALE”, during the smooth, slippery Obama Administration. He bragged about using his influence to get a nosy Ukrainian prosecutor fired when he got too close to the Biden Crime Family’s malfeasances. He took in millions from the People’s Republic of China, legacy enemy of the United States of America, and most was funneled through his eldest surviving son, one reckless Hunter Biden. Maybe Rakishev sensed a kindred soul in Hunter, who openly shoots dope and posts sex videos of him cavorting with youngsters on social media.
It got to be too much for Congress and the American judiciary, which threatened Rakishev with an indictment by the Department of Justice, for alleged breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The astute Kazakh managed to wiggle out of that charge – and still planned to invest in property and other American businesses.
He met the enterprising Hunter Biden, whose unique managerial & entrepreneurial talents lay in his magic name (attached to “son of the Vice-President of the USA). A 2019 photograph showed Rakishev together with Hunter and his father, in Washington D.C.
While Rakishev paid the dope fiend Biden scion to be his go-between to broker US investments, including a Nevada mining company, he soon tired of Hunter’s company, and distanced himself from the man-child.
“Been nice knowing you, Hunter.”
“What are you going to give me, Kenes?”
“A nice toy to play with. What would you like?”
Thoughtfully, Hunter replies “A car. A beautiful, high-priced car to drive around in, as befits the son of the Vice-President of the USA.”
“Sure, Hunter.” [Writes a check, fatally.] “So long. See you in the movies.”
The Republican leadership in Congress is intent on impeaching the doddering, blinking, senile placeholder “President Joe Biden”. The very idea of his serving a second term makes the Democratic Party giggle nervously and wiggle their eyebrows. In the current investigation of influence-peddling, the issue of the payment for a $142,000 car, by Rakishev for Hunter Biden, came up. Hunter Biden used $142,000 wired from a Kazakh oligarch to his shell company to buy a Porsche before setting up a dinner with his father Joe, the bank records show.
This is about a naked example of bribery as one could point to. Hey, it is not Tajikistan politics, Kenes. You are not dealing with Russian business-crooks. This is America, where influence-peddling is supposed to be disguised as “lobbying” or a “consultancy”.
If Mr. Rakishev does not learn to play the music more tunefully he may find himself in deep trouble. No matter how much baksheesh he is willing to spread.
Source : 5 Media