ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hinted on Tuesday that associates of his predecessor and former patron Nursultan Nazarbayev needed to share their wealth with the public to help alleviate discontent after a week of violent unrest.
Nazarbayev, 81, was the longest-serving leader of any former Soviet state, running Kazakhstan between 1989 and 2019, first as Communist Party boss and then as president.
Several members of his family and former associates are among Kazakhstan’s richest people, according to Forbes magazine:
– Dinara Kulibayeva, Nazarbayev’s second daughter, and her husband Timur Kulibayev are the majority shareholders of Halyk Bank, Kazakhstan’s biggest lender by assets. Their stake’s market value stands at about $2.8 billion.
– Kairat Boranbayev, the father-in-law of Nazarbayev’s late grandson Aisultan, has interests in commercial real estate, owns the McDonald’s franchise in Kazakhstan and Belarus, and has interests in many other sectors.
– Bulat Utemuratov, Nazarbayev’s former aide, has interests in property development, banking and telecommunications. He has stakes in global commodities giant Glencore and an offshoot of Britain’s Haileybury school in Kazakhstan, according to Forbes.
– Though not listed by Forbes, Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva and her son Nurali Aliyev own a property portfolio in Britain estimated by The Times newspaper as worth 140 million pounds, including the Baker Street address of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes.
In 2020, they successfully fought an “unexplained wealth order” from Britain’s National Crime agency, which had sought to seize three homes worth an estimated $80 million. Nazarbayeva argued that her wealth was the legitimate product of her success as a businesswoman.
Her ex-husband Rakhat Aliyev, a wealthy former Kazakh government official, died in jail in Austria in 2015 while awaiting trial for murder.
(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Peter Graff)