April 28, 2022 admin 0 Comments

Net Worth: $100m

Source of Wealth: Politics

Nationality: Kazakhstan and UK

Born: 27 March 1952

Akezhan Kazhegeldin is a former prime minister of Kazakhstan who fled into exile in the late 1990s after falling out with the country’s President. The Supreme Court of Kazakhstan found Kazhegeldin, a former KGB officer, guilty of money laundering, bribery, abuse of office, tax evasion and possession of weapons. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.


Akezhan Kazhegeldin has also been named by the U.S. Department of Justice as a beneficiary of alleged bribes paid by American oil companies seeking access to the Kazakh market.

After he fled Kazakhstan, Kazkhegeldin became a vocal critic of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s regime. He established the Kazakh Republican People’s Party and has continued his opposition activities abroad.

However, Kazakhegeldin’s campaign against kleptocracy and the Nazarbayev regime was undermined by revelations in the Panama Papers about his family wealth and offshore holdings. The Panama Papers was a vast collection of documents leaked from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca that led to revelations about the offshore holdings of numerous politicians and business figures.

According to media reports, Kazhegeldin lived in a luxury mansion in London’s Belgravia district. The property was owned by a company called Zarek Investments in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which the Panama Papers revealed was ultimately owned by Kazhegeldin’s daughter. The home is currently valued at over $15 million according to property websites, raising concerns about how the former politician could have afforded the Belgravia property.

Kazkhegeldin has a PhD in economics and started work in 1974 as a teacher at secondary school No.12 in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

From 1976 until 1978, he served in the KGB Directorate for the Semipalatinsk region – the secret police. Kazkhegeldin then moved into politics and held various government positions including head of the propaganda department of the Kalinin district committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan.

In 1987, Kazkhegeldin attended leadership training courses with the KGB but resigned from the secret police service in 1989 just as the Soviet Union was collapsing. In 1991, he decided to return to politics in the newly independent state of Kazakhstan under President Nazarbayev.

In July 1993, Kazkhegeldin was elected deputy of the supreme council of Kazakhstan for the Makanchinsky constituency of the Semipalatinsk region. He was then appointed first deputy chairman of the cabinet of ministers of Kazakhstan.

Between 12 October 1994 and 10 October 1997, Kazkhegeldin served as the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan under President Nazarbayev – only the second person to hold this position.

During his tenure as prime minister, Kazkhegeldin was often criticised for the government’s poor performance, particularly during 1995 and 1996 when the price of consumer goods and services had risen sharply and pension payments were delayed by months.  In early 1997, Nazarbayev held Kazkhegeldin responsible for the unpaid wages and pensions, threatening that the prime minister would be out of office if progress was not made.

In September 1997, the then deputy of Kazakhstan’s parliament, Zamanbek Nurkadilov, revealed that Kazkhegeldin had used his influence to acquire shares in the Shymkent oil refinery and was in effect the owner. He questioned the sale of the refinery for only $60 million when it reported profits of $40 million in 1996. The buyer was described as an unknown company registered in Gibraltar.

Shortly afterwards, Kazkhegeldin voluntarily resigned as PM for “health reasons”. He fled to London in 1998.

The Kazakh authorities put Kazkhegeldin on an international wanted list and the former prime minister was arrested twice but was not extradited. He was found guilty of bribery and abuse of power charges in 2001 and sentenced in absentia.

In addition to the Kazakh corruption charges, Kazkhegeldin was also named in a US Department of Justice corruption investigation in 2000. The U.S. DoJ was investigating James Giffen, an American financial consultant who had helped to arrange oil deals in Kazakhstan. Giffen was accused of arranging bribes to help Phillips Petroleum Co and Mobil Petroleum get into the Kazakh market. According to the DoJ, Kazkhegeldin’s “close family” allegedly received payments from Giffen.

Kazkhegeldin changed his name to Ake-Jean Qajygeldin by deed poll on 21 June 2018, according to the official UK Gazette. He is married to Natalya Bykova with whom he has two children, one daughter, Diana Battaglia and one son, Magzhan Kazhegeldin.

Akezhan Kazhegeldin  Ake-Jean Qajyg Profile was last modified: April 28th, 2022 by admin

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