Patokh Chodiev (born 15 April 1953) is a founding shareholder of Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), an iron ore and ferrochrome miner based in Kazakhstan. Chodiev built the company into one of the world’s largest diversified miners with his partners Alexander Machkevich and Alijan Ibragimov.
ERG is now the world’s largest producer of ferrochrome and its other assets include aluminium, copper and energy production.
The company, then called Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC), was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. It subsequently delisted and became a private company following a downturn in commodity markets caused by the financial crisis.
Chodiev and his partners own other businesses, including Eurasian Bank and the Eurasia Insurance Company.
Chodiev was born in Uzbekistan and he moved to Russia to study international law and Japanese at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Affairs (MGIMO). He graduated with a doctorate in political science. Chodiev joined the diplomatic service and lived in Tokyo during the early 1980s. He has retained a close interest with Japanese affairs and in 2014, Chodiev was made an honorary member of the Patrons of Japanese Arts by Akie Abe, the First Lady of Japan.
The International Chodiev Foundation, which Chodiev established in the mid 1990s to promote philanthropic ventures, is the patron of a historic kimono museum in Japan. The Foundation’s other activities include education and healthcare programs in Uzbekistan; a scholarship program in partnership with MGIMO; and support for orphanages in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
Chodiev was linked to a political scandal in Belgium and France that was called “Kazakhgate” by the media. A formal investigation by the Belgian Parliament fully exonerated him. The Belgian media claimed that Chodiev had improperly influenced a local mayor to help him secure Belgian citizenship in the 1990s. But the Belgian Parliamentary Inquiry found that such interventions by officials were common, legitimate and irrelevant to the citizenship process.
It was also claimed that Chodiev and his partners had benefited from a campaign by the French government to help the businessmen settle a historic Belgian investigation into some property transactions. Chodiev and his partners were able to use provisions under a new plea bargain law to settle the claims with no admission of guilt. Despite the media claims, an investigation by the Belgian Parliament found there had been no improper influence by Chodiev or the French government. The Parliamentary Inquiry also concluded that the application of the plea bargain law was correct and had been in Belgium’s national interests.
It subsequently emerged that many of the documents used as evidence to support the Kazakhgate allegations were faked. Chodiev has launched legal proceedings against the Belgian state and two members of parliament for defamation.