On the money withdrawn from Kazakhstan Khrapunov is buying hotels and villas

Nov 20. Kazpravda

By Mikhail PUGASOV

On the money withdrawn from Kazakhstan Khrapunov is buying hotels and villasMagazine Forbes Kazakhstan placed on its web portal photos of luxury properties in the upscale area of Geneva, owned by ex-mayor of Almaty Khrapunov.

As previously informed, Khrapunov is currently living in exile in Geneva facing 20 criminal charges and is on the Interpol wanted list. According to investigators, from 2003 to 2007 the Khrapunov family had transferred over $ 48 million and 7.7 million Euro into Swiss and foreign offshore accounts. Khrapunov’s wife, Leila, was also put on the international wanted list on suspicion of large-scale fraud.

The magazine also gives a list of real estate and land properties owned by the Khrapunov family in Kazakhstan and Switzerland. These are 37 expensive objects in Almaty, including elite recreation zones, houses, apartments, cottages, parking lots, garages, large land tracts in protected areas, shops, clinics premises, as well as 54 land sites for outdoor advertising, 14 luxury facilities in Switzerland, including villas, apartments, hotels, offices and a large hotel chain.

The Forbes Kazakhstan also carries a picture of Khrapunov’s apartment in the exclusive area of Geneva at Rue Rodolphe Toepffler, 10, worth $ 17 million.

These pictures are the answer to what has become of the money diverted from the Almaty and East Kazakhstan budgets through dummy companies. These are real evidences that Khrapunov today is one of the richest oligarchs in Switzerland, and the list of criminal charges against ex-Mayor and his wife could extend. How did he come by such a fabulous fortune? No wonder, the newly-minted Swiss tycoon is on the international wanted list.

When his financial frauds leaked, he immediately fled to Switzerland, taking the whole family and the plane filled with 20 tons of things, and in 2009 was entered on the list of the richest people in this country. This was shocking news to many Kazakhstanis, especially Almaty dwellers, where Khrapunov has not brought a single social project to completion.

The time, when Khrapunov was the mayor Almaty was worst of all, people say: in the interests of commercial developers historic buildings were pulled down in droves, barbarically, under the guise of land acquisition for public needs; hundreds of families were resettled from the downtown quarters to the outskirts of the city. In their place rose sumptuous buildings of wealthy men – Khrapunov’s kith and kin in the first place.

Under his mayorship the VILED Jewelry Business of Khrapunov’s wife was thriving.

In Almaty VILED was known as the owner of the “juicy” estate property, advertising billboards in the busiest and crowded places.

Another “feat” of Khrapunov is protracted construction of the Almaty airport he was in charge of, that cost the state nearly a million-dollar loss.

His son Ilyas asserts it was his mother who had given him the initial capital for the construction of the resort in Geneva. Clearly she could not come by such a huge sum without the help of the ex-mayor of Almaty.

The tycoon hopes to evade responsibility by getting Swiss citizenship, a kind of starting life anew.

As stated above, the investigation says that over the last four years in Kazakhstan Khrapunov had transferred 50 million dollars and over 7,7 million Euro into foreign accounts, but judging by the latest acquisitions- villas, cottages and upscale hotel chains in Switzerland there must be a lot more.

Sleeping peacefully in a villa on Lake Geneva is not possible even with millions, if the money is stolen. Hiding behind the “Swiss Gate” from Interpol and law enforcement agencies confirms that all his fortune is acquired in a criminal way.