Western Support For Corrupt Oligarchs
Britain finally abandoned its support for the Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov fugitive. Finally, all attempts to find a political refugee in London were refused. It seems that Britain wants no longer to be the place of “voluntary exile” of corrupt officials of the former USSR. But its role seems ready to seize part of the continent.
Traditionally, London was the destination of many criminal oligarchs fugitives from the former Soviet Union. And in their country, many of them were accused of serious violations of the law, from tax offenses to murder. This was the case of Boris Berezovsky, against whom Moscow has instructed several criminal cases for theft, fraud, money laundering, attempted robbery with violence and many no less interesting. He came up with the fugitive Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, who in London, saw a safe home base for his future life. In his country, he is accused of stealing nearly $ 6 billion managed by BTA Bank in Russia and Ukraine, fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.
Traditionally, those who had fled to a bastion of European democracy were called opponents of their government, which gave them the ability to easily obtain political refugee status. This was the case for Ablyazov., Mukhtar Ablyazov received political refugee status in early 2011, two years after moving to London after the nationalization of BTA Bank. According to the British authorities, the former banker has been prosecuted for stealing more than $ 5 billion to depositors of BTA Bank. This status is required for Ablyazov not only to protect prosecution of Astana, but also as a guarantee against extradition to Russia, where he was sentenced in absentia in 2010.
But London is not loyal to his “refugees” when there is cheating. When during the trial, it became clear Ablyazov has not fulfilled the obligation to disclose all his assets, the Supreme Court in London said Mr. Ablyazov guilty of perjury, violation of prohibition of asset management and sentenced to a prison term of 22 months for contempt of court. The most interesting is that Syrym Shalabayev, a relative of Mr. Ablyazov, was convicted on the same basis and sentenced to 18 months in prison for having directly led illegal actions since the trial of the assets of the former banker.
Then, Ablyazov was arrested in France in 2013. Mr Shalabayev, parent of Ablyazov was detained in Lithuania. In April 2014, the UK private Ablyazov refugee status. The “real” reason was the accusations of fraud and billions of dollars of assets laundering. There were two years of appeals and lawsuits in London in vain. This summer, the London High Court finally confirmed: Mukhtar Ablyazov and his associates are not, and will not be political refugees, at least in the UK. In other words, the United Kingdom gave carte blanche to the rest of Europe to decide the ultimate fate of the fugitive banker.
France has decided to extradite a fugitive in Russia and now Ablyazov and his lawyers tried in vain to appeal to the State Council in France, the decision on his extradition.
The fact is that London, Paris, and even Washington admitted Ablyazov and his accomplices are fraudsters. Between January 1, 2014 to July 1, 2016, BTA Bank made losses totaling $ 1.4 billion because of Mukhtar Ablyazov. Thus, the English High Court issued the order to freeze the assets held directly or indirectly by Mukhtar Ablyazov and Ilyas Khrapunov (which manages assets on behalf of Ablyazov). On 17 June 2016 the English court issued the order to disclose information regarding I. Agravala, which is an intermediate for the management of stolen assets of the bank. The United States has agreed to freeze the assets of Ablyazov on its territory and adopted an action of BTA Bank against the fugitive oligarch.
The scammer finally recognized as a fraud on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, several other countries of the Old World prefer to take the opportunity to become havens for “political refugees.” For example, in mid-2015, the Lithuanian authorities have arrested an accomplice Syrym Shalabayeva parent but Ablyazov was granted refugee status in early 2016. Another accomplice of Ablyazov is hiding in Europe. This is the former chairman of BTA Bank Roman Solodchenko, accused in several countries of embezzlement and abuse of power. Ukraine asks for his extradition.
A Spanish court has gone even further. He canceled the decision to extradite a former security officer of the BTA Bank, Alexander Pavlov and granted him political asylum. It seems that Western countries are now competing with each other: that is, that will break the fight over legislation against money laundering and international crime. Perhaps they hope that oligarchs and their associates fleeing their country after stealing a good capital. Only this can explain the strange behavior of Lithuania and Spain. However, the British precedent gives hope for the continent to reconsider its decision. All are yet to agree on the issue of the fugitives. After all, the evidence of their crimes are recognized by most countries of the world.